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Garmin Opens Retail Store

Olathe, Kan. — Like Sony, Apple and other high-profile consumer electronics brands, GPS maker Garmin will open a retail store to showcase its products.

The 15,000-square-foot store will be located on the renowned Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago. It is expected to open in time for the holiday season. Garmin would not comment on plans to open additional stores, but noted that a long-term lease was signed on the Chicago location.

Garmin owns close to 50 percent of the skyrocketing consumer portable GPS market in the United States, according to The NPD Group, Port Washington, N.Y., in unit sales to dealers from March though May. Overall U.S. sales in portable GPS are expected to triple this year.

Located at 669 North Michigan Ave., the store aims to provide the world’s most comprehensive GPS experience through hands-on product demonstrations and interactive kiosks, training, seminars, sales and product support. Garmin is the only GPS manufacturer with a dedicated retail store, it said.

“This new Garmin presence on Michigan Avenue will allow us to promote our brand and our products in an entirely new way. We want to use this location as a destination to excite and energize our customers, generate buzz, and further propel sales among all of our retailers,” said Dr. Min Kao, Garmin’s chairman/CEO.