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Sixth Avenue Was Razed By Rapid Expansion


It appeared unlikely at press
time that Sixth Avenue Electronics would recover
from its second loan default in six months, having
fallen victim to overexpansion in a
rapidly changing marketplace.

The company, which operated 19
stores in four states at its peak last
year, was founded in Manhattan in
1984 by chairman Billy Temiz, who
had built a chain of fashion boutiques
in Turkey before immigrating to the U.S.

His younger brother Mike Temiz was named president
of the now New Jersey-based business in 2003
following a split with a third sibling, Leon, who went
on to found Electronics Expo within the same market.

Starting in 2009, Sixth Avenue embarked on a
strategy of rapid expansion by entering the markets
of Philadelphia and northern Delaware, adding
more stores in New Jersey and Long Island, implementing
a multimillion-dollar software management
system, adding major appliances, and purchasing a
500,000-square-foot distribution center and headquarters
facility from Toys “R” Us.

But beset the economic downturn, falling TV margins, and
software snafus that hurt holiday cash flow, the company
began shedding stores earlier this year until it was left with
three locations. A loan default with GE’s inventory finance
arm last spring forced the Temiz’s to
take in a partner, believed to be Broadway
Photo principal Albert Houllou,
while more recently the company has
been holding steep, liquidation-like
promotions promising upwards of 70
percent-off A/V merchandise.

A second loan default in September appears to be
Sixth Avenue’s swan song.

Dave Workman, executive director/chief operating
officer of the Progressive Retailers Organization
(PRO Group), Sixth Avenue’s longtime buying group,
described the situation as “very sad and unfortunate.
They tried to take advantage of an opportunity, but
their growth strategy was based on what they thought
the industry would look like. It shows just how dynamic
and demanding the marketplace is.”

Workman said the PRO Group board will meet this
week to formally address the dealer’s membership