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Sixth Ave. Lays Groundwork For Major Expansion

7/06/2009 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Sixth Avenue Electronics left the confines of its namesake Manhattan thoroughfare years ago, and is now beginning to move beyond its New York metro area base.

The independent A/V specialist opened its first store in the Philadelphia market in May — its 15th in total — and plans to enter Delaware in the fourth quarter with a former Circuit City store in nearby Concord Pike.

The company, led by brothers Billy and Mike Temiz, has also annexed a second Circuit City storefront that is set to re-open this summer along the coveted Route 3 shopping corridor in North Bergen, N.J., and is looking beyond the Hudson River to Connecticut.

To prepare for these expansions and beyond, Sixth Avenue has installed a comprehensive management software system from SAP AG, the German software supplier, that will streamline and standardize virtually every element of its operations, from order entry, sales compensation and warranty commission on the sales floor, to rebate tracking, vendor invoicing and demand planning on the supplier side.

The system, which goes live in August after more than 18 months of planning, will free up sales staff to spend more time with customers, explained VP Rudy Temiz, and its unlimited scalability lays the foundation for future growth.

While management remains mum on its ultimate ambitions, operations chief Tom Galanis acknowledged that Circuit City's demise represents “a tremendous opportunity that we're taking advantage of,” and that the sky's essentially the limit. “We could have opened 10 stores with the investment we made in the software system, and you don't just do that for 15 stores,” he said.

Nevertheless, Sixth Avenue will avoid the pitfalls of former fast-track CE chains that overextended themselves, president Mike Temiz said, and will continue to grow the business “organically, in a controlled and healthy way,” by picking appropriate real estate and choosing from a plentiful pool of ex-Circuit City and Tweeter talent.

In the meantime, the PRO Group dealer has added netbooks and peripherals to its mobile assortment, has beefed up its online business with 30-some dedicated sales veterans in a nod to Crutchfield, and has sidestepped the recession with a 20 percent increase in comp-store sales year to date.

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