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2011 Hall of Fame: Leon Temiz, CEO of Electronics Expo

Making a Habit of Success

January 2011 By Nancy Klosek
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Leon Temiz delights in a modest duel with the house every now and again at the Vegas blackjack tables during CES. "I enjoy it, even when I'm not winning," he explained. "My attitude is, when you gamble, whether you lose or win, have fun."

If the results of his endeavors at the tales are occasionally mixed, there has been nothing mixed about his results since he left a thriving 6th Avenue Electronics in 2003 to establish Electronics Expo in New Jersey. Since then, Temiz, the company's CEO and president, has grown the franchise into an eight-store chain with 215 employees and revenue that of more than $153 million in 2009 and an expected $165 million by the end of 2010.

"We are a profitable company," Temiz said. "Our comp-store business is up for 2010, and our goal is to do over $200 million in 2011."

Temiz prides himself on having been involved in building two CE retailing companies in the New York metropolitan area. "At the same time so many people came and went," he said. "But here we are, still standing, and competing with the nationals."

His accomplishment in coming up a winner twice in a row resonates strongly with industry associates and colleagues.

"This is a challenging enough business for longstanding retailers to be in, but literally to take a business from a startup and grow it to be the size it is right now in a relatively short a period of time is really an amazing feat," said Dave Workman, executive director of the PRO Group, of which Electronics Expo is a member. "It's very rare that you see someone able to succeed not just once, but twice. And the fact that he did this in one of the most competitive markets in the country, and built out the organization he has, is really a testament to his business acumen and his merchandising instincts. He obviously has his finger on the pulse of the market."

Temiz has exhibited an almost clairvoyant knack for merchandising, with the results most apparent since the start of the recession. While the first Electronics Expo locations ranged from 25,000 to 35,000 square feet, he sensed three years ago—well ahead of the economic downturn—that a change was needed, and wasted no time in downsizing proposed floor plans, designing 10,000- to 12,000-square-foot models and then working every inch to utmost efficiency.

"We reasoned that you could open three stores that size instead of one large store for the same amount of rent," he said.

 

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