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Flanner’s Acquired By Colder’s

MILWAUKEE — Flanner’s Home
Entertainment has been acquired by
Colder’s, a four-store independent
dealer based here.

The 68-year-old furniture, appliances,
bedding and home-theater
chain will maintain Flanner’s brand
and Brookfield, Wis., store, and
plans to open additional Flanner’s
locations throughout Southeastern

Flanner’s, a respected one-store
specialty A/V dealer operated by
John Flanner, froze operations in
April and was forced to sell off its assets
last month amid the weak economy
and a severe cash-flow crunch.

Flanner and his staff are in discussions
with Colder’s about continuing
under the new owners.

Randy Felker, whose family owns
the chain, said Colder’s will continue
to operate the brands separately.
“Flanner’s served a very specific customer,
and Milwaukee has no other
operation like it,” he told TWICE.

Felker believes Flanner’s A/V specialty
model is “very strong. Even in
tougher economic times the Flanner’s brand can still reach a market that
can buy the latest and greatest.”

Nevertheless, the company plans
to take Flanner’s “a step further and
create a place where customers can
find the coolest, newest, greatest
quality products” in categories including
custom home theater, wireless
and Internet home technology
solutions, and total home automation
control, he said.

Colder’s will also leverage the resources
of its buying group, Home
Entertainment Source (HES), a
division of BrandSource, whose
Expert Warehouse inventory distribution
program has been a boon to
independent dealers. Flanner’s was
just beginning to integrate the program
through a partnership between
HES and its own buying group, the
Progressive Retailer’s Organization
(PRO Group), Felker said.

He added that the new Flanner’s
showrooms will be similar in format
and size to the original store, although
the total footprint will be smaller
since the locations will require less office and back-room space.