Mobile Electronics Magazine

Switch to desktop

December Issue Feature: Real World Retail - Audio House

Mobile Electronics, 12-1-2016 -- Having natural talent is seen by many to be a blessing. Some people have athletic prowess and capabilities that far surpass their peers. Some with high IQs exceed expectations in fields like math and science. Others, like Jag Rattu, naturally excel at sales. But if you ask him, it takes much more to make his business—Audio House in Napa, Calif.—a profitable enterprise.

"When we started, it was just me and two other installers. They worked their butts off," Rattu said. "The store was open six days a week. I worked every day, all the time to get the store running. Getting inventory in the computer took forever. There was a lot of stuff I had to deal with."

Since opening his store in July of 2006, Rattu has found ways to increase revenue and grow his customer base. By using his gift for gab and years of 12-volt industry knowledge as a base, Rattu won over customers with his welcoming, non-pressured approach to each sale, and by reaching out to local businesses to build a community eager for new technology.

"We had to advertise and get our name out there,” Rattu said. “Now we're doing 10 to 15 cars a day. Every year we add something else."

Today, 30 percent of the shop's business is window tinting with the other 70 percent spread amongst all mobile electronics categories, primarily car audio.

"All those Carplay stereos from Alpine and Kenwood are the hottest things right now. Selling like hotcakes. JL Audio stealth boxes were previously really hot," Rattu said. "When I was younger we used to build a lot of boxes. We still do custom work, but there are so many applications for enclosures nowadays."

When custom enclosures were the norm back in the 1990s, Rattu was still in school, graduating high school in 1997. While he wasn't an installer, Rattu always had a passion for quality sound systems and good music. He would carry those two elements with him after high school once he got his first job at a local car audio shop.

"I didn't know any brands. I knew cars, loved music, but didn't know too much about car audio," Rattu said. "The first thing I did was introduce myself to installers and started asking questions. The OG salesman took me under their wing. I was so blessed."

After working at Monet Car Audio for a year, Rattu was promoted to store manager when the manager got sick. After running the store for a week, Rattu brought up the sales numbers significantly and caught the attention of the general manager who offered him a full-time position at another of the company's chain stores. He dropped out of college and continued his path as a manager.

After a few years of managing a store and reading management books, Rattu realized he wanted to become a business owner, so he went back to school and earned a business degree. During that time, he changed shops and moved across the bay to work full time for Auto Haus, a four-store chain. Eventually, he bought one of the company's stores and renamed it Audio House.

The building is comprised of 4,800 total square feet. The installation facility consists of a six-car garage in back, a two-car garage on the side of the building for window tinting and a fabrication room with a variety of tools and templates for custom work. The showroom is traditional, with product and displays filling all space, which is deliberate given Rattu's philosophy for a customer's first impression.

"My goal is, when a customer walks in the store, they want to buy something here. There are no empty holes," Rattu said. "I want to make sure my customers can hear this stuff. At the same time, they can see it. If you can't see it, how are you going to buy it."

Read the rest of the feature HERE. 

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Copyright - Mobile Electronics Association 2020

Top Desktop version