Mention the word ‘accessories’ to a salesperson and images of small, low-ticket items immediately come to mind. But as consumers invest more money in big-ticket gear, many of the accompanying accessories have been rising in quality and price. To add as much functionality to their investments as possible, consumers are reaching for their wallets to buy the appropriate accessories. “There has been a definite trend toward more premium-priced accessories. The iPod is a current example of it, but I think it was Harley Davidson that started this trend,” said Chris Lyons, manager of educational and technical communications at Shure, Evanston, Ill. After purchasing a $20,000

Chicago Entrances & Exits: CE retailing options in Chicago thinned considerably last year with the departure of five area Elek-Tek and eight Egghead stores, as well as the transfer of Computer City to CompUSA and its virtual homogenization. Office Depot spread to the suburbs, opening stores in Waukegan, Hyde Park and Evanston. New Costco stores are scheduled to open in 1999 in Schaumburg and Oak Brook. Key retailers in the Chicago market continue to be Abt Electronics, Office Max, Circuit City, Best Buy, Radio Shack, Goldblatt and Sears. Retailers generally experienced an average to strong year, with the most change being an increase in

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