Puget Sound

Car Toys' rise and expansion into a western retail juggernaut By David Dritsas Dan Brettler, Chairman & CEO of Car Toys, Inc, is sitting on top of one of the most successful regional retail chains in recent history. Car Toys stretches to 54 stores as far north as Washington state and as far south as Texas—a business built solely on mobile electronics, without the backing of traditional home audio/video products. But Brettler is no car audio enthusiast-turned-retailer. This man's hobby is his business. Brettler began his career selling hi-fi part-time in high school and also in college. In 1981 he moved to Seattle, getting

By David Dritsas When Mark Ormiston came to Definitive Audio in 1982, he joined a business that owned one store with a handful of salespeople. Today, as president of the company, Ormiston oversees two stores and a diverse staff of 64 employees that includes salespeople, architects, designers and software developers. Certainly, a lot has changed in the store's 25 years. Definitive Audio is no stranger to the pros and cons of changing times in the retail business, but it has managed to come out on top as one of the most successful independent audio/video retailers in the Puget Sound area. Today, it represents some

Seattle/Tacoma Entrances & Exits: CompUSA purchased two Computer City locations in Seattle this year and continued operating those, while it closed two in the area as well. Economy: The current state of King and its surrounding counties is good. About 75 percen t of Washington's population lives in the Seattle market, so while smaller retailers face stiff competition up and down the I-5 corridor, the little guys do well in Washington state, catering to those uninterested in city shopping. In the Puget Sound area, 1998 retail sales went up 9 percent and taxable retail sales rose 7 percent. The housing market continues to boom,

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