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Abt Electronics Reclaims CE/Majap Throne


From its humble
beginnings 75 years ago as a Chicago
radio store, family-run Abt
Electronics has blossomed into
a 360,000-square-foot shopping
mecca and warehouse that is beloved
and admired by vendors, fellow
merchants and generations of
loyal Chicagoans alike.

Manufacturers are rapt for Abt’s
fairness, ethics, professionalism
and idealized presentation, and
have chosen it for numerous product

, the company’s
pioneering e-commerce
site, was also one of only a handful
of authorized online retailers
for brands like Sony, Panasonic,
Toshiba, Bose and Onkyo when it
launched in 1998.

Similarly, its working-class to
celebrity clientele comes to the
environmentally friendly Glenview,
Ill., facility for its expert
sales advice, expansive entry-level
to super-premium assortment,
competitive prices, hassle-free
returns and consummate customer
service. Kids (and parents)
are also enamored of its whimsical
attractions — including a
bubble machine and signature
7,500-gallon salt water aquarium
surrounded by live demo
cameras and HD camcorders
— which makes the store a
family destination.

The showroom features its
own premium mini-mall with
Apple, Bang & Olufsen, Dacor,
Sony and Subzero/Wolf boutiques,
plus dedicated shops
for computers, wristwatches
and gourmet cooking. Newer
categories include fitness,
HVAC, electric generators and
sump pumps.

Co-president Mike Abt
said the company’s philosophy
is to take care of the
customer regardless of the
cost, as exemplified by its
loss-leading in-house repair

To brother and co-president
Billy Abt, it comes down to
“treating people right and continuing
to re-invent ourselves
while offering the lowest prices
possible and the best sales
staff in the industry.”