1999 Geography of Retailing - Chicago
Entrances & Exits: CE retailing options in Chicago thinned considerably last year with the departure of five area Elek-Tek and eight Egghead stores, as well as the transfer of Computer City to CompUSA and its virtual homogenization. Office Depot spread to the suburbs, opening stores in Waukegan, Hyde Park and Evanston. New Costco stores are scheduled to open in 1999 in Schaumburg and Oak Brook. Key retailers in the Chicago market continue to be Abt Electronics, Office Max, Circuit City, Best Buy, Radio Shack, Goldblatt and Sears.
Retailers generally experienced an average to strong year, with the most change being an increase in the sales of high-end products. Despite the fact there are not HD broadcast signals in the Chicago area, retailers say HDTVs are being welcomed by consumers. "People are buying more upscale products," noted Phil Hannon, general manager of Abt Electronics. They're also shopping online--as Abt's web site [www.Abtelectronics.com] proves.