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Appliance retailer Abt opens new, bigger store

By Francine Knowles | May 27, 2002
Chicago Sun-Times

Abt Electronics Inc., one of the largest and few remaining independent retailers of electronics and appliances, opened for business Sunday in a new and much larger home.

Even the fish have larger digs: The store features a 7,400-gallon aquarium, compared to the 1,300-gallon aquarium at the old Morton Grove store.

The store also boasts a new 7,500-square-foot health club for employees that includes a half basketball court and racquetball court.

The 66-year-old store opened Sunday in its new 350,000 square-foot site at 1200 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Glenview, 17 hours after closing up shop at its Morton Grove location, where it had operated since December 1990.

The family-owned business opted to buy the land and build a new facility in Glenview primarily because it had outgrown its old warehouse space, said President Michael Abt.

Business has been good at Abt, which employs 900 people and whose revenues have been growing 15 percent to 20 percent a year, Michael Abt said.

A main new feature at the Glenview store is 11 "vignettes" where customers can see how various appliances and electronic equipment look and work in actual home settings.

"This is for someone who wants to see what the final product will look like in the house," Abt said. "People can be told a lot, but they want to see it, touch it and see how it works. They'll be able to go in and see and feel it."

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