Norwich, Norfolk, UK
|Key Statistics & Information|
|HARMAN Brands Supported||
Arcam, Lexicon and
The HARMAN Luxury Audio Group is proud to have some of the best high-end consumer electronics partners across the globe. Each month, we have the pleasure of learning a little bit more about one of our dealers or distributors. This time we spoke with Marcus Harbord of Martins Hi-Fi in the United Kingdom.
How did Martins start up?
Martins Hi-Fi was established in 1968 by two brothers: Ted Martin and Mike Martin. It is a family run business with a strong ethos for personal service, integrity and reliability, positioning the company as Norfolk’s leading independent hi-fi and smart home specialist retailer.
Back in the 1970s, Martins quickly gained a reputation for being fine suppliers of stereo equipment in Norwich at a time many would call the “golden years” of the hi-fi industry. Throughout the ’70s the company went from strength to strength and has been on the hi-fi journey ever since, embracing new technology and trends including home cinema and smart home to keep up with the ever-changing landscape.
How many people on the team?
We have a team of 10 with key members including Elizabeth Gould, Director and also daughter of Ted Martin – Elizabeth is a Clarity board member, which is a significant audio business and keeps us at the forefront of audio technology. I am the General Manager. I joined Martins in 1987, bringing many years of experience in the audio industry as well a passion for high-quality hi-fi.
I bought my first hi-fi from Martins so I have witnessed the dedication to service that is enveloped within the business. We also have eight other staff who are all dedicated, talented and experienced in audio, and equally passionate about music and providing a great service. Our team are specialists in home entertainment products and services, and strive to go above and beyond for our customers. The company has been built on a solid reputation for supplying the latest in high technology products, its expert installation service, and top quality pre and after-sales service.
What do you want people to know about Martins?
As a service-based business, we are focused on understanding our customers and listening to their needs to ensure we can provide the best products and service. We are unique in that we have longevity in the hi-fi industry, in that we can adapt easily to new technologies and trends without compromising service. We bring a wealth of knowledge to our services; combining this with a customer-centric approach, friendly staff and a relaxed manner ensures we create a great experience for our clients. We are proud to say our customers trust us and see us as a stalwart of the hi-fi industry.
With our emphasis on experience, we have two demonstration rooms to showcase the brands we work with and our capabilities in audio. We have the capacity to fulfill small to large hi-fi systems. Our hi-fi demonstration room benefits from extensive acoustic treatment, allowing our customers to see the full potential of a new hi-fi system. Our cinema demonstration lounge combines both hi-fi demonstration and a ‘real-life’ home cinema, which is complete with Dolby Atmos and features Arcam’s flagship AV units. It also includes smart controls to show how a room can have more than one purpose and seamlessly blend these elements together.
How important is training to Martins?
We pride ourselves on our specialists’ knowledge, so training is very important to us. We were one of the first UK dealers involved with CEDIA and partner with them regularly as well as attending Expos. Most members of CEDIA are well-versed with products and we consistently attend training for custom installation projects. Where possible we look for opportunities for training to keep at the forefront of technology. We have worked with Arcam since it began in 1976 and three of our staff are specifically DIRAC trained.
What does your staff like most about HARMAN products and which ranges do they see as the key products?
Arcam has been one of our main brands from the start. It’s a key brand with a great reputation for sound quality, performance-first, reliability, support and service. The brand has a good British heritage and story which offers something a little different to other brands.
Martins has recently taken on the Mark Levinson brand which has always been the premier league of the hi-fi industry. It has a prominent heritage in high-end hi-fi and is a brand that has never faltered.
Any final comments?
Martins stays loyal to hi-fi brands which have been in the industry from the beginning. We are keen to keep working with high-end brands and endeavour to keep hi-fi at the heart of our business, having invested a lot into the brands. We are able to offer everything in-house, which makes us a one-stop shop in the hi-fi industry.
As well as dedication to our customers, we invest heavily into our marketing. For our 50th anniversary we carried out events for every month of that year and invited our many customers to the events to celebrate our presence in the hi-fi industry. We also believe we are very forward-thinking, investing lots of time and energy into social media and our presence online. We also work with other local businesses and the local community to garner further momentum and marketing opportunities locally.
For more info on Martins Hi-Fi, visit their website at martinshifi.co.uk .