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Abt Now Appears Apt To Outdo Competition

By S.U. Mahesh

May 30, 1996

Abt Television and Appliance Co. has not only managed to survive in a market dominated by national chains like Best Buy and Electric Avenue - it's growing at a rapid rate.

The Morton Grove business at 9000 Waukegan Road recently broke ground on an addition of 50,000 square feet of warehouse and showroom space on the southwest corner of their current site The project should be finished by early November, according to President Bob Abt.

"Our warehouse is jammed right now. We're trying to make us little more efficient in terms of storage and inventory," Abt said

The remodeled facility will also provide more room for display items and increase the number of aisles. In a statement that could make his competitors green with envy, Abt says, "The store is just getting too crowded right now."

Manager Robert Taylor said the new facility will have two show- rooms, one for electronic equipment and one for home appliances.

"We have to stay with the times." says Taylor To that end, one section of the warehouse will be devoted entirely to home-theater equipment, which according to trend-tracker Faith Popcorn, has become much more of a booming business.

Abt credits his thriving business to the simple philosophy of offering personalized service along with prices that often ring up lower than those at the major chain stores and outlets.

Despite the new addition, Abt said he doesn't anticipate hiring more people. Currently, the store has more than 300 employees.

Founded 60 years ago in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood, the store moved to Niles in 1974. It's been in its current location since 1991. Presently, it's run by Bob Abt and his three sons -Billy, Mike and Ricky

The possibility of opening a second store in the Chicago area hasn't been ruled out, Abt says "We have no plans of expansion right now, but it's a possibility down the road."