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Abt Wins Retailer Of The Year

Robert Abt, CEO - Michael Abt, President - Ricky Abt, VP - Jon Abt, VP - Billy Abt, VP - Phil Hannon, GM - Phil Peterson, CFO

Founded: 1936

Stores: 1

Location: Glenview, Illinois

Employees: 1,000

Sales increase over FY 2002:16%

Major Brands: Sony, Panasonic, Bang & Olufsen, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Bose, Samsung, Definitive Technology, Miller & Kreisel, Denon, Yamaha, Alpine, Kicker, Kenwood, MB Quart, JBL, Adcom, Canton

UP-&-COMING PRODUCTS: Flat and thin televisions - plasmas, LCDs, DLPs - small, medium and large. One of the hottest categories I have ever seen.

BUSINESS THAT FLOURISHED IN '03: Manufacturers did a great job of literally making a regular television almost obsolete [with HDTV], and at this point the public feels a real need to have this new technology.

COMPANY GOALS: Same goals as last year - getting better, going higher and giving the best customer service we possibly can. We are using same-day service much more than in the past.

CORE CUSTOMERS: Age-wise, the middle of the road, while income level is definitely high end of the scale. We are almost surprised at how much high-end theater and designer kitchens we sell in comparison with other brands.

IMPORTANT '03 EVENT: Our first full year of operation of our new facility, and making Internet improvements. The Internet is becoming much more a part of our business.

MOST UNUSUAL REQUEST FROM A CUSTOMER: A customer with a 10-year-old refrigerator wanted a new one because they started to see a rust spot.

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT THE INDUSTRY: I do not like competing with the hand that feeds you. It seems like more and more manufacturers are trying to be our competitors.

FAVORITE WINE: Any red wine, because of all the articles regarding how healthy it is for you.

IF YOU COULD RECEIVE JUST ONE GIFT THIS HOLIDAY: Peace in the world, and continued good health.

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