Edinburgh’s status as hi-fi mecca boosted by new audio store

Chief executive Struan Mackenzie, whose father, Colin, bought the retail business in the 1970s. Picture: Contributed
Chief executive Struan Mackenzie, whose father, Colin, bought the retail business in the 1970s. Picture: Contributed
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One of the longest established audio retailers in Britain is turning up the volume after taking the wraps off a new showroom on the outskirts of its home city of Edinburgh.

Family-owned Hi-Fi Corner has a long heritage, with threads going back almost 100 years. Current chief executive Struan Mackenzie’s father, Colin, bought the business in the 1970s.

Now the venerable business is set to become one of the top audio-visual retailers in Europe with the launch of a vast new emporium in Joppa, a seaside suburb on the eastern fringes of the capital.

The store includes six purpose-built demonstration rooms designed to replicate different acoustic environments for various hi-fi and home cinema set-ups.

The company has also recently upgraded its premises in Falkirk.

Struan Mackenzie said: “Small retailers are under pressure, not only from the internet but from parking and competing with mass-market products.

“We have decided to tackle this head-on and have changed premises to suit the modern retail environment. We closed our oldest branch and moved into a much larger high street location with easier parking.

“With an amazing range of products and knowledge we have converted ‘shopping’ into a ‘shopping experience’.”

He added: “Gone are the days of ‘pile-them-high’; we believe in selling through demonstration and expertise. It’s about experiencing the emotion. Sales are a consequence of offering a great time.”

Trade reaction is said to have been “exceptionally positive” with several manufacturers arranging to launch their new products from the store’s sound reference room.

Major brands stocked by the firm include Glasgow-based Linn, Naim, Quad, B&W, Harbeth, Spendor and Wilson Audio, spanning products such as loudspeakers, digital streamers, turntables and amplifiers.

Hi-fi Corner is among a cluster of independent hi-fi retailers in Edinburgh, including James Morrow, recent addition Audio-philia and Loud & Clear, which opened a flagship store of its own in Leith’s Commercial Quay area less than two years ago.