FRESNO, CALIF. –
Since its founding here in 1951, Ventura TV Video Appliance Center has seen 10 U.S. presidents and at least as many competitors come and go.
But throughout its 60 years, the self-described “local choice” for three generations of customers in California’s Central Valley has operated at the same location and adhered to the same founding principles: to offer expert advice, excellent customer service and extremely deep discounts every day.
“My father started this company 60 years ago with one goal in mind – to provide customers with America’s favorite brands in home appliances and electronics at deeply discounted prices,” said Mark Shirin, president/CEO of the family-held business. “Today, his vision still lives true.”
Indeed, Ventura currently carries over 30 leading CE and appliance brands, including Amana, Bosch, Frigidaire, GE, Jenn-Air, KitchenAid, LG, Maytag, Mitsubishi, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba and Whirlpool.
“And in celebration of our company’s 60th anniversary,” he continued, “we are running more sales and offering our deepest discounts on brand new appliances and electronics.”
Shirin attributes his low-price prowess to his 15-year membership in a buying group – for him, the Nationwide organization – which allows Ventura to reap the benefits of consolidated volume buys. He said his most recent buying trip, to the group’s bi-annual show in February, offered record discounts on tier-one brands and yielded “some of [our] best purchases ever” in advance of this month’s planned 10 percent price hikes by white-goods manufacturers.
The group “offers independent dealers like us the opportunity to compete effectively in what was a market dominated by big box stores. I say ‘was’ because independent appliance dealers have now surpassed big box retailers in market share,” Shirin said, citing a recent Traqline study by TWICE research partner The Stevenson Co.
According to the report, independent dealers have grown their majap market share to 29.9 percent, he said, pushing Sears into second place with a 29.4 percent share, followed by Lowe’s at 19.8 percent, Home Depot at 14.1 percent and Best Buy with 6.8 percent.
Recently hired e-commerce manager Ara Catchatoorian, who operates the dealer’s website at
, said he is also impressed by Nationwide’s focus on the Internet. “With recent studies showing that as much as 80 percent of all consumers go online before going shopping, there’s no doubt that this is the future of retail” – and a shared future for Ventura, as it embarks on its next 60 years.