CE Pro April 2021 - 30

CE PROFILE
JUST ONE TOUCH/VIDEO & AUDIO CENTER

hybrid

HERO

Just One Touch/Video & Audio Center uses marketing
and instinctual ingenuity to master the elusive formula
of combining CE retail with custom installation.
BY JASON KNOTT, PHOTOGRAPHY BY RANDALL MICHELSON

LAIN AND SIMPLE ... Just
One Touch/Video & Audio
Center is the example of
what both consumer electronics retailers and custom
integrators aspire to be. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company run by Joseph
Akhtarzad has carved a niche that combines the best of both high-traffic/highvolume CE retail with the intimacy and
service of custom installation.
But the success wasn't achieved by magic
or by accident, it was earned with a solid
work ethic, dedication to marketing, creative store design, conservative growth principles and an instinct for product strategy.

P

After 40 years in the retail business and
23 years in custom installation, Akhtarzad
finds himself practically alone in the world
of multi-location, privately owned hybrid
retail/custom installation companies in the
West Coast, as so many others struggle.
The company is consistently the top California-based company in the annual CE
Pro 100 list of the largest custom installation companies in the United States, and
among the top tier in the entire U.S.
With five retail locations all around
Los Angeles, Akhtarzad has fended off the
dreaded " showrooming " trend by deeply
integrating custom installation into his
stores, and by providing service levels like

same-day or next-day setup that Internet
resellers simply can't offer.
Meanwhile, the company is one of the
few custom installation companies that
actually dedicates a budget for marketing,
from radio to TV to special events, enabling
Just One Touch/Video & Audio Center to
distinguish itself from other integrators. The
accomplishments have others in the industry asking, " How do they do it? "

ROOTS OF VIDEO & AUDIO
CENTER

Like so many entrepreneurs in the custom
electronics business, Akhtarzad's journey
to success was somewhat accidental. Fresh
out of college from Nottingham University in England with a degree in electrical
engineering, in 1981 Akhtarzad migrated
to California to work alongside his brother
Mayer in his retail store in Palos Verdes
selling video games and video rentals.
" It was more fun to get involved in the
retail side of the business, so I focused on
that, " he recalls. " At the time, we didn't
even know there was a such a thing as 'consumer electronics.' Then, someone mentioned to us there is a big show in Las Vegas
called CES where you can see all the new
electronics. We had never heard of it, but
my brother and I went and said, 'Oh my
God.' It blew our minds. I got very excited
to see all the gadgets - I love gadgets. "
Akhtarzad's instincts immediately kicked
in. First, he signed on to be a dealer for various CE brands. Next, he realized that while

QUICK STATS
COMPANY: Just One Touch/Video & Audio Center
LOCATION: Santa Monica, Calif.
YEARS IN BUSINESS: Video & Audio Center
(40 years); Just One Touch (23 years)
SPECIALTY: Turnkey integration solutions for
any size project
TOP BRANDS: AudioQuest, Bowers & Wilkins,
Control4, Crestron, Denon, Furman, JBL, LG,
Origin Acoustics, Panamax, Revel, Samsung,
Sonos, Sony
FYI (ONE PIECE OF ADVICE TO ANOTHER
DEALER): Always take the side of the customer
... don't oversell but find the right solution for
the application.

30

CE Pro APRIL 2021

C2104 pp30-34 Just One Touch.indd 30

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3/10/21 3:02 PM


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CE Pro April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CE Pro April 2021

CE Pro April 2021 - 1
CE Pro April 2021 - Cover1
CE Pro April 2021 - Cover2
CE Pro April 2021 - 1
CE Pro April 2021 - 2
CE Pro April 2021 - 3
CE Pro April 2021 - 4
CE Pro April 2021 - 5
CE Pro April 2021 - 6
CE Pro April 2021 - 7
CE Pro April 2021 - 8
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CE Pro April 2021 - Cover3
CE Pro April 2021 - Cover4
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