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APSCO Appliance Bucks Dour Market


Despite the
celebratory backdrop of Nationwide’s
40th anniversary PrimeTime! show,
members from around the country described
market conditions that, while
less than dire, are hardly encouraging.

 “Business sucks,” one Kansas dealer
bluntly told TWICE, while others more
decorously spoke of slow traffic, weak
sales and cautious consumers who are
limiting themselves to replacement purchases.

A rare exception was APSCO Appliance
Centers in Clearwater, Fla. Now
in its 39th year, the three-showroom
dealer, which ranked 52nd on TWICE’s
2011 Top 100 Major Appliance Retailers
Report, bucked the depressed
housing market and an influx of hhgregg
stores to post a solid 5 percent sales
gain last year.

“Are we breaking records? No. But
are we worried about going out of business?
No,” said Laura Greco, who handles
marketing and advertising for the
family-held business. “Things were way
worse two years ago.”

Greco attributes the glad tidings to
several initiatives, including the addition
of cable TV to its traditional print ad
efforts, and the creation of a quarterly
scratch-and-dent sale event, that has
added about $1 million to company coffers

APSCO, which does its own repairs,
also expanded its service area in anticipation
of hhgregg’s market entry, and
countered the chain’s grand-opening
events with “a huge sale” of its own that
resulted in its best weekend ever, she

Greco also gives credit to its superior
sales staff, and vendor support with
buying opportunities. And, unlike most
retailers’ reports, July 4 proved to be another
strong weekend for the business,
with robust sales of complete appliance
suites in addition to individual items.

Looking ahead, the company has begun
scouting real estate for additional
locations, and is looking forward to its
new affiliation with Nationwide and access
to the group’s state-of-the-art video
production facility in Atlanta.

“We expect a good fall,” said principal
Al Greco. “I believe the worst is
behind us.”