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In a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Sonos, Inc. [SONO:NASDAQ] announced a series of measures to try and get company costs under control in the wake of the COVID-19 impacted economy. More drastic than previous announcements, Sonos said it will cut its global headcount, close its New York retail store, close six satellite offices, cut the CEO pay, and further cut the executive team’s pay.
Intros 700 Series Signature Models & Rehires Past PR Agency
Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), a leading high-end specialty loudspeaker brand for 54 years, that recently zigged and zagged when it was acquired by EVA Automation and launched a whole new line of wireless multi-room audio systems, has taken steps to demonstrate its re-focus on their high-end, high-performance roots. These moves include re-hiring the company’s long time PR company and now launching new products that are true to its heritage as an undisputed leading premium brand.
On Monday morning, during my usual morning health walk, I listened to a podcast where the host proclaimed – quite proudly – that nobody is better at technology than the U.S. Just a couple of hours later, the Nikkei reported that Japan had bested both the U.S. and China with an all new and mightily powerful supercomputer. Step aside America!
Japan’s new supercomputer is 3 times faster than America’s IBM powerhouse…
Here’s a dilemma…imagine you make a product that is so good that it may be your peak achievement. It’s built solidly with great technology, sounds great, and works today…and for many years of tomorrows-to-come. Your engineers forgot to build in “planned obsolescence” where the product will “automatically” require upgrading a few years down the road. In fact, it’s built so well, you put an industry-leading 20-year warranty on it!
How do you get owners – who are, for the most part, blissfully enjoying this product for years and years – to upgrade to the latest version with even newer and better technology? It is a conundrum that Bryston faced…and has now solved…by offering an easy upgrade program for owners of their famous 4B amplifiers.
Learn all about Bryston’s 4B trade-in upgrade program…
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, KKR Stream Holdings LLC reported that it sold nearly 14 million shares of Sonos, Inc. stock (SONO:NASDAQ). The sale took place on Wednesday (June 17, 2020) and, according to their disclosure filed with the SEC, this sale takes them completely out of Sonos ownership, with zero shares remaining in its portfolio.
Last month, Strata-gee reported on a shocking 30+% drop in residential housing construction, with starts dropping an eye-popping 30.2% in April. That was ultimately revised to a decline of “only” 26.4%…still a massive one month decline. Now in May, we see starts attempting to rebound from those unprecedented drops.
A new survey from Ipsos/Axios had lots of interesting details about how Americans are feeling at this unique juncture in time, as states begin to reopen their economy, with a commensurate rise in cases of coronavirus. As many readers may know, this is an area…consumer sentiment…that I try to keep tabs on, as 70% of the U.S. economy is based on consumer sentiment.
And one piece of this research jumped off the page and grabbed me by my throat – 8 out of every 10 Americans worry about a second wave of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Just last Friday, the big news hit that Sound United had signed a letter of intent (LoI) to acquire respected audio specialty brand Bowers & Wilkins. Strata-gee was one of the first to break the news and from the moment I hit “publish,” Strata-gee web traffic stats made it clear that you all viewed this as big news as well.
That first announcement came from the Sound United camp – and it was pretty terse. As luck would have it, for the last couple of weeks before that news hit, I had already been pursuing an interview with James Krakowski, Bowers & Wilkins’ Executive Vice President, Americas, to follow up on a previous story. Although we had been struggling to find a time to connect, when this news hit, he graciously agreed to make himself immediately available for an interview.
Just ‘Early Stage Talks’ to ‘Explore Opportunities;’ No Mention of Agreement
Late in the day yesterday (Friday), Strata-gee told you about an announcement from top multi-brand audio provider Sound United, saying they had reached a preliminary agreement to acquire Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), a leading high-performance, high end audio loudspeaker brand. It was big news that represented another step in a long saga of B&W looking for a new home, after a previous deal with EVA Automation and its CEO Gideon Yu fell completely apart.
Now as I write this today, B&W has released a rare Saturday morning press statement that gives the same news – but from the B&W side of the deal…a statement that seems shaded differently than the Sound United characterization.
Read more on B&W take on the situation with Sound United…
In yet another twist in the long and winding saga of Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), it was announced late Friday that the company has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Sound United, the parent company of several audio brands such as Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, HEOS, Classé, and Boston Acoustics.
See more on Sound United acquiring Bowers & Wilkins…