By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Glenview, Ill. - Abt Electronics is entering the bedding and home security businesses this season.
The family-held CE and appliance dealer is expanding its lone, 100,000-square-foot showroom with a 5,000-square-foot bedding and mattress section. The department will be housed within a new second-story loft space that is being built over the store's Venetian-style atrium, and will be accessible by a glass escalator and elevator.
The department will also carry furniture, pillows, linens and mattress-protection products when it opens mid-July.
Launching this month is Abt's new home security service. Available throughout Illinois and Wisconsin, the service is provided by a team of licensed and certified security installers and includes door and window sensors, motion detectors, glass-break detectors, carbon-monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, shock sensors, and burglar and fire panels by such brands as Ademco, Elk, GE Security and Honeywell.
Abt's move into mattresses follows that of other independent dealers, including fellow NATM Corp. members ABC Warehouse and Conn's, whose bedding businesses have helped offset soft appliance sales and thinning CE margins.
But assortment diversification isn't new to the 76-year-old business, which also sells luxury wristwatches, gourmet cooking products, fashion sunglasses and luggage, and last year added electric generators, sump pumps, fitness equipment and HVAC systems.
"It has always been our priority to listen to our customers and offer them unbeatable service," said president Jon Abt. "With the introduction of home security and the new bedding department, we are expanding our offerings to meet their growing needs. The benefit of being an independent retailer is we have the ability to cater to our customers' requests."
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