MOKENA, ILL. — David and Evie Wexler, co-owners of Chicagoland’s The Little Guys, turned a bad hand dealt by their landlord into a royal flush.
After 15 years in its Glenwood, Ill., showroom, the A/V specialty and wholehome control company picked up stakes last month and moved to a new and improved location in nearby Mokena.
While the better than 10,000-squarefoot showroom is slightly smaller than its predecessor, the new digs are homier and less warehouse-like, David Wexler told TWICE.
What’s more, the site, located near a major growth hub along a recently completed section of I-355, puts the business closer to 70 percent of its customers while adding only minutes of drive time for the other 30 percent.
Like the Glenwood store, the new location features dedicated theater rooms, six lifestyle areas, and large componentswitching and two-channel soundrooms. But in place of the prototypical wholehouse vignette, the Wexlers installed a boardroom-like design center where customers can see a full selection of control and lighting systems.
Other additions include a Sony Zone featuring the manufacturers’ TVs and top-of-the-line ES audio series, improved sound throughout the store, and a new Web site that’s set to launch soon.
Also new is the name. The Wexlers felt The Little Guys’ “Home Electronics” tagline was dated, and amended it to “Home Technology” to better reflect their expertise in total home control.
“It’s a smarter play,” said Wexler, who is a longtime member of the Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA) buying group.
What hasn’t changed is the company’s regional reputation as trusted experts. “It’s not even about making a sale,” he noted. “It’s about answering questions and making people happy, and then maybe they’ll come back.”
Also drawing crowds is David Wexler’s local radio show, which airs each Sunday. The broadcast “opened us up to a whole new audience and was a real lifesaver during the down economy,” he said.
Wexler added that his sales team is energized by the new showroom, which had a soft opening last month. “Everything is exciting, new and fresh,” he said. A formal grand opening, replete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony officiated by Mokena’s mayor, is planned for later this month.