UK: As of yesterday (March 19), Audioforce has become the exclusive UK distributor of Lab.gruppen. The deal - which follows the announcement in February that the amplifier manufacturer's previous arrangement with Sennheiser UK was to come to an end - marks the emergence onto the British scene of a new distributor with a resoundingly ambitious objective. "We want to become the leading pro-audio distributor for the UK," Audioforce managing director Guy Lewis (pictured on the left) tells David Davies.
The new operation will be based at the Cambridge headquarters of pro-audio export specialist PAXT and will share some of that business' administrative resources, but is an entirely independent company. Presided over by Lewis - formerly with XTA - the fledgling company will draw on the input of PAXT's managing director, Tim Pollard, and is likely to focus solely on Lab.gruppen for at least the next year.
"We are delighted to have Audioforce on board in the UK," said Claus Behrens, Lab.gruppen's European sales manager. "We have evolved a very close rapport with Guy Lewis and Tim Pollard in the past few weeks, and it is clear to us that Audioforce will come as close as possible to having a factory-direct operation, such is the symbiosis between ourselves and Audioforce. Their complete focus on the Lab.gruppen brand will benefit Lab.gruppen's broad base of existing UK customers and provide an unparalleled level of sales and service for the future. We see the market for Lab.gruppen products expanding greatly from its already strong position."
Indeed, Lewis feels that recent product developments stand to prise open some exciting new opportunities for the amplifier brand. "The growth in the product range, specifically the C Series, opens up a lot of markets that were not there before for the company," says Lewis. Fixed install will be among the priorities: "We want to make sure that decision makers in installation markets are aware of all the benefits the new Lab.gruppen products can offer them."
Praising the "enthusiasm and ability" at every level of the Lab.gruppen operation, Lewis says that customer care is also going to be a focus from day one: "Tim and I have a ruthless attitude to customer service and response times, and that's one of the reasons we want to focus on Lab.gruppen for the time being."