The South Side of Chicago has a bit of a hard-knock reputation, a place where working-class folks feel no need to mess around with pomp or show. But that doesn’t mean South-siders like home-electronics salesman Ed Kasza don’t take deep, if quiet, pride in what they’ve got.
For all his self-deprecating humor and understated, workmanlike charm, Ed Kasza is, quantifiably, one hell of a salesman. In fact, just this past January, he was honored by Monster Cable as the nation's "Most Monsterous Retail Salesperson" of 2008. The man can move product, an even more amazing accomplishment when you consider that his market, though spanning a fairly wide footprint, is not especially affluent.
"If a guy comes in to by a $50 DVD player, Ed treats him the same as the guy who's spending $500 thousand with us," said Wexler. "I think that's what keeps people coming back over and over and over. He fights for them. Frankly, sometimes he fights too much for them, heh. But he's their advocate and they know it."
"These times are a bitch. If there's a thin silver lining to the whole thing, it's that you are cleaning things up and eliminating waste and finding ways to do business better. When it comes back, we're going to be more profitable than we were before and in better shape. It's going to be ugly, and nobody has escaped this thing, but there will be a bunch of us who come out on the other side."
-David Wexler, Owner of The Little Guys
CE retailers and buying group leaders don’t pull any punches when talking about the scan-down/instant-rebate promotions used to drive high-volume TV sales.
How retailers, specialty dealers and custom integrators survive during the next year depends, in part, on the solid business practices that have carried them through past struggles. But now, faced with economic strife at home and abroad, even the smartest, best-managed businesses have to constantly execute new strategies to stay in the game. The best dealers aren’t sitting back, waiting for things to change. They’re driving hard into the retrofit market; reaching out to past customers; leveraging every good idea passed on by buying groups, distributors, associations, colleagues and competitors; slashing operational costs; and boosting the morale of their sales staffs. Curing the Flat-Panel
The Home Theater Specialists of America announced Thursday that it has elected its new board of corporate officers for 2008. The buying group’s new president is Brian Hudkins, who is president of Gramophone LTD in Timonium, Md. Mike McMaster of Wilshire Home Entertainment in California is the new vice president, and Joe Barrett of Barrett’s Home Theater was elected to a board seat as well. Chuck Abbott of Abbott’s Audio and Video, Bob Gullo of Electronic Design Group, Jon Robbins of Hi Fi House, Leon Shaw of Audio Advice, Leon SooHoo of Paradyme and David Wexler of The Little Guys will continue