Another store that was omitted from the Top 25 Car Audio Specialists, was actually the top grossing store to our knowledge, for a single store location.
We left out Chicago’s ABT Electronics because the store is technically a general electronics store. But ABT’s car audio department alone, by our estimates brings in over $3 million a year, with its 11 full–time installers.
And ABT is expanding. The car stereo department is presently getting another 3,500 feet and 6 more bays (for a total of 18 bays). The store works on about 20 to 25 cars (or boats, RVs, etc.) a day, says Manager John Samp, who credits a lot of the store’s success to a focus on customer service.
The family owned business doesn’t skimp on inventory, so everything is generally in stock. If there’s a problem with a radio or component, the customer gets a new one and ABT works out compensation with the supplier. Before a system is installed, the customer gets a 10 minute session with the installer, whose main function is to make sure the customer’s expectations match the system he’s picked out, and that the system works in his particular car, says Samp.
Installers are trained to sell product as well as install. And Samp claims the installers are “the best of the best” in the Midwest. (He’s also looking for more of them). They are joined by 6 salespeople who are cross trained to sell fitness products when necessary in the department next to car audio. Then there are 3 service writers who schedule appointments, handle paperwork and help with quality control.
Because it’s such a high traffic store, many of the cars entering the shop are some of the first seen in any car stereo bay. “Tomorrow I have a 2015 GMC Yukon coming in. We get a lot of new cars before other people get them,” Samp said. At the time of our interview, his bays held a Porsche, a Mazerati, an S55 Mercedes and a 1/2 million dollar boat. But the store works on plenty of Toyotas and Hondas as well.
Salesmen practice top down selling. Brands carried include Focal, JL Audio, Hertz, Audison, Alpine, Pioneer, Kenwood and Sony.
Samp, again, doesn’t point to any special tricks other than a well-run, well-funded store that aims for 100 percent customer satisfaction.
See also Fastest Growth Car Audio Shop?