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Abt Amends Blu-ray Plans

By Alan Wolf -- TWICE, 2/29/2008 8:08:00 AM

Glenview, Ill. — Abt Electronics said it will increase its Blu-ray inventory in order to meet customer demand following Toshiba's decision to stop production of HD DVD players, and expects other consumer electronics retailers to make "similar adjustments."

Abt said it noticed a surge in the number of customers searching for Blu-ray players following Toshiba's announcement last week. "This sharp increase is being seen in many electronics stores around the world, with some reporting up to a 150 percent increase in the number of customers looking to buy this hot item," the company said in a statement.

Consequently, Abt is phasing out its remaining HD DVD models and has expanded its selection of Blu-ray players to include such brands as Denon, Pioneer Elite, Samsung, Sharp, Panasonic and Sony.

The retailer anticipates customer interest in Blu-ray to continue to grow as the price of players declines over time, and expects that the format will eventually replace standard DVD players.

"Toshiba's decision will, in the end, turn out to be beneficial for Abt Electronics, by allowing the store to focus exclusively on one high-definition format, and thereby increasing its expertise with Blu-ray equipment," the company said.

Abt, a member of the PRO Group buying organization, is a leading Chicago-area CE and majap chain. The privately held, family-run business operates a single 350,000-square-foot facility here, and maintains a national presence though its pioneering e-commerce site, Abt.com.

© 2008 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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