Percy's Gets Stimulated
About 100 customers had gathered in front of Percy's by 4 a.m. Thursday to take advantage of the Mass Save Great Appliance Exchange stimulus program. By 6 a.m. it was near "pandemonium" as the first 50 rushed inside to grab door buster deals, vendor specials and stimulus rebates. A cop stationed outside kept order. By 8 a.m. the program's $5.5 million fund was drained, but Percy's staff remained energized throughout the day, riding the program's momentum and racking up more appliance sales in a day than they'd normally sell in two weeks.
"It was a great idea," said Alan Lavine, vice president and manager of the 85-year-old TV, appliance, furniture and bedding retailer in Worcester, Mass. "I like the idea of saving energy and working to lower the carbon footprint. I had to bring in more employees, so it increased the state's tax roll. It got people in the store. It generated sales. It got my sales people excited. It stimulated customers. It did what it's supposed to do."
The main idea of the federal program was to offer consumers substantial rebates on new appliances - $250 on dishwashers, $200 on refrigerators, $175 on clothes washers - in exchange for their old units. "The rebates were huge," Lavine said.