San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Electronics Expo, the regional New Jersey A/V chain, celebrated the opening of its seventh location last month with an in-store evening reception for employees, the press and its vendors.
The new 10,000-square-foot store, located on the busy Route 22 retail corridor in central New Jersey, features a 7,700-square-foot selling floor in the style of its sister stores, with home theater solutions priced at $1,000 to $150,000 displayed in separate vignettes, emphasizing home automation, custom installation services, and furniture and home furnishings.
The store boasts a separate listening room with switchable speakers and components; a projection room featuring HD projectors and screens; and "The Wow Room," a full-blown projector-based home theater setup with custom wall treatments, theater-style seating and surround sound.
TVs are segregated by technology, with rear-projection sets in one corner and two separate flat-panel displays for LCD and plasma along the back wall, directly across from the entrance. As in other locations, the panels are mounted on a series of pillars at varying depths. "Up close, it helps the customers focus on one set at a time and doesn't overwhelm the eyes. But it also has a dramatic effect visually, when you look at it from across the room." said general sales manager Amro Elhelw.
The new location is the first in the chain "wired completely with HDMI cable runs," according to VP Rich Yanitelli. "Every component in the store is connected with HDMI cable for the highest quality display and sound."
Many of the home theater vignettes are separated by glass walls that "add to the open, airy feeling of the store. And it's much less intimidating for the customer than entering a separate room that they can't see into," added Yanitelli.
One new wrinkle for Electronics Expo is the up-front tabletop displays for portable devices. The tables sit directly in front of the customers as they enter the store and feature functional, touchable devices such as GPS and portable navigation and handhelds. These categories were previously behind glass displays.
Yanitelli would not comment directly on plans for further new stores but acknowledged the chain is still in growth mode.
The new store is just over a mile down the road from the corporate headquarters and flagship of Sixth Avenue Electronics, of which Electronics Expo president/CEO Leon Temiz was a former principal. Sixth Avenue (see p. 30) is still run by Temiz's brother Billy, who is the chain's chairman.