Introducing Dealerscope's CE Leaders That RockSeptember 1, 2014
Robert J. “Bob” Abt CEO Abt Electronics
Bob Abt is the son of David and Jewel Abt, the founders in 1936 of Abt. He entered the business in 1953 as a part-time employee, and through the years, his ingenuity and constant desire to adapt helped grow Abt into one of the most successful privately owned single-store CE/appliance retailers in the nation, with a robust, trend-setting ecommerce site started in 1997. Its 85,000-square-foot showroom, which has been called “The Bellagio of Retail,” (referring to the Las Vegas resort) features a 7,500-gallon aquarium surrounded by appliances, TV and mobile electronics.
As CEO, Abt oversees all facets of the business including the look, design and environment of Abt Electronics. Besides exhibiting a strong commitment to business ethics and impeccable customer service—a core value he has promoted and executed along with his family is environmental sustainability—the store runs an on-site center that recycles 95 percent of the waste it produces.
Abt is also involved in community outreach through the Abt Family Foundation, which is dedicated to the active support of numerous civic and community functions, charities and foundations.
Leadership Philosophy: “Like Steve Wynn in Las Vegas, my vision is to be innovative, entertain and excite people who visit our store, and strive to create the ultimate shopping experience for all of our customers.
“The company was created with the understanding that family values are our business values. We always thought that with involvement and hard work the business would continue to grow. Our reputation with customers, employees and communities over the years continues in a positive direction, and we look forward to our fourth generation succeeding in the business.
“The fear of failure drives me. Grew up as an ‘average’ kid, and felt the desire to succeed as I got older. Always been sort of a gambler, but liked having favorable odds that usually worked.
“Very proud we have never had a layoff in 78 years. Also very proud we have people of different cultures, races, religions who speak 28 languages and get along.
“Integrity, hard work, attention to detail, total customer satisfaction, not being afraid to take some risk and my having a great wife for 53 years have been essential to our success.”
& General Manager