Leon Temiz, co-founder and former CEO of metro New York regional chain 6th Avenue Electronics, launched his latest retail venture last week with the opening of the first of 15 planned Electronics Expo stores.
Temiz left family-owned 6th Avenue in August with plans to revive The Wiz, the onetime New York CE powerhouse that corporate parent Cablevision folded last spring. However, a bankruptcy court overturned his winning $125,000 bid for the trademark and reopened the process, paving the way for P.C. Richard & Son to ultimately acquire The Wiz rights for $1.6 million.
Instead, Temiz alighted on the name Electronics Expo, ostensibly to reflect a "higher level of customer care and detail that you just don't find in traditional consumer electronics outlets," he said. "We will be the Nordstrom of consumer electronics."
The 27,000-square-foot, high-end A/V store occupies a former high-traffic Wiz location in an upscale strip mall here in western New Jersey that's anchored by The Home Depot and Staples, and faces a P.C. Richard store. A second 18,000-square-foot unit opens this week in Raritan, N.J., and three more central New Jersey stores are planned for next year. Electronics-expo.com, an e-tail Web site, was also slated to launch last week. Temiz hopes to have all 15 locations opened within five years, along with projected annual revenue of $250 million.
The Expos feature vendor-specific, home-like vignettes and quick-change listening/viewing rooms with removable walls that showcase customized home theater systems, making the stores unique to the New York market. In addition to major brands like Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba and Zenith, the stores carry limited distribution lines including Pioneer Elite, RCA Scenium and Sony XBR that are showcased in home theater rooms with packages ranging from $999 to $100,000. The latter, featuring a Yamaha DLP projector, Klipsch Reference Series speakers and theater seating, is located in aptly dubbed "Wow" rooms.
The stores also carry digital cameras, digital camcorders and accessories.
Temiz, who has rejoined the PRO Group with his new operation, will further distinguish Electronics Expo by offering upscale home theater furniture and an in-house custom installation team.
Temiz said he started the chain because he saw "a huge opportunity in the marketplace to showcase new technologies with creative in-store ideas." He brings with him 20 years of CE retail experience as well as a host of key former 6th Avenue managers, including operations VP Rich Yanitelli, merchandise manager Jim O'Neil, and senior video buyer Howie Davis.