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Philly Faceoff As Sixth Ave. Bows 2nd Store

Avenue Electronics has
opened its second Philadelphia-
area store and has begun
work on its third.

To support the expansion,
Sixth Avenue executives told
TWICE last week it has acquired
a 500,000-square-foot
facility in nearby Somerset,
N.J., which now serves as its
central distribution center
and houses its e-commerce
and service operations. The
company also plans to move
its headquarters there in the
near future.

The new store, the chain’s 18th, is located
at the Oxford Valley strip mall,
here, where it faces hhgregg’s first Philadelphia
site, which opened in May. The
store had a soft opening June 30 and officially debuts this week.

The company wouldn’t disclose the location
of its third area store, slated to open in
October, although a report in the Philadelphia
Business Journal places it in nearby
Deptford, N.J. The publication said Sixth
Avenue paid $7 million for the two 35,000-
square-foot former Office Depot stores.

Sixth Avenue opened its first Philly
store last year in Montgomeryville, Pa.,
across from fellow Progressive Retailers
Organization (PRO Group) member
World Wide Stereo.

The market, which had been devoid of
a regional-chain presence since the demise
of Tweeter Home Entertainment,
is quickly becoming a CE/majap battleground
as Sixth Avenue and hhgregg
backfill the area. New York powerhouse
P.C. Richard also plans to enter the region
later this year with two big-box stores.

Sixth Avenue recently added major
appliances to its mix under former Best
Buy majap exec Tom Cook. Its newest
stores will feature 10,000-square-foot
white-goods departments with kitchen
vignettes, live appliances and cooking
demos, the company said.

Operations VP Tom Galanis doesn’t believe
the Philadelphia market can support
three specialty chains, but said Sixth Avenue
is well-versed in the high costs, cutthroat
competition and sophisticated customers
of the New York-Philly corridor.