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Bernie's Opens 180K Square Ft. Headquarters

11/22/2004 02:00:00 AM Eastern

ENFIELD, CONN. — Bernie's, the Connecticut-based big-box brown- and white-goods chain, has completed work on a new 185,000-square-foot showroom, headquarters and warehouse facility.

The 11-unit chain consolidated four distribution centers and three offices into the new 18-acre campus located here off Interstate 91, where some 75,000 cars pass each day.

According to executive VP/chief operating officer John Wilkerson, the new showroom offers complete home theater systems that are bundled with high-grade furniture and delivery/installation service. The packages, which typically comprise 10 components and can run between $10,000 and $12,000, are showcased in vignettes within home theater galleries, a concept that Bernie's has been employing in major appliances. So far, the single-price packages have significantly boosted audio sales and average tickets, Wilkerson said.

The new facility is part of a five-year growth plan designed to make Bernie's New England's pre-eminent CE, majap and furniture resource. To that end, the company recently relocated two stores, and next year will open as many as three new units, perform three retrofits, and undertake one major renovation to incorporate the Gallery showcases. While Wilkerson hinted that Boston and Fairfield and Danbury, Conn., are ripe for a Bernie's presence, the NATM dealer has no interest in the New York market, preferring instead to backfill its Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island trading areas.

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