Contacts: Ron Romero, President of Schaefer’s TV and Appliance (Lincoln, NE)
Imagine walking out the front door of your store every day, looking across the street, and seeing the grand front entrance of Best Buy. This may be among the panic dreams of many an independent CE and appliance retailers around the country, but Ron Romero, President of a 62-year-old family business called Schaefer’s TV and Appliance, lives this vision every day. In fact, he intentionally made it happen. Two years ago, Romero purchased a car dealership adjacent to both a Best Buy and a Target in his hometown of Lincoln, NE, and, after gutting the property, turned it into his own showroom.
“We’re in the thick of things,” he laughs. “Circuit City’s nearby, the local mall and Sears too. This is exactly where we wanted to be, right in the heart of it! Not everyone wants to shop at Best Buy.”
Romero says Schaefer’s, right now in the midst of its Grand Opening week, is different from all its competitors....he spent a huge amount of energy (and renovation capital) making sure of it. “We’re a destination store,” he explains. “We’re all about the experience.” Among the hands-on features of the new Schaefer’s store are 13 kitchens (most live), working front-load laundry areas, six home theater areas where customers are encouraged to hang out, a Monster Cable store-within-a-store, two projection theaters, and an 800 square-foot “house” with fully-integrated electronics in every room.