MILLEDGEVILLE — Video and audiophiles have a Milledgeville hub for any fathomable need.
World Hi-Fi Video & Appliance provides high-end home theater, TV, home security, car stereo and appliance expertise to the Middle Georgia area.
Owner David Smith opened here in July 1984.
“I was partnered in a store in Dublin in 1983. Later we decided to split ways, and I sold my third of ownership,” he said. “I looked around and wrote three cities down on a piece of paper. Milledgeville was on the top of my list. I came up here one day, found a building and have been here ever since.”
The young company started with electronics. World Hi-Fi stuck with car stereo before adding home stereo and appliances during a 1990s building boom.
“We got in with the builders and created a thing where we would pre-wire the houses and supply appliance packages,” Smith said.
After two other local storefronts, World Hi-Fi settled into an 8,000 square foot facility along North Columbia Street in 2000.
The business transitions with the time and demand.
“We try to be all things to all people in a small market,” he said. “The retail climate is totally different than it used to be. What I sell is extremely impacted by building market. Since the world changed in 2007, we’ve had to reinvent retail.”
World Hi-Fi handles jobs in Macon, Warner Robins, Athens, Madison and Atlanta to name a few.
The high-end electronics business is all about relationships.
A customer’s trust makes the difference, according to Smith.
“We’ve had a bunch of instances where we’ll do their house at Lake Oconee and then they want us to go to Atlanta to do their home because they are already familiar and comfortable with our service.”
Smith said once someone buys a World Hi-Fi product the store takes care of thorough its life.
All electronics have evolved in the last 30 years. World Hi-Fi employees react to a constantly changing industry.
Later this year, 4k TVs that achieve resolution “actually better than the eye can see” are hitting the market.
Smith said Milledgeville doesn’t fall into a niche market that always buys the latest and greatest.
Car electronic gadgets are a big hit currently. Options like Pioneer AppRadio that transfers everything from an iPhone to the user interface screen in the dash are a hot item.
World Hi-Fi can retrofit homes with audio/video structure wiring providing easier component installations, as companies push home user interfaces that tie home A/V, heating and air, lighting and security. High quality security cameras are much more affordable these days, according to World Hi-Fi.
“You can load an interface on an iPad and basically control your entire house when you aren’t at home,” Smith said. “Everybody wants to know what’s going on everywhere.”
The retailer is a member of a National Marketing Group, which is the largest buying group for independent stores nationwide.
Brands like Alpine, JVC, Kenwood, JL Audio, Toshiba, Samsung, LG and Sharp, GE, Maytag and KitchenAid are stocked at good price points.
“It helps us remain competitive,” Smith said. “It puts us on par with just about everybody. We can match a Best Buy price all day.”
World Hi-Fi is located at 2641 N. Columbia St. Call 478-453-7181 for product info or to set up a free home evaluation.