Brand of the Month – January 2024

It’s the first month of a new year, which means it must be time to welcome back our brand of the month feature!

This month, we’re looking at one of the best-known brands that we stock and one that we have a very long history with – Panasonic!

A brief history of Panasonic

Panasonic, initially known as Matsushita Electric, traces its roots back to 1918 when Kōnosuke Matsushita established it as a seller of duplex lamp sockets. It wasn’t long before the company embarked on a journey of innovation, launching its first products in the 1920s. Notably, in 1927, they introduced bicycle lamps, marking the inception of the National brand. During World War II, the company played a pivotal role, running factories across Asia that churned out a wide array of electrical components and appliances, from light fixtures to wireless gear. Post-war, in 1961, Matsushita’s foray into the United States opened doors to manufacturing Panasonic-branded TVs for the American market. Eventually, this successful venture led to the expansion of the Panasonic brand into Europe by 1979.

Panasonic founder, Kōnosuke Matsushita
National TV set from 1952

In 1965, Panasonic introduced the Technics brand in Japan, unveiling a remarkable high-fidelity audio speaker. This marked the beginning of a global sensation, with their line of top-notch stereo gear gaining widespread acclaim. Among their standout creations were the iconic turntables, notably the renowned SL-1200 record player, celebrated for its exceptional performance, precision and robustness. As the 1970s and early 1980s unfolded, Matsushita persisted in crafting top-tier specialised electronics for specific markets. Their repertoire expanded to include high-quality shortwave radios and a thriving collection of stereo receivers, CD players and assorted components, further solidifying their reputation for excellence.

Technics SL-1200 turntable
Technics SL-P2 CD player

HBH Woolacotts and Panasonic

Since its establishment in Bude in July 1976, HBH Woolacotts has fostered a strong partnership with Panasonic, prominently featuring the Panasonic logo on company vans and uniforms.

A HBH Woolacotts aerial engineer’s van, circa 1980s
Panasonic Centre, Plymouth van, 2015

Over the years, our shelves have been stocked with a diverse array of Panasonic products, ranging from TVs to audio systems and home cinema equipment, including VHS players, DVD recorders, Freeview boxes and digital cameras.

Panasonic TV & VHS recorder package, 1994
Panasonic & VHS recorder bundle, 2001

The inauguration of the first Panasonic Centre in Plymouth on August 25, 1990 marked a pivotal moment; rather than a typical HBH Woolacotts branch, our Managing Director foresaw the potential of the robust Panasonic brand in the Devon city and, indeed, it thrived! We’ve always taken immense pride in delivering unparalleled service and support for Panasonic products, a tradition that continues to this day at our flagship superstore in Plymouth’s Coypool Retail Park. Here, the Panasonic Centre continues, maintaining the same commitment to product expertise and exceptional service that has defined us from the beginning.

Panasonic Technics Centre, Plymouth, 1990
Front counter, Panasonic Technics Centre, 1993
The Panasonic Store in the HBH Woolacotts, Plymouth superstore

And their products just keep getting better!

We’re not the only ones smitten with Panasonic’s products – experts are singing their praises too! In the past year, Panasonic has racked up numerous awards, and you can always catch the details of them on our website. Their OLED TV series, in particular, has been showered with acclaim, like the prestigious Platinum 5-star review the MZ2000 OLED earned from T3. The review confidently stated: “If you’re seeking an OLED TV that’s not only among the brightest of 2023 but also comes with the best integrated sound straight out of the box, then Panasonic’s MZ2000 is without rival.” What Hi-Fi? were also impressed with Panasonic’s 2023 OLED range, giving the MZ1500 a 5 star review, stating: “…for picture authenticity and consistency the Panasonic MZ1500B is hard to beat”.

Panasonic TX-65MZ2000 OLED TV

Come and see them for yourself!

Want to see the Panasonic range for yourself? You can visit any of our 9 branches across Cornwall & Devon for a product demonstration. Alternatively, you can shop all Panasonic on our website.

Recommended Posts