Meet Philippe Luder of Tivoli Hi-Fi & Home Cinema in Camberwell
Article posted: July 26, 2016
The owners of Tivoli Hi-Fi & Home Cinema have built their success upon a solid foundation of exceptional customer service and technical expertise.
For more than 40 years, the store has been servicing the needs of music lovers in the Camberwell area and surrounds.
So, what is it about Tivoli Hi-Fi & Home Cinema that keeps generation after generation of loyal customers coming back?
Tivoli Hi-Fi & Home Cinema’s charismatic Swiss-born owner, Philippe Luder, has a theory.
“It’s probably not our good looks,” he said.
“I think it’s expertise coupled with honest value.
“We’re not about stacking ‘em high, selling ‘em low, and offering free steak knives to go with it.
“If you want value in terms of spend versus performance, I think that’s what gets people to keep coming back.”
From humble beginnings to success
Travel back in time several decades to the early 1970s, when Mr Luder was a young immigrant from Switzerland who was working as a technician for Philips.
Full of passion for the industry, Mr Luder and a friend decided to follow their dream and open a business of their own in 1973. They called it Tivoli Hi-Fi and Stereo Repairs and were initially based on Cotham Rd in Kew.
“It was fantastic,” Mr Luder said.
“All you had to do was pay $10, register a business and you were off and running.
“This was at the beginning of high fidelity in Australia.”
Soon after opening, the store began to sell quality hi-fi equipment in addition to providing repairs – a winning formula to this day.
In 1976, they incorporated and became Tivoli Hi-Fi & Home Cinema, and later moved from Kew to Glenferrie Rd in Hawthorn, and eventually into their current digs in Camberwell Rd in 1982.
“We’re very close to the Camberwell Junction, so it’s a good location,” Mr Luder said.
The move proved successful, and nowadays, they have nine dedicated listening rooms where customers can sample their hi-fi and stereo equipment.
The store stocks all of the latest brands and technologies and offers on-site audio and hi-fi assessments in customers’ homes.
Service with a smile
Over the years, Tivoli Hi-Fi & Home Cinema have strived to deliver outstanding customer service, always keeping abreast of the latest industry developments.
“Our referral business is really strong,” Mr Luder said.
“We welcome anybody and will give them all the time they need to get things right, we never rush anyone.”
Mr Luder runs the store with his wife, Erica, as well as their team of staff.
He rarely ventures on to the sales floor anymore, preferring to work his magic behind the scenes.
And despite being a few years shy of 70, Mr Luder has no plans of slowing down anytime soon.
“I’ve never done anything else,” he said.
“What got me into this from the word go is my love for music, I guess, and training technically in an area that deals with music in terms of its electronic amplification and reproduction.
“I’m not often on the floor anymore, it’s a bit of a young man’s game, but occasionally I go in and I meet some old-timers like myself and enjoy having a good old chat.”
Mr Luder said they had no plans to move to a bigger outlet, but would grow in other ways.
“One is always looking for ways of providing an even better service to the customer, and that’s the way I see us evolving,” he said.