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Paul’s TV Joins Nationwide

Irvine, Calif. — Paul’s TV & Appliances, the Southern California A/V and white-goods specialty dealer, has joined the Nationwide Marketing Group.

Founded in 1964 by the self-declared “King of the Big TV” Paul Goldenberg, the company recently embarked on a unique growth strategy under CEO Babak Ghaznavi: operating home theater shops in leased space within furniture stores to leverage that channel’s burgeoning traffic.

The move spurred an 86 percent increase in 2011 CE sales, to $195 million, catapulting it to 45th place on TWICE’s Top 100 CE Retailers Report.

“Nationwide is thrilled to team up with Paul’s TV,” said Tom Hickman, the buying and marketing group’s electronics senior VP. “We think each team’s innovative merchandise and marketing teams will work well together to drive new and exciting initiatives. Couple this with the collective relationships the two parties share with the vendor community and you have a force multiplier that has everyone here at Nationwide very excited.”

 Ghaznavi, a veteran of Circuit City and Good Guys, was a VP at Paul’s when he acquired the business with a fellow former Good Guy exec in the late 2000s. The new team dropped appliances — a move they have since revisited — and expanded the video business to a second freestanding superstore in Southern California. The burgeoning chain would later join the Progressive Retailers Organization (PRO Group) buying organization and embark on its new store-within-a-store business model.

Today the Paul’s TV’s shops can be found in Living Spaces Furniture, a Southern California chain; in New England through a similar arrangement with Jordan’s Furniture; throughout Michigan following a 31-store deal with Art Van Furniture; in Virginia via Haynes Furniture; and in Colorado through a partnership with Denver-based Furniture Row, a 330-store chain of home furnishings and bedding retailers in 31 states.

The leased shops are typically 3,000 square feet and can hold 60 to 80 TVs plus audio and other home-theater products. The strategy boosted the chain’s presence to 60 locations last year, up from 11 in 2009, and the company said it plans to eventually take its concept to all 50 states.

Ghaznavi, an Iranian immigrant, received an American Heritage Award from the Anti-Defamation League’s national consumer technology industry group in 2011.