Abt Electronics: The Business, the Family
Visit Abt Electronics in Glenview, Ill., for the first time and you’ll be overwhelmed with a dominant feeling: jealousy.
Walk through the 350,000-square-foot facility—past the full patio kitchen solution outside the entrance, through the mobile electronics section, by the hundreds of appliances and flat panels and audio products, past the famous fish tank and into the mall atrium, anchored by a large fountain and surrounded by stand-alone boutique CE, watch, gourmet and kitchen stores—you keep asking yourself: “Why couldn’t there be an Abt in my community?” If only we could all be so lucky.
Mike Abt, part of the third generation of Chicago’s first family of CE, has a simple answer: if the company opened multiple locations in different states, it wouldn’t be able to focus on the Glenview store and remain as active as it is in the surrounding communities. The family has gotten plenty of offers to expand. But why risk something that could weaken the core.