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… While Queen City Raises The Flag For Independents

While national chains are closing stores, Queen City Audio Video & Appliances is busy opening them.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based independent, now in its 65th year of business, is set to open its second new showroom of 2017, which will bring the store count to seven.

The new location, in Pineville, N.C., will follow the re-opening in June of a 15,000-square-foot store in Monroe, N.C., which was closed in the wake of the 2008 recession.

The forthcoming Pineville store will measure 20,000 square feet across two stories and feature windowed walls on three sides, a central escalator and a 500-square-foot skylight, making for a bright, airy and contemporary space, CEO Roddey Player told TWICE.

The retailer will use the upper level to expand its furniture assortment with upholstered goods, lighting, dining rooms, bedrooms, and furniture and accessories for casual living spaces, while maintaining a focus on connected appliances and other home products including outdoor kitchens, CE and bedding, he said.

“Our goal will be to help our customers with one-stop shopping to complete their new home or make their existing home new again,” Player noted.

The chain, a member of the Nationwide Marketing Group, was founded as a TV service business in 1952 and hit a peak of 16 stores in 2006 before the recession and declines in Charlotte’s backbone banking industry led to Chapter 11 reorganization in 2012.

Today Queen City remains a mainstay of TWICE’s Top 50 Appliance Retailers Report (No. 45, with $41 million in white-goods sales last year), and is the largest independent CE and majap dealer in the Carolinas.

Player said his decision to return to expansion mode was prompted by the demise of hhgregg, which was operating eight stores in his territory, and by the continued closing of local Sears stores.

The new Pineville showroom is set to open late in the fourth quarter.

“It’s a great location, adjacent to Carolina Place Mall on a highly traveled road that is home to many successful home-furnishings businesses,” Player said.