In late 1999, founder and Chairman Ronald A. Unkefer began implementing a series of initiatives aimed at creating a defensible market niche that returned the company to profitability after a rough patch. Since that time, Good Guys has reduced operating costs; secured a $100-million line of credit funding; recruited a new senior management team; eliminated unprofitable lines of business; shifted the company's product focus to higher-end entertainment electronics; and significantly improved its yearly financial performance. It's a feat for a company that started out on a sloped street in the heart of bohemia. "Twenty-nine years ago, we started out in San Francisco in a store less than 5,000 square feet," described Weller. "I joined in '82, when we were four stores. We peaked in the '80s, and in the '90s, grew."
Those Who Can, Learn
Success is often attributed to a combination of catalysts, but education is usually a contributing factor. Good Guys provides regular sales and product training at all stores, and conducts periodic company-wide satellite broadcasts, along with off-site vendor-focused training programs, throughout the year. More than 100 vendors are represented in the product mix, many of which work closely with Good Guys to premier products and secure limited, exclusive distribution on higher-end brands and models.