Springfield, N.J. - Leon Temiz, president of 6th Avenue Electronics City has left the New Jersey-based A/V chain that he founded with his brothers Mike and Billy to start his own CE retail business under The Wiz nameplate.
According to 6th Avenue, Mike Temiz, currently VP, and Billy Temiz, who established the company’s accounting and store systems, are in the process of buying out their brother’s one-third interest in the business.
Leon, in turn, has started a new company called LTI Electronics, which successfully bid $125,000 for the rights to the name, trademarks and other intellectual property of The Wiz, the defunct New York metro area chain. He also has obtained two former Wiz locations, in Roxbury and Summerville, N.J., which he reportedly plans to re-open this October. Three former 6th Avenue buyers, who had joined the company within the last year from The Wiz, are assisting Temiz in the venture.
'Leon needed a challenge, both academically and financially,' noted Tom Galanis, VP/operations at 6th Avenue. 'He wanted to start a new venture. We wish him luck and hope he does well.'
According to industry sources, Temiz is positioning the revived Wiz as an upscale A/V operation with a commissioned sales floor that will occupy a niche between the mid-market 6th Avenue and the super premium Harvey Electronics, another New York area independent. Temiz is receiving vendor support in the venture, which, according to Roger Heuberger, executive director of the Progressive Retailers Organization (PRO Group), is under consideration for membership in the buying group, whose ranks include 6th Avenue.
Galanis said 6th Avenue will soon make a formal announcement regarding its new management structure, and is busy 'beefing up the infrastructure' as it expands its custom installation business and adds higher-end product.
Temiz is the fourth owner of The Wiz in 27 years. The mid-market chain, which had reached a peak of 44 stores, was acquired by cable operator Cablevision five years ago from the founding Jemal family, and was liquidated this past spring after succumbing to the soft economy and big box competition.