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Showroom Spotlight – Electronic Concepts

Serendipity played a part in the creation of this dynamic experience center.

Being at the right place at the right time may not work as a business model, but when it happens, it can lead to beautiful things, such as the new Electronic Concepts experience center.

The company is based in Rochelle Park, N.J., right off Route 17, a popular thruway. But it was located in a showroom-less space behind a building and not able to be seen from the road. However, there was an integrator in the front building that had a showroom space that was no longer needed. Paul Bochner, owner of Electronic Concepts, saw an opportunity.

Showroom Showcase Gallery 2024

“We were on a major highway, a couple hundred thousand cars a day kind of thing, but we were in a warehouse hidden in the back,” he says. “This other integrator in the front building didn’t need the space anymore because he started making music servers and no longer had any use for a showroom. I convinced him to switch spaces with me. And he did.”

Electronic Concepts moved into the corner store of the strip mall with a clear view of Route 17. Not too long after, serendipity struck again as the owner of the building decided to renovate the entire structure, including Electronic Concepts’ space.

Electronic Concepts Showroom - Storefront

“The new owners wanted a full redesign of the space,” Bochner explains. “We are in the corner and only had windows in the front, now we have windows on the side, too, letting in natural light. We ended up being able to build out a beautiful space that we didn’t have to pay for since the owner told us to design what we wanted and his contractor would build it. It was a perfect storm over a couple of years that led us to being able to build the space.”

Everyone’s luck runs out sometimes, however, and Bochner’s ended right when many other people’s also ran out — Covid hit just as the renovations were kicking into high gear. While that extended the process, it certainly did not stop the Electronic Concepts team, who were able to create the space they wanted.

Taking the Tour

Stepping into Electronic Concepts, you immediately see the corner windows the building upgrade gave them. While they do let natural light into the space, they can also be covered by motorized J. Geiger shades from Savant.

Electronic Concepts Showroom - Reception Area

Electronic Concepts is a big Savant dealer, and much of the lighting in this area and throughout is provided by USAI Lighting.

There is a small reception area to the one side and the far wall hosts a pair of screens. “The screen on the right side is a Samsung Frame TV and the one on the left is a model from Reflectel that is designed by Elizabeth Goldfeder, who is an art framer who makes custom mirror TVs. Her designs are very cool. This one is Champagne rose gold.”

Straight ahead is a family media room setup with Cinematech seating, which can be found throughout Electronic Concepts’ displays. This area shows the kind of setup the company would do to create a 5.1 theater in a typical living room.

Electronic Concepts Showroom - Media Room

With the showroom’s proximity to New York City, the hallway adjacent to the family room provides a valuable real-world demo for the locals. “This hallway is like our New York City apartment,” says Bochner. “The space is 8 feet wide and there is another custom Reflectel mirror TV from Elizabeth that has a 3-channel soundbar built into the bottom of the frame that is firing down. We have lighting and surround speakers in the ceiling, a small subwoofer, and a couch, and that is it. It’s a cool little space.”

Electronic Concepts Showroom - NYC Apartment Sample

The hallway leads to a kitchen area that is used to show some lighting techniques and was designed to host events. Beyond the kitchen are the dedicated rooms for 2-channel enthusiast listening and the home theater.

Electronic Concepts Showroom - Kitchen

The 2-channel listening room doubles as Bochner’s office when demos are not happening and features brands such as McIntosh, Gryphon Audio, D’Agostino, and Meridian. While the bulk of Electronic Concepts’ business is in the CI space, they offer full Hi-Fi services as well — mainly because it is a passion of Bochner’s.

Electronic Concepts Showroom - 2-channel listening area

“The core of my business is CI and everything we do in the ultra-luxury Hi-Fi world is because I want to,” he says. “It’s not because I make money doing it, it’s because I love it. We do present differently as a whole because I’m not surviving off all these amazing things. It’s a fun thing to do.”

The previous owner had a home theater space, but Bochner took the overall renovation as the chance to change up that area, too. “The space is small — about 20 by 14,” he says. “It is a 5.4.2 Dolby Atmos room with Lyndgdof speakers, a Barco projector, and a 128-inch Display Technologies screen. When I redid it, I didn’t want to sell anything out of here that’s less than $10,000. So, we built a much higher-end room.”

Electronic Concepts Showroom - Home Theater

Two of Electronic Concepts’ biggest vendors are Savant and Lutron. Savant control is used throughout, Lutron lighting is featured in the home theater and listening room, and Palladiom shades are used in several locations. The company has ventured into selling Savant Power, but the state has several restrictions that make it difficult to feature.

“I have Savant’s power display in here as a demo now,” says Bochner. “We have a big kiosk that shows all the smart breakers and we can simulate the off-grid experience, but I don’t have the batteries because we’re not allowed to have them in the space here. It’s a hard sell — nobody in North Jersey is buying it and the city won’t allow it in most places, but we’re hoping to see more opportunities because I think it’s one of the coolest pieces of tech that has come out in a long time.

“I think that education is a key part of its growth. It’s going to get more prevalent because right now people don’t get that it might be $60,000 worth of equipment, but you’re going to get a 33% kickback from the power company and when you start looking at the benefits of having off-grid power when you want it, it’s very attractive.”

Drawing a Crowd

While being in a strip mall adjacent to a major thoroughfare does bring in some foot traffic, Bochner gets most of his showroom visitors from his extensive social media marketing efforts.

“As far as our industry goes, we’re pretty prevalent on Instagram,” he says. “We have not paid for any followers and have more than 20,000 of them, so we feel those efforts paid off. Also, when we reopened, I made a large investment in video. We did three high-level videos — one for the Hi-Fi experience, one for the showroom tour, and the third shows a house that we worked on. We marketed the hell out of those and some of them have hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. So, people have come in and said, ‘I saw your video on YouTube and I just wanted to come check the place out.’

“We want to attract young people, which is the thing that we constantly fail at as an industry. We’ve made it so young people only know DIY, and I’m not okay with that.”

Inside the Boca Tech and Automation Showroom

Now that the experience center is open and busy, Bochner is turning his attention to using the space as he dreamed of before Covid and some personal health issues pushed it to the side: education.

“We were building this location for events, lunch and learns, and education, and then Covid happened, so we didn’t do any events, and when we finally got the store finished, I was in a motorcycle accident,” he explains. “But the evolution of this space involves education. That’s really what I want to do.”

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