By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
DENVER, COLO. -Ultimate Electronics will continue its aggressive geographic expansion next year by opening its first St. Louis stores, the company announced late last month.
The first four of six planned units are scheduled to open there late next year, with the balance to be built over the ensuing 12 months. The stores, which will average 34,000 square feet, excluding leased space for its Fast Trak product repair centers, will bring to 10 the number of new units that Ultimate plans to open in 2001.
"The St. Louis market represents an excellent opportunity for us to continue to execute our expansion plans," said CEO Ed McEntire. Indeed, the CE specialty chain has been spreading its regional wings of late, having entered the Phoenix metropolitan area earlier this year with two units (another pair will open there next month), and by building its first store in Colorado Springs, Colo., also slated to open in December.
The high-end retailer will pick up the pace next year when it penetrates the Oklahoma City market with two units next summer, along with the four St. Louis locations.
Each of the St. Louis stores will feature a big-screen TV area showcasing about 50 large-format sets, plus three car audio demonstration rooms, five home audio demonstration areas (including multiple home theater settings), and a home office vignette featuring computers, fax machines and telephones.
The units will also boast two demonstration vehicles highlighting mobile A/V applications, a six-bay mobile electronics install center, and home installation teams specializing in home theater, multiple room audio and 18-inch home satellite.
"We have refined our store design to showcase the new and ever-expanding lineup of digital products," noted president/chief operating officer Dave Workman. "With the excellent prospects in the consumer electronics business, we look forward to continued growth in our store base for years to come."
Workman added that Ultimate's expansion strategy would likely remain rooted to the company's Rocky Mountain base, and "priority will continue to be given to those markets which can be served from our distribution facility in Colorado."
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