Emotiva Pulls Plug on Global Distribution Partners Without Warning

Posted on 15th June, 2020

Emotiva Pulls Plug on Global Distribution Partners Without Warning

Emotiva, a brand that built itself on value-for-money audio-video products, has notified its distribution partners that will it no longer supply products to them.

The news comes after a chequered history with a global distribution model. When the brand launched in 2005, it quickly attracted a following with budget-conscious AV enthusiasts who were able to purchase directly from the manufacturer. A victim of its own success, the manufacturer scrambled to meet demand and has moved manufacturing back and forth between the U.S. and the Far East, the result of Emotiva trying to maintain low pricing and battling consistent supply and reliability. That has led to many products running out of stock and long lead times for keen consumers.

They then moved to a distribution model which did not work either, with global distributors who invested in the logistics and marketing of the brands in their regions, facing similar supply issues.

In Australia, Emotiva's first distributor Final Link Audio dumped Emotiva in 2015, stating:

Due to consistent supply delays, lack of communication and a recent announcement that Emotiva will be selling direct to the world market via their own website and other online medias, made it a very simple but difficult decision for us to terminate any distribution with Emotiva.

Audio Active took over distribution of Emotiva in 2017 who went on to relaunch the brand locally and established a dedicated retailer network across the country. For a short time, the brand was in good supply and had grown brand awareness and sales in the region significantly.

It's understood that ongoing supply issues, combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, have significantly impacted the US-based brand's ability to continue supplying global distributors.

Overnight, Emotiva notified its Australian distributor that, “they will no longer be supporting any overseas wholesale distribution markets.” 

Bruce Thierbach, General Manager of Sales and Marketing, at Audio Active, told StereoNET:

Over the past months, we have seen sporadic supply and fragmented communication from the company, which can lead to miscommunication to our Australian dealer network.  This is not an ideal way to manage ongoing growth forecasted and support for any brand.

Emotiva has not clarified whether they will be reverting to a global direct-sell model at the time of writing, nor if they will be handling warranty and supplying spare parts for existing customers. Audio Active has informed StereoNET they will handle all warranty obligations for items sold in Australian and within the warranty period. For international buyers and those buying direct, Emotiva says, “All equipment purchased internationally from Emotiva is covered by our standard 30-day return policy. All equipment returned to Emotiva for a refund must be shipped to our US headquarters in Nashville Tennessee, at the purchaser’s expense, in its original packaging.”

For more information, visit Emotiva.

Marc Rushton's avatar

Marc Rushton

StereoNET’s Founder & Publisher and still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the annual International HiFi Show.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi Home Theatre Industry
Tags: emotiva  audio active 

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