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Appliance Purchase Rebate Starts Friday

By Bernie Tafoya Reporting

Friday, 16 April 2010

CHICAGO (WBBM) -- Call it the energy saving appliance shopping version of "Cash for Clunkers".

Appliance stores in the Chicago area and across Illinois are bracing for a crush of customers today. A new state rebate begins and once the money runs out, the rebate program is over.

A couple of hundred shoppers were lined up outside Abt Electronics in Glenview today waiting for the store to open.

Many had done their research and were waiting for the rebate program to start to whip out the wallets.

There’s more than $6 million in rebates available. Consumers can save 15 percent on the cost of energy saving appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, clothes washers and dishwashers. The maximum amount allowed for each purchase is $400.

Marcelyn Love, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity expects the money to go quickly. “I would encourage people to get into the stores as soon as possible this weekend to purchase their appliance”, she says.

Plass Appliance director of sales Bill Burn believes the rebate money “won’t last a day”. He says Plass has been telling its customers to get into the store early to make sure they’re able to take advantage of the rebate.

Burn believes there’s a “pent-up demand” for appliance sales. He says he has talked to consumers in the past few months who had planned to wait for the rebate to happen before they made their purchases.

Mike Abt, the president of Abt Electronics, believes sales will be “fast and furious” tomorrow. Abt expects so many customers, there will be nearly 230 sales people working today.

The rebate is designed to get consumers spending more and retailers selling more.

Many stores are opening earlier than usual because of the rebate. Abt, for instance, is opening at 7:00 o’clock in the morning. Plass’ eight stores will be opening at 6:00 a.m.

Copyright 2010 by WBBM

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