'Passion' was the unofficial theme of Indi Imports 2018 Intermeet, conducted in Melbourne in April. As we've previously reported, Indi Imports was started up three years ago by Paul and Denise Riachi to gather together a set of prestigious high fidelity and home entertainment brands, and give them the support the Riachi's believe they deserve. Previously they'd had a couple of decades in retail with their two Melbourne-based Rio Sound & Vision stores.
The 2018 Intermeet is the first of a planned biennial schedule of future Intermeets. It brings together selected Indi Imports brands to show their wares, and even make announcements. The Intermeet is mostly to allow the brands to present themselves to Australian and New Zealand retailers. A couple of us writer types were allowed to peek over their shoulders.
So, a few observations covering these brands — click for details.
But let’s start with Loewe.
Did you know that Australia used to be one of Loewe's most important markets? German TV makers had quite the advantage here because German and Australian analogue TV standards were the same (only the numbering of the channels differed) and we are both 50 hertz nations.
Change the language and the numbers, and a Loewe TV was ready to go right here. And, in fact, back in 2000 Loewe sold some ten thousand TVs here.
Loewe is looking to make a comeback here, and pushing hard at the true premium end of the market with a range of OLED UltraHD models.
The panels themselves presumably originate from an LG.Display factory somewhere, but Loewe has always used others' displays (back in the old days it used Philips' CRTs).
What it adds is its own chassis (TV talk for not only the exterior design but also the electronics that prepare the image for the tube or panel) and, very much to the fore in recent ranges, the styling.
I'm particularly taken by the Loewe Bild 5 TV. (Bild is German for 'Picture'). Available in 55 and 65 inches, there are wall mount and table stand options, but the best looking one is the 'Floor stand solution', which features a three legged wooden stand of silver oak or black oak. It looks almost like a picture display easel.
Indi has been putting a lot of work in with Loewe, making sure that they fit the Australian market well. It mentioned in particular getting Freeview Plus working fully.
We have a full feature on some of Loewe's premium OLED models on AVHub, clikc the pic below to read it.
According to Indi's Paul Riachi, it's through a passion and love for the products that they sell that will deal with the challenge of online competition. And, more mundanely, but just as importantly, it's also through what he called 'parity pricing'. That, he believes, will keep Australians coming back to real Australian high fidelity retailers.
More info: www.indimports.com