What They’re Thinking: Chip Player
51, CEO, Queen City Audio Video & Appliances, Charlotte, N.C.April 2008 By Janet Pinkerton
We do take the personal approach. There are not that many companies where you can pick up the phone and call the owner. My number is listed, so if you do need me, you can call me. It’s been a blessing for us and helped us grow the business.
Dad (Woody Player) founded the company in 1952. He was stationed in Japan right after the war and then moved back to Charlotte, and then moved to Cincinnati and worked for the Crosley Television factory for a while. Then he came back home and started an electronics repair shop. It mushroomed into sales, and in 1967 we took on appliances. I swept floors and emptied trashcans around those appliances. I loved to sell. It’s that instant gratification and knowing you’ve taken care of the customer. Now we have over 200 employees and 15 stores. My job is now to make sure everybody is doing the right thing and is happy.
My dad taught me everything I know. He taught me the value of a dollar, that’s for sure, and how to deal with people, how to treat people, how to take care of people. He was the ultimate multi-tasker. You wear so many hats running a small company, and a lot of times you’ve got to wear all those hats at the same time. We lost him to cancer back in 2001. Even at the end, he worked fulltime. He was a great sounding board for ideas and advice. We were going through a major growth phase back then, one that we’re continuing today, and having his advice was very valuable to us.
My mother actually works for us full time, and still does a lot of the books. The family story is that back when Dad first got back to Charlotte and started servicing TVs, she needed a husband and he needed a bookkeeper, so they started from there!
We originally bought through distributors, then we got to the point where the big box guys came to town, so we joined a buying group, Nationwide, and started dealing directly with the manufacturers. That gave us a chance to prosper. We moved to NATM a couple years a back.