A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Friendliest National Home Theater Retailer In the US: Value Electronics

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(May 24, 2024) On a recent road trip from Boston to Washington, DC, I had an opportunity to make two home theater pitstops. One was at Trinnov's new US Headquarters in Connecticut (more on that visit soon) and the other was in a New York City suburb at Value Electronics' flagship store.

Value Electronics isn't a new name in the industry, in fact, quite the opposite. It was founded by its current owner/operator team, Robert and Wendy Zohn, back in 1998, and has since become a favorite retailer for residents in the tri-state metro area and enthusiasts across the country. If you're not a customer, you likely know someone who is. And if you lack such a direct association, then you've undoubtedly encountered the company's name in forums and social media chatter.

The Zohn's retail and warehouse footprint resides in an upscale town called Scarsdale, situated a stone's throw north of New York City. If you know the metro area, then picture a location south of White Plains and north of Yonkers, just 17 miles away from the Bronx Zoo (not the one with animals, but the one where players wear pinstripes and mash home runs). Scarsdale is known for its quaint, idyllic appearance and oodles of wealth; according to Bloomberg, it's the wealthiest town in New York state and the second wealthiest in the entire country... and it shows.

Value Electronics – the store – is nestled amongst a range of businesses dealing everything from guitars and pottery to gourmet coffee and delicious food. The entire downtown district offers a lot for the senses with beautiful red brick buildings artfully weathered by Father Time, flag-lined streets, and a calming feel of stability and purpose. Wendy and Robert chose its current location 12 years ago, and have spun the space into a funky mecca of high-level home theater and stereo tech.

The main showroom faces a busy main street. While its windows showcase glitzy electronics to lure window shoppers, several old-school store signs let you know that pretentiousness doesn't exist inside. The Zohn's have managed to counterbalance the intimidating nature of high-dollar, high-end equipment with a level of warmth and humbleness that's disarming; when you enter the main showroom's door, they make you feel like family.

Once inside you'll find the latest and greatest in TVs displaying gorgeous 4K content. Value Electronics has a top retail status with brands like LG, Sony, and Samsung, giving them access to models in the first round of distribution. For example, they currently have the new flagship Bravia 9 in stock and on display, flexing its its extreme HDR capabilities and individually controlled LEDs – yes, it's a sight to behold! They also have high-end speakers on the floor, including Bowers & Wilkins 801 D4 Signature towers at $50,000 per pair, receivers, headphones, and more. The space isn't massive in size, so the family feel of the business is kept intact by the room's free-flowing, organic nature.

In the back, through an entry way framed by drawn back curtains and a large "Value Electronics" sign, resides the store's original home theater demo room. I say "original" because because the Zohn's have expanded their showroom presence to a building across the street. As Robert explained to me, he's friends with that building's landlord and jumped at an opportunity to capture its basement level to create a suite of home theater rooms.

We spent a significant chunk of time touring the lower-level space, which is accessible by a stairwell to the right of the building's main vestibule. Upon entering, you're greeted by cool air and a level of darkness that appeals to the home theater senses. There's lots for the eyes to study, including exposed brick columns, joists, and aged pipes, framed art, and interesting workarounds that the staff has used to install Atmos speakers and run cabling. And the net result is – not to steal a phrase I've already used – a family feel that sheds the rigid coldness of typical big box stores.

It's delightful.

Rather than build rooms with physical walls, the Zohn's have carved out some 20 theater spaces using large swaths of black duvetyne cloth. This gives them total light control between screens, but also lends to configuration flexibility for future events and needs.

Equipment wise, they have the gamut of projectors from JVC and Sony up and running, along with a host of other projector and ultra-short throw projector models, all paired with 120" Stewart screens (unity gain). A Kaleidescape system is distributed using cutting-edge AV Pro switchers, allowing buyers to view competing models side-by-side using the same, simultaneous content. There's also lots of audio on hand, with systems featuring Trinnov, StormAudio, Marantz, Definitive Technology, GoldenEar, and Perlisten, just to name a few. And let's not forget seating, because there's plenty of variation in that, too.

At the end of my visit I talked with Wendy and Robert on camera, which gave birth to the video linked below. I shot this piece to give you, friendly reader, an inside look at their shop, in hopes to convey what Value Electronics is all about. In this day and age of sterile online shopping and big box store fatigue, I think you'll quickly see the Zohn's appeal.

Enjoy... then give them a visit at www.valueelectronics.com.

 
Last edited:

Robert Zohn

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Thank you Todd for visiting us and for your very nice write-up and awesome YouTube video!

Wendy, Lianne, and our technicians and I enjoyed spending time with you!!

Hope you can join us at our August 3-4, 2024 TV Shootout® Evaluation event.
 

Todd Anderson

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Thanks J! Hope it has helped you get to know Robert's world a little bit better!
 

JStewart

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Thanks J! Hope it has helped you get to know Robert's world a little bit better!
Absolutely it did as I’m sure it will for others.

As a recent former owner of a small business I have first hand knowledge of what it takes to be successful in today’s environment. Over the last several years I’ve developed a respect for Robert and Wendy and what they have been able to accomplish. They are able to offer added value for the same prices as the faceless behemoth online entities. And they do it with joy and enthusiasm. No easy feat.

By the way, looks like you had some great weather there!
 

Sonnie

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Awesome... love it!

Would love to visit myself one day and hope to.
 

Todd Anderson

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SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Middle, Top Rear)
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dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
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Absolutely it did as I’m sure it will for others.

As a recent former owner of a small business I have first hand knowledge of what it takes to be successful in today’s environment. Over the last several years I’ve developed a respect for Robert and Wendy and what they have been able to accomplish. They are able to offer added value for the same prices as the faceless behemoth online entities. And they do it with joy and enthusiasm. No easy feat.

By the way, looks like you had some great weather there!
It was a perfect day - save for the traffic that I battled between NYC and Wash DC later in the day :-)

But, it was gorgeous in Scarsdale and it was great to see the Zohn clan in action.

I like your perspective - and agree!
 
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