Tweeter To Close, Liquidate 49 Stores

Tweeter is closing 49 locations, joining the ranks of stores capitulating to competition from Best Buy and Walmart. The restructuring will leave the consumer electronics retailer without a presence in California, Tennessee, Alabama, or New York. According to CEO Joe McGuire, surviving Tweeter locations will sport Consumer Electronics Playgrounds offering high-end home theaters.

“Since our Playground stores are clearly resonating with consumers and articulate our vision so well, we will continue to execute this concept in our remaining 97 traditional stores by taking what we have learned from our current Playground stores and rolling it into our existing fleet.”

Stores on the chopping block will immediately offer liquidation sales. The complete list of closures, inside.

The list:
  • Alabama
    Hoover, Huntsville

  • California
    Mission Valley, Sports Arena, Escondido, Vista, Encinitas, Clairemont, Palm Desert, La Jolla, La Mesa, Temecula, Costa Mesa, Mission Viejo, Vista Regional Facility

  • Connecticut
    North Haven, Crystal, Milford

  • Florida
    West Kendall Georgia
    Athens, Gwinnett, Johnson Ferry, Town Center, Snellville, Fayetteville, Atlanta Regional Facility

  • Illinois
    Century Centre, Michigan Ave, Crystal Lake, Gurnee

  • Massachusetts
    Boston University, Saugus, Holyoke, Auburn

  • North Carolina
    University Place

  • New Jersey
    Mays Landing

  • New York
    Albany, Saratoga

  • Pennsylvania
    Walnut Street

  • Tennessee
    Coolsprings/Franklin, Chattanooga, Nashville West-End, NOW/Knoxville

  • Texas
    Dallas Parkway, Caruth Plaza, Frisco, Humble, Lewisville, Southlake, Katy, Plano

How do Tweeter’s liquidation sales compare to CompUSA’s? Let us know tips [at] consumerist [dot] com. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

Tweeter Home Entertainment Group Announces Restructuring Plan


Edit Your Comment

  1. LAGirl says:

    when i first read that, i thought it said ‘tweaker’.

    then, to double-check the spelling of ‘tweaker’, i found this on Wikipedia:

    “Tweaker, a person who is addicted to heroin or meth. typically meth. Also known for their strangely skinny body and creepy disposition. Tweakers tend to twitch a lot and love to go to raves. Ex. Pilar is a tweaker.”

    Pilar loves to go to raves
    Pilar has a creepy disposition
    Pilar is a tweaker

    what?? i haven’t had any coffee yet.

  2. mopar_man says:

    Am I the only one who has never heard of this store before?

  3. JohnMc says:

    mopar, take note of the closing list, tweeter only located in large urban areas. So there is a good chance you may never see them if you don’t live in LA, Dallas, Atlanta, etc. But consider yourself lucky. I went into a tweeter here in Dallas once, very high pressure sales, very high pricing, but excellent service. I found better pricing elsewhere. Essentially their ideal customer is someone who has no clue, is all thumbs but has more cash than brains.

    Just my take.

  4. healthdog says:

    I had Tweeter put a stereo system into my car once, and they forgot to plug in the brake lights. THEY FORGOT. It was dark out, and if my car wasn’t so smart, I would have found out that my brake lights were out when someone rear-ended me on Friars Road. Bastards. They did not even have the grace to look horrified.

  5. DTaylor404 says:

    mopar_man, it’s possible you HAVE heard of them, but not under the name Tweeter. Here in Georgia, they travel under the name HiFi Buys. In Arizona, they’re Showcase Home Entertainment.

    But then, looking at the map, I see huge expanses of country that don’t have one under ANY name.

  6. Don Roberto says:

    Wasn’t tweeter the place with “audio, video, and a boatload of know-how?” Formerly known as Home Entertainment? Anyway, I think JohnMC is pretty much right on this one; the merchandise there seems a bit overpriced. I mean, it’s okay to be pricey, if a store carries higher end merchandise and has better demo setups or rooms like the Home Theater Store.

  7. brooklynbs says:

    Tweeter has been having serious problems for the past couple of years. Best Buy and the big-box department stores have been eating their lunch. They’re the next The Wiz (everybody beat The Wiz!).

  8. NeoteriX says:

    I don’t know how a place like Tweeter can even compete these days.

  9. homerjay says:

    They had several displays for B&O.
    Nuff said….

  10. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Tweeter always catered to the audiophiles and videophiles who had deep pockets and just didn’t care how much it cost. Unfortunately for Tweeter, I think the cost of good audio and video components has reached a point where they’re affordable by normal people, so it’s pretty much wiped out their market share.

    I certainly wouldn’t blame it on Wal-Mart (the two cater to much different markets), but I’m sure they’re taken a hit from Best Buy and the Internet. They would always be selling Denon stereo components and Proton TV’s, both which were priced way out of reach of the average consumer.

    B&O fans, don’t fret; B&O still maintains their own stores. A good friend of mine has stopped into the one on Newbury St. in Boston. Apparently, nothing in a B&O store has a price tag. If you have to ask, you can’t afford it. (For those of you who’ve never heard of B&O, they’re the self-proclaimed Rolls-Royce of audio and video; they make Bose look like some discounted Chinese no-name brand).

    And yep, they were the ones with the cocky “boatload of knowhow” commercials. Looks like their boat is sinking.

  11. roamer1 says:

    Tweeter goes by the HiFi Buys name here in Atlanta, where they’ll be down to just three stores (Buckhead, Roswell/Alpharetta, Mall of Georgia) once this is done. I guess they shouldn’t have spent the money to rename Lakewood Amphitheater after all…

    I’ve always found their prices very high (despite the “buys” in the name). That said, their product selection and service are generally a cut above BB/CC/etc.

  12. mr.dandy says:

    It seems the locations in So cal are at the outer fringes, except for Costa Mesa. I get around most of the region, from the Valley to OC, and I never stumbled on their stores either. Maybe it’s also that the name is too cute sounding, like Blimpie or Hooter’s. Actually I guess that never hurt them come to think of it. Maybe if they’d called it Woofer’s…

  13. MonkeyMonk says:

    I’ve been to two separate Tweeters in the Chicago suburbs. One was excellent with a knowledgable staff while the other was a really horrible experience–all the saleman were watching a football game and generally ignoring all the customers.

    Overall though I agree with what other have said. Tweeter is probably best as place to look at floor models before making the purchase somewhere cheaper like the Internet.

  14. Mmmm. I bought my Aiwa NSX-320 from the Tweeter store in Milford, CT back in 1992, when I was in 8th grade. It was my first “real” stereo; I was so proud of myself because I had saved and saved for it! As of a few years ago, it was still working perfectly as the “garage stereo.” Unfortunately, the CD mechanism died. But hey — I’ll always have the memories!

  15. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    I live in Los Angeles and I have never heard of Tweeters.. But if you go to Riverside Co. you can find tons of Tweakers for sure….

  16. jacques says:

    Tweeter service was pretty good in my experience. In the late 90s I bought a Denon DVD player from them for a good chunk of change. After about 8 months the thing bit the dust, and they were able to find it in their computer immediately. I had it back within 3 weeks.
    Compared to Best Buy where I had something go bad that was a floor model purchased at a store halfway across the country, and they couldn’t do a lookup of the receipt. When I found the receipt, they refused to service it since it was from a different location.

    But Tweeter did keep the DVD that was in the player at the time =/

  17. twoback says:

    I know we dont have Tweeter’s here because we have Sound Advice, which is a local Florida company that got bought out by tweeter. It over the years turned into a more high end boutique kind of place. But since places like BB and the internet, the place is always dead. No one is ever there when I go.

  18. darb215 says:

    I got a letter in the mail from these guys today, telling me about the closing of the store and telling me what stores will stay open here in Atlanta. I can post it if anyone cares. LMK

  19. Hexum2600 says:

    ANOTHER store going out of business that I almost believe never existed in the first place. Ridiculous.

  20. asherchang says:

    @LAGirl: i just edited that WP page to fit more with guidelines on tone and formatting, not to mention original research :)

  21. pionar says:

    That’s sad. I have a few friends that work for Tweeter, it’s a nice place, similar to Ovation here in Indy.

    Also, I wouldn’t blame this on the Wal-marts or BBs of the world, it’s more like bad management. Tweeter and BB don’t have the same customers. Tweeter is more the Bang & Olufsen crowd, whereas BB is the JVC type and Wal-Mart is the Coby crowd.

  22. Tigg_Likes_Daft_Punk says:

    Two years ago I bought a new stereo for my car. The place I purchased it from didn’t have any mounting brackets for my car (which has an odd sized factory stereo opening). I called around and found that the HiFi Buys near my office had one (actually someone at another store told me that HiFi Buys usually has parts for my car, which was useful info). So I went there and I asked the guys since I was there, could they install the radio (and most importantly, the satellite radio).

    “Hmmmm, no, we’re going to have to do a custom install on that.” “Yeah, we’re going to have to modify the dash, fab up a new mount. We’ll make it look factory.” How much will this all cost? “I dunno, two, three hundred dollars?” Can’t you just install it with the mounting bracket that’s right behind your head? “No, seriously, we have to custom install it. We do, however, have a Pioneer head unit here with a flip out screen. If you bought that we wouldn’t need to do the custom fabrication and we could install that in an hour.” So, you’re telling me if I spend $1000 on a head unit I don’t want that’s single DIN sized just like the head unit I just bought that I DO want… “This one’s actually a little oversized.” Can you just give me the mounting bracket.

    For the record the “custom fabrication” that was needed to make my slightly oversized stereo chassis work with the adapter ring was cutting two pieces of plastic as the adapter was made for a head unit that was slightly shorter than the stereo opening and my stereo was exactly the right size.

    So, when I was actually buying my new head unit we went to a HiFi Buys where the only salesman working car audio happily ignored all the customers. When I went to get the stereo I DID buy installed, they tried to upsell me to a stereo that I didn’t want that cost me twice what I’d already paid by telling me they just couldn’t install my stereo. Even though they could. I can’t really draw a conclusion about all of their stores from those two, but if that’s normal for them I don’t feel bad at all. For a company that advertises their customer service in every radio ad, the good folks at Tweeter didn’t give me any.

  23. hop says:

    no mopar_man, i’ve never heard of this store either…………

  24. mattbrown says:

    Tweeter is notoriously overpriced. Their salesmen are similar to that of used car. Actually, it’d be better to equate them with Bentley sales persons.
    Sales, sure. But if you’re buying anything from Tweeter in the first place, you can probably spend the extra 15% you’ll save on the last day of business.

  25. capitalass says:

    Yeah, Tweeter is a cut above Best Buy and Circuit City in terms of selection, but they are really priced, and they still are just a cut above. They don’t stock much in terms of true audiophile merch. Their higher quality selection is pretty limited. Ex. I could not even find a pair of grado headphones there, and their Sennheisers were always overpriced. They just had Krell for quality amps.

    They held a weird middle ground. They had plenty of the standard lackluster products too–a lot of the regular sony/pioneer audio products that you could find at circuit city for much less.

    They did often have better layouts for sound and viewing, but I would never buy anything from there. Actually, I got an open box Denon receiver there once (it was actually a good deal). You can either get it online for much less, or you could find a quality selection at a boutique or a smaller place that caters to audio/videophiles.

  26. Type-E says:

    They overprice everything. Whatever they don’t sell, the sales (what they called hometheater experts) will say all the bad things about them.

  27. Uurp says:

    If you timed your purchases well (end-of-season sales) you could get a pretty decent deal at Tweeter. I bought a Sony SXRD and an XBR for less than Best Buy was selling them. As far as audiophile equipment, I saw none at my local store. Would have remembered a Krell. They just had a few Denon receivers, a couple pair of electrostatics, the rest was middle-of-the-road equipment.

    Yesterday afternoon they had two guys standing on the streetcorner wearing sandwich boards advertising 10-30% Off.

  28. AcidReign says:

    …..I’ve shopped at the Hoover store, and bought the nice Sennheiser headphones I’m wearing right now! They tried to sell me all sorts of mega-thousand-dollar gear, of course. “No, I’ve never heard of a headphone amp, but this $2500 Denon receiver has a great headphone jack!” It didn’t. wound up all the way, (you should have seen LOOK on the guy’s face!) it was rather weak. Too bad. I won’t miss these guys.

    …..I did get my headphone amp, BTW, and I love it.

  29. AVguru says:

    Tweeter is NOT more expensive! They have a price matching policy which states that if another store within 30 miles has the same item in stock with an advertised price, they will match it. They also have 60 day price protection as opposed to 30 with most other retail stores. I used to think they were more expensive, until I asked a sales associate about their policies. I actually saw a Sony SXRD RPTV priced lower than BB recently. I’ve also found that most of the Tweeter sales staff has forgotten more about A/V than the BB/CC staff will ever learn. Not always the case, but more often than not. Don’t bash a Co. until you know the facts. And no, I do not work for Tweeter. I just want more personalized service and a better knowledge base for the same price as the big box stores, and I get it every time.

    MonkeyMonk. There’s nothing wrong with looking at the floor models and then taking your chances on the internet, but just don’t waste the sales associates time. That’s how he or she gets paid. Just appealing to your sense of fair play.

  30. googlethis says:

    Tweeter is about as crooked as they come.

    Their salesmen aren’t allowed to haggle on the prices at all, it’s strickly retail.

    Their so called 60 day price guarantee is very deceptive. They automatically issue a refund if a competing store within the same area advertises a lower price IN A NEWSPAPER AD ONLY.

    1) It has to be advertised in a sales paper.

    2) The actual price has to be advertised. Example, if Best Buy offers 20% off a new Sony XBR TV that you just paid $3,000 for, you will not receive a dime! Only if they show that tv for $2,400, will they offer a refund (which is a check, that you won’t get for quite sometime).

    3) They don’t issue refunds when they change prices inside their own store! If you buy a tv on Tuesday for $5,000 and they decide to drop the price to $3,000 on Wednesday, you don’t get a freaking dime (unless you happen to come back into the store and see the price change).

    They block competitors websites from their online system so that if a customer were to ask about a price match, the salesman can’t confirm it.

    They tell their salesmen to avoid customers looking to just buy one item and try to seek out customers who have a lot of money and little or no knowledge about the products and need the salesmen to “Hold their hand and tell them what to buy.”

    The biggest trick they pull on the customer is the “FREE IN-HOME CONSULTATION.”

    In most other companies, this is handled by an installer. Say if a customer wants to get speakers mounted in the kitchen, most stores would book them for an install and sell them some speakers. The customer gets their speakers installed, everyone is happy.

    But, Tweeter has their salesmen INSIST on going to the customers home first to supposedly “make sure the speakers can be installed in that location”, because then they can earn the trust of the customer and potentially add on products to the deal.

    For example, salesmen goes to a customers house to see if speakers can be mounted in the kitchen (something an installer should be doing) and they are trained to work their way to compliment their home and try to sell while in the customers house…

    “Hey, nice Kitchen! Since we will be installing speakers in here, I also have a nice LCD tv that would look great mounted under that cabinet over there!”

  31. MeMikeYouNot says:

    There’s one of these stores in Las Vegas(at least there was a year ago) and I was in the market for a wall mount for a small Flat panel TV. I went in the store, had to sign in at the “concierge desk” and give my name etc. When they finally got around to talking to me the wallmounts they had were at least 25% more than Best Buy or Circuirt City. I decided not to mount it and then of course, my condo was broken into and the TV stolen because I just left it sitting on the stand.

  32. hometheaterguy says:

    That is one of their new concept stores that they are investing all of their money in. Thats only for people who want to spend $5,000+ minimum.

    You could have easily just walked into Best Buy and bought a wall mount and had them install it for so much less than Tweeter. I think they used to charge like $350 for a Plasma/LCD Mount, not including the cable, bracket, etc. That is just the labor charge.

    Then they will tell you that the cost is because their installers do the best job…