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History

Abt Store Shot 1936 Abt Electronics was founded in 1936 when Jewel Abt gave her husband David $800 to start a business. Abt began as a small store with only three employees in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. Abt has since grown to become one of the largest independent single-store appliance and electronics retailers in the country sprawled out on 37 acres in Glenview, Ill., and employing a staff of 1,100 experts.

Today, Abt carries tens of thousands of products in a variety of categories including appliances/custom kitchens, gourmet cooking, home comfort (HVAC, power generators and sump pumps), TV and A/V, computers, watches, fitness, and more - many of which are introduced at Abt before gaining widespread distribution.

In addition to its 80,000 square-foot showroom, Abt features its own mini-mall, with boutique shops such as Apple, Bang & Olufsen, Sony, and more. Other highlights and attractions include a 7,500-gallon salt-water aquarium that's used to demonstrate the image quality of the store's wide selection of cameras and camcorders, and an atrium with an elegant fountain, which evokes the famed Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, CEO Bob Abt's inspiration for the design.

Abt has technical in-house staff that handles repairs, installation, and service issues. Each member of the Abt service team is recognized by the store's manufacturers as having superior repair knowledge and skills. Abt ensures that all members of the team undergo continuous training in order to provide superior electronics and appliance repair service.

Despite being an independent retailer among an industry of big box stores, Abt has continued to build a loyal customer base and has impressively grown at double digits percentage every year for the past 78 years. Abt credits its success to staying true to the family values and dedication to customer service on which it was founded. Abt remains a family run business today as second- and third-generation family members work on the store's floor.

Abt has gained a nationwide presence through its e-commerce site Abt.com, which was launched in 1997 as one of a handful of authorized online retailers for brands such as Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Bose and Onkyo. Similar to the in-store shopping experience, Abt.com provides consumers with unparalleled customer service, shopping ease and quality product offerings. Shoppers enjoy free shipping on thousands of products on Abt.com, which ships to all 50 states.

For more than 78 years, Abt has demonstrated excellence in the retail industry by distinguishing itself with a commitment to delivering complete customer satisfaction, a highly trained and passionate staff, and dedication to fair pricing. Visit our awards page to learn more.

CEA Inducts Abt Founders David and Jewel Abt to the 2008 CE Hall of Fame
City of Chicago dedicate block that housed Abt’s original location to Jewel and David Abt