Randy Johnson

By Laura Spinale A customer walks into your store to buy a new range. What does he really want from that appliance? Before you say, "hot food," talk to Charles Palko, vice president of electronics and appliances for Roberds. "A major appliance is something you're going to use everyday for the next 10 or 20 years," Palko said recently. "Customers want the quality-of-life features that make their lives easier." In the case of ranges, those features include smooth tops, allowing the appliance to double as counter space. In an industry where Sears reins supreme--the chain powerhouse on its own garnered more than half of the $9.84 billion in sales

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