Music merchandising firm moves e-commerce division to new HQ site SAN RAFAEL -- Hi Fidelity Entertainment, a marketer of licensed merchandise for Carlos Santana and dozens of other musical artists, consolidated its headquarters offices and East Bay e-commerce business to a new location at the junction of Highway 101 and Interstate 580.

[caption id="attachment_27580" align="alignright" width="288" caption="Hi Fi's Andersen Drive location (courtesy of Meridian Commercial)"][/caption]

The company signed a five-year lease for 7,335 square feet of warehouse and office space at 999 Andersen Drive and moved just before Thanksgiving from 100 Tamal Plaza in Corte Madera.

The e-commerce division relocated from a Richmond warehouse.

"We wanted to have everything under one roof," said Dawn DeBisschop, vice president.

Music merchandising industry veterans Howard Schomer, 45, president, and Ms. DeBisschop started Hi Fidelity in 1997 in Berkeley, where he lived at the time. He moved to Marin County in 2006 and brought the company with him.

"Music merchandise has become a much more important component in music artists' revenue repertoire, with music sales down overall and because of the recession," Mr. Schomer said.

Music sales were shifting from brick-and-mortar specialists such as now-defunct chain Tower Records and independent retailers, so Mr. Schomer started working closely with 11345 to create Internet merchandise stores for artists and record labels.

Hi Fidelity acquired the 11345 in April 2009. The division currently operates 57 online stores for official artist merchandise, ranging from $35 Carlos Santana music bobble-head dolls to certain CDs.

Hi Fidelity has a network of Bay Area, East Coast and global manufacturers to make licensed products.

Certain artists also have Hi Fidelity manage merchandise inventory and sales on tour. For example, Mr. Santana has the company design certain products for sale at concerts.

However, Hi Fidelity isn't all about music. The company also markets Oakland Raiders merchandise and promotional materials for corporations such as Hard Rock Hotel and Harrah's in Las Vegas as well as a number of Marin County restaurants, drinking establishments and food producers such as Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co.

The seven-person company staffs up to about 60 during big wholesale shipping seasons such as before Halloween and Christmas.

Theo Banks and Matt Wagner of Keegan & Coppin represented Hi Fidelity in the San Rafael lease. Matt Brown of Meridian Commercial handled the deal for the building owner.

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