Crutchfield Corporation

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Crutchfield Corporation
IndustryConsumer electronics retail
FounderWilliam G. Crutchfield, Jr.

Crutchfield Corporation is a North American retailer specializing in a wide range of electronics, including mobile audio and video equipment for the automobile, along with speakers, televisions, and other electronics for home or portable use, serving both the United States and Canada. It was created in 1974 by William G. " Bill" Crutchfield, Jr., founder and CEO. It is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.


The company was created during the restoration of classic sports cars by Bill Crutchfield. Unable to find anyone to upgrade the car stereo in a Porsche 356 coupe he was preparing to sell, he realized there was an opportunity to offer to car stereos to others interested in this type of DIY project.[1]

Company growth[edit]

Over the years, the company has expanded and currently employs over 500 employees. It remains privately held and Bill Crutchfield still leads the company as CEO.[2] Bill has expanded the Charlottesville facilities to include a sizable headquarters, a main distribution center, and a secondary distribution and processing center. In addition, Crutchfield has a satellite facility in Norton, Virginia. Many of these facilities are dog-friendly, in keeping with Crutchfield's dog-friendly policy; the company added a fenced dog park to the main campus in 2016.[3]

Crutchfield has had retail storefronts in Jacksonville, Florida, Charlottesville, Virginia, and Harrisonburg, Virginia, for years. On September 29, 2013, the company closed the previous Charlottesville location and opened a store with a new format at a different location in Charlottesville. The Charlottesville store now uses patented technologies to offer virtualized listening experiences for hundreds of speakers, and contains interactive fixtures offering access to multiple photos, customer reviews, deep technical information and more for every product featured.[4]

Online, Crutchfield has had a web presence since 1995. Over the years, they have introduced a series of updates to their initial website, including their Outfit My Car tool, an online tool that makes use of highly specific in-house measurements of thousands of vehicles to verify fit for aftermarket speakers and car stereos.[5] Additional improvements and innovations include the presence of over one thousand articles and videos dedicated to sharing information, reviews, and how-to guidance for electronics shoppers and users[6] and the launch of Crutchfield's Connect ID feature, which allows advisors with expertise in electronics to co-shop the site with customers via phone or chat, and even push pages to them.[7]

Focus on information[edit]

Since 1974, Crutchfield's business model has evolved with a focus on a few key areas. Due to a survey Bill Crutchfield conducted with his first customers, and the resulting success that ensued when he added deep car stereo installation information to his third catalog,[8] access to and sharing of extensive information about audio gear and installation became a key mission early on. As Crutchfield grew, it developed formal departments dedicated to Vehicle Research and Product Research. The company claims to have assembled the largest database of vehicle fit information,[9] largely through taking apart vehicles at car dealerships, junkyards and other locations in order to get precise measurements of the vehicles' internal spaces for speakers and car stereos. As of November 2017, they had fit information on over 25,000 vehicles.[10] This information drives internal resources to support sales and tech support, and also is the basis of the database powering the online Outfit My Car tool. The Vehicle Research department also provides the information needed for Crutchfield to produce MasterSheets™, which they describe as detailed, illustrated instruction sheets for installing car stereo products in specific vehicles. Crutchfield provides these MasterSheets for free to Crutchfield customers who purchase an in-dash stereo or speakers.[11]

The Product Research arm of Crutchfield verifies the data provided by manufacturers on each consumer electronics product, for car and for home or portable use, and performs additional tests and measurements, by opening, assessing and measuring one of almost every product carried by the company. This data is then incorporated into a product information database available to customers online and also used by Crutchfield staff when providing sales support and post-purchase tech support.[12]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2007, Bill Crutchfield was inducted into the Consumer Electronics Association Hall of Fame alongside Paul Allen and Amar Bose.[13] The company's website,, was the first vendor-authorized audio/video retailer on the Internet.[14] In addition, as of April 2018, Crutchfield was the only internet retailer to have won BizRate Insight's Platinum Circle of Excellence Award eighteen years in a row.[15] Crutchfield Corp.'s call center has been certified by J. D. Power and Associates' Call Center Certification Program for "meeting key expectations"[16] and "outstanding customer service experience."[17]


  1. ^ "Our Story: History |". Crutchfield Corporation. Archived from the original on 2010-01-08. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
  2. ^ "Our Story: History |". Crutchfield Corporation. Archived from the original on 2010-01-08. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
  3. ^ "About Us". Crutchfield Corporation. Archived from the original on 2017-09-28. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  4. ^ "McAuliffe stumps with support of Crutchfield". Daily Progress. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
  5. ^ "Outfit My Car - Crutchfield". Crutchfield. Archived from the original on 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
  6. ^ "Crutchfield Learn". Crutchfield Corporation. Archived from the original on 2017-11-29. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  7. ^ "Crutchfield Support". Crutchfield Corporation. Archived from the original on 2017-11-17. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  8. ^ "Crutchfield - Our Story - History". Crutchfield. Archived from the original on 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
  9. ^ "Crutchfield - Our Story - Innovations". Crutchfield. Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
  10. ^ "Outfit My Car - Crutchfield". Crutchfield. Archived from the original on 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
  11. ^ "Crutchfield - MasterSheets". Crutchfield. Archived from the original on 2013-05-17. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
  12. ^ "Crutchfield - Our Story - Innovations". Crutchfield. Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
  13. ^ "CE Hall of Fame Inductees". Consumer Electronics Association. Archived from the original on 2010-03-25. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
  14. ^ "Crutchfield Turns Up the Volume on Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange Data Management with CommVault Simpana". Business Wire. 29 November 2007. Archived from the original on 7 August 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Circle of Excellence Award Winners at BizRate". BizRate. Archived from the original on 2019-01-23. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  16. ^ "Call Center Certification Program". J.D. Power and Associates. Archived from the original on 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2008-05-05.
  17. ^ "Crutchfield Recognized for Providing an Outstanding Customer Service Experience (Press Release)". J.D. Power and Associates. Retrieved 2008-05-05.

External links[edit]