1. Understand Furniture Quality
The furniture industry tries to intimidate many integrators, home theater retailers, designer or builders. By adding a cup holder to their already tired designs and quality, they have jumped into the A/V Channel with the same old recliners from the 50’s!
We all understand the quality and value differences between high, mid and low-performance electronics, flat-panel TV’s, speakers and screens, but when it comes to seating… “a chair, is a chair, is a chair, isn’t true?” NO! Unfortunately hidden under that cover/upholstery is a scary mess in many cases.
Why do we press pause on our brains when the white shoes, white belt furniture sales-guy from outside our industry is selling you and your customer today’s closeouts, or high commissioned high profit margin items?
How will you or your customers (the ones that just dropped upwards of $100,000 on their project) feel when they/you find yourselves sitting on collapsed cushions or having the frame poking you in the back?
There are precious few manufacturers that have invested in the home theater industry and work hard to manufacture/sell seating that is on the same level as what installers/designers present as top-notch and high performance. For their entertainment rooms.
Know them; know their products.
2. Educate Yourself
You and/or your staff must be trained in every aspect of seating and design.
You should not let your people approach any of your clients until you know they have all the knowledge that your vendors can afford you. And you as a buyer should do the same.
Just as theater builders and manufacturers attend CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design/Interior Assoc.) type training events for integration, designers, retailers, etc., so you too need to do your own search on-line, to learn as much as you can about seating, the companies mission statement, etc.
Two or three distributors of cheap, imported, theater chairs sit on top of the Google search engine (Home Theater Seating search) and appear to be experts, when all they are is buying poor quality seating from offshore. Next comes all the old brand names from the 50’s. The biggest deception is that the cheap Off-Shore manufacturers and others have purchased some of the old-time large furniture manufacturer’s names, fooling the buyer into believing they are buying an American product! Flat screen manufacturers have done the same with RCA, Zenith, Magnavox and others.
You must understand what your seating supplier/manufacturer believes and to be informed when it comes to quality, longevity, guaranty and comfort! You need a manufacturer that not only understands seating, but also understands the custom install theater design business, acoustics, viewing requirements and room construction. Buy from a company who specializes in Theater Seating only!