Retail Excellence Awards: ListenUp: Strength in Diversity
In the “About Us” section of Denver, Colo.-based ListenUp’s Web site, the store founders’ 1972 employee cards are shown, complete with photos of the energetic faces of founders Walt and Mary Stinson and Steve Weiner. Although time has passed, that energy hasn’t dissipated, having enabled this Denver, Colo.-based retailer to expertly steer through 44 years of industry and economic ups and downs that have left other CE retailers in the dust.
“Steven and I really started as recording engineers/two-channel merchants,” Walt Stinson, president, told Dealerscope. “That was the business model. We would run the store by day and be recording and broadcast engineers by night, from 1972 through the mid-’80s.”
ListenUp now boasts four brick-and-mortar stores and a separate custom home systems/commercial AV location. By ProSource President David Workman’s reckoning, ListenUp, a member of his buying group, “is achieving the balance and growth of a hybrid retail/ecommerce/custom dealer, which I believe is critical for the independent specialty retail-oriented dealer to achieve to be successful in today’s market.” How has this retailing staple managed to grow its market position through the years?