LITTLE FALLS, MINN. — Besides being the first RadioShack franchisees to carry GE Appliances, Jim and Steve Andres, co-owners of Design Electronics, share another distinction — they were recently recognized as RadioShack’s 2012 Franchisee of the Year.
The father-and-son team, along with mom Carol, received the award this past February during RadioShack’s annual business summit in Fort Worth, Texas.
“We honored Steve and his family as our Franchisee of the Year to celebrate that the way they do business truly reflects and embodies RadioShack’s core values,” said RadioShack franchise VP Martin Amschler. “Steve and his team understand the value of providing great customer service and how that can set you apart from your local competitors. It starts with knowing your customers and what they want, and then getting the right merchandise and services in place to deliver on those customers’ needs. These Design Electronics stores are topnotch, and that starts from the top with Steve and his family.”
Jim Andres, Steve’s father, has been a RadioShack franchisee since 2001, with Steve joining him in 2006 to pursue their shared interest in technology. Today their Design Electronics chain runs six franchised locations in Little Falls, Long Prairie, Fergus Falls, Morris, Alexandria and Ortonville, Minn., and a seventh store in Milbank, S.D.
Steve credits RadioShack’s model of encouraging customization among its dealer franchisees as a significant benefit that has allowed him to identify opportunities that would do well in each of his stores, like offering security system installation services, becoming a warranty service center for consumer electronics, hiring full-time technicians to offer repair and service work and, more recently, adding appliances.
“We take great pride in representing the RadioShack brand and we always want our stores to be the best, the brightest, and the most well stocked,” the younger Andres said. “And when you know and even live near your customers, you want to do your best to help them find whatever they’re looking for or offer a solution for their needs.”
The Andres family also believes in establishing relationships and giving back to the community through volunteerism, by serving on boards and other local organizations, and involving their Design Electronics stores in benefits and fundraisers.