While there are hundreds of companies that have followed the tenets of successful consumer electronics retailing, few companies have implemented them better than this year's Retail Excellence Awards winners.

In our August issue, we outline how five very different companies— Grand Appliance and TV, Audio Advice, Percy's, Adorama and Crutchfield —applied proven best practices and new strategies to reposition themselves and thrive in an incredibly difficult retail environment. No matter the size or shape of your retail business, you'll learn something that will help your business drive sales, increase profits, satisfy existing customers and lure new ones. Manufacturers can also gain insight into how strong retailer partnerships can help their sales grow.

Percy's in Worcester celebrates Earth Day with Mass Save Great Appliance Exchange stimulus program

Selling the Upscale Kitchen Edited by Grant Clauser When Dealerscope needed an insider's scoop on selling high-end cooking appliances, we naturally went to Alan Lavine of Percy's, in Worcester, Mass. Percy's, a one-store, family-owned operation (with seven working kitchens) has been serving central Massachusetts for 70 years, providing good service and good advice. Lavine, part of the Percy family, offers suggestions on what to say and how to sell to the high-end kitchen customer. What are customers' main concerns when shopping for high-end kitchen products? They all want to know about features. They want to know what makes one product different from

Percy's shows customers what's cooking in appliances By Joe Paone You've seen a lot in Dealerscope pages about the power of the home theater demo room in supercharging retail sales of high-end video and audio. It's one thing to hang a bunch of plasmas on the wall in a drab showroom; it's another entirely to invite customers into a perfect replica of a living room, and let them watch plasma TV on comfy couches, enveloped in top-of-the-line surround sound. The "home theater experience" strategy has retailers driving more sales and writing up bigger tickets. Dave Lavine, one of the family owners of Worcester, Massachusetts retail mainstay

WORCHESTER, Mass.—Bob Lavine, the second generation of Lavines to run Percy's, is on the phone, trying like heck to talk to a knowledgeable person at Veriphone. He's read a trade magazine article about a Veriphone-based check approval solution that uses a fingerprint scanner for verifying a check-cashing consumer's identity. And the three or four humans Lavine's managed to talk to at Veriphone's customer service line know nothing about this device, which seems like it could make check-cashing less of a risky business for Percy's. Their ignorance drives Lavine nuts. "I don't want to talk to a 40-watt light bulb," he cautioned a Veriphone customer

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