CE Pro April 2021 - 32

CE PROFILE
JUST ONE TOUCH/VIDEO & AUDIO CENTER

the 1,500-square-foot showroom was based
in one of L.A.'s most affluent neighborhoods, it was isolated and hard to get to.
So, Akhtarzad relocated to a much larger
10,000-square-foot space in a much more
accessible location in nearby Torrance.
" Soon, we were the No. 1 dealer in
the country for many of the brands, " he
recalls. " I attribute that instant success to
my understanding of knowing what the
consumer wants and being able to showcase it. From day one, I knew we needed
to always carry the hottest, trendiest gear
... no matter what the price. Back then it
was $10,000 camcorders! "
The success soon caught the attention of the Hollywood community, and
it wasn't long after that Video & Audio
Center was supplying electronics for studios like Paramount and DreamWorks, as
well as megastars like Michael Jackson. But
Akhtarzad didn't want to be a niche player
just for elite clients.
" I wanted to build a niche that for was
everybody - from the poorest person to
the richest person. I wanted to carry electronics for everyone and for every budget, "
he recalls.
" I was in business for two years before I
realized we actually even had competitors.
I never looked around to see what other

CTA Hall of Famer Tom Campbell (left) and
Akhtarzad proactively market Just One
Touch custom installation services via radio,
TV, print, online and social media.

companies were doing. The other companies were just 'box movers' and didn't care
about customer service. They just wanted to
sell goods, but I didn't want to just do that.
I research every product to make sure what
we are carrying is the level of quality that
my customers and my friends would want.

And based on that principle, my business
expanded with more demand to the point
where we now have five locations in L.A. "
Akhtarzad cites his conservative
growth approach as one of his best business decisions, especially as other CE
retailers fall by the wayside burdened by
too many large-footprint stores. Until 10
years ago, Video & Audio Center only
had two locations. Today, its five stores
are strategically located to attract homeowners in affluent L.A. neighborhoods.
The company's Westfield Century City
mall location, for example, is adjacent to
Brentwood, Bel Air and Beverly Hills.
" I expanded very slowly and intelligently, " says Akhtarzad. " Before we did any
expansion, I made sure we were going to
be able to manage the business. I see other
retailers adding lots of locations and I see
integrators adding employees. Those moves
add expenses. I advise other dealers to make
sure they are doing the best they possibly
can with what they have before they start
adding expenses to their bottom line. "

ADDING JUST ONE TOUCH
INSTALLATION SERVICE

With the retail entity Video & Audio Center firmly entrenched, Akhtarzad recognized in 1997 that he needed to formalize

The stores are personally designed by Akhtarzad, with each supplier having its own designated area on the retail floor, including this 20-foot-tall LG OLED display tower (right).

32	

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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
CE Pro April 2021 - 9
CE Pro April 2021 - 10
CE Pro April 2021 - 11
CE Pro April 2021 - 12
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CE Pro April 2021 - 15
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CE Pro April 2021 - 17
CE Pro April 2021 - 18
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CE Pro April 2021 - 20
CE Pro April 2021 - 21
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CE Pro April 2021 - 25
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CE Pro April 2021 - Cover3
CE Pro April 2021 - Cover4
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