Jeff O'Heir talks with Debbie Schaeffer of Mrs. G TV and Appliance in Lawrenceville, N.J., about remodeling, special promotions and best practices.

Debbie Schaeffer is a civil engineer by training, a retailer by heritage. As the third generation President of Mrs. G TV and Appliance (her nanogenerian grandmother, the original Mrs. G, still greets customers) in the Princeton, New Jersey, area, Schaeffer manages an enormous (20,000 square feet) showroom of low-to-high-end product. Just recently, she decided to overhaul that showroom. “The store moved into to this facility in 1971,” she says, “Before us, it was a meat-packing operation!...We’ve made improvements here and there over the years, but it was time to upgrade the whole store.” The timing couldn’t have been better. Last year, one of Schaeffer’s

Nearly every town in America has a stretch of beat up, commercialized highway that looks like Route 1 in New Jersey. And nearly every American has done time waiting at light after light along such a pike, wondering if the road work will ever be done, barely surveying the landscape because, frankly, it’s not much to look at—just parking lots and shrubby-looking trees. These roads are about signs, really, the familiar bold letters that guide drivers to groceries, fast food, used cars, Wal-Mart, and the mall exits, signs which are pretty much the same everywhere. Everywhere except Lawrenceville, a Jersey town between Trenton and

Atlanta Entrances & Exits: Miami-based BrandsMart USA tantalized Gwinnett County officials with its interest in an "accelerated expansion" in the market, but the company opted to remain in Florida--for the moment, as Atlanta is still a target for future expansion plans. In 1998, CompUSA closed one of three Computer City stores it purchased in the Atlanta market, retooled two Computer City locations as CompUSA stores and additionally opened two new CompUSA locations. Office Depot in November opened stores in Lawrenceville and Woodstock, respectively to the east and north of Atlanta proper, then in December opened a new store in Douglasville, to the west. Circuit

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