Bob Abt

In Tribune's Top Workplaces survey, Glenview appliance and electronics store is No. 1 place to work among large companies.

When Bob Abt took over the family appliance and electronics retail business decades ago, creating one of the best places to work was far from his mind.

"Basically, I just wanted to survive," said Abt, 73, the patriarch and CEO of Glenview-based Abt Inc.

The 75-year-old appliance and electronics company, founded by Abt's parents, not only survived but expanded, as bigger competitors - Circuit City, Incredible Universe, Polk Bros., Highland, Silo, Fretter, to name a few - have fallen by the wayside.

By Jamie Latshaw MORTON GROVE, Ill.--It's Bob Abt's insistence on superior customer service that repeatedly brings his customers back to his store, Abt Electronics and Appliances. His motto, "The Answer is Always 'Yes' to Any Reasonable Request," hangs on the wall to remind employees who's got the right of way. His secret is simple. "Keep the customer happy," he said. From the quick, friendly greeting and the honest product advice to the customers, Abt follows through with delivery, installation and future service of the product. Abt Electronics began as Abt Radio during the depression, started with $800 by Dave and Jewel Abt. Jewel, 91, still works in the store,

More Blogs