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American TV Exiting Car Audio, PCs, Cameras

MADISON, WIS. — American TV & Appliance is readjusting its merchandise mix to address the changing marketplace.

As part of a regular assortment reassessment, the 11-store big-box chain is exiting the car audio, digital imaging and PC categories, and will expand its selection and displays of furniture, HDTV and home audio.

Paul Kollberg, the company’s electronics marketing and e-commerce VP, described the three departing categories as “either very challenged or mature, or impacted by the popularity of smartphones.” He expects American to be out of those businesses in about two months.

In contrast, the chain plans to reallocate floor space to new furniture products and collections, and to enhance its displays and demos of newer A/V products such as Ultra High-Definition TVs and soundbars.

“As most retailers do, on a regular basis we review our product offerings based on changing environments and customer needs. Our most recent business review indicated a need for an adjustment in our mix,” Kollberg said. “That’s what this is.”

American operates 11 big-box stores averaging 130,000 square feet in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Michigan, and runs an independent majap distributor, Kennedy-Hahn Appliance.

Founded in 1954 by TV repairman Ferd Mattioli, the closely held business is now headed by CEO and majority shareholder Doug Reuhl, and generated about $450 million in 2011, including some $220 million in CE sales and $114 million in majap revenue, according to the TWICE Top 100 Retailers Report.

In 2011 the chain closed its four St. Louis stores and exited that market, and last month left the NATM Buying Corp. after rejoining two months earlier following a nine-year absence.