Selling With Style
Tom Huff, the manager in charge of 20 full-time salespeople at Schaefer’s TV & Appliance Center, Lincoln, Neb., remembers the dark days of consumer electronics.
It’s not that the store’s business ever suffered. As a 62-year-old independent business that started out as a corner drugstore, Schaefer’s has a great track record at evolving along with its marketplace. But there was a time when the trend was to keep things dark ... literally. “In the 80s and 90s, it was big to keep things dark in electronics departments,” he said. “Everyone thought that was the way to sell TVs. But on a bright summer day, customers would come in and they’d have to wait for their eyes to adjust. They’d be like, ‘Hold on a sec, I can’t see!’”
But two years ago, Schaefer’s president Ron Romero saw the light. “I knew we had a nice store, but it was dated,” he said. “The last remodel we’d done was 10 years ago and the store was way too dark, with lots of grays and blacks and purples. The industry is really changing, and if you’re going to sell the latest stuff, you had better look that way.”