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The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Archive for May, 2009

Take A Virtual Tour Of Abt

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Those of you who shop on our website may have wondered from time to time just what our store looks like in person. You’ve probably read things about our Atrium, our Apple Store, our Sony Store, the Time Watch Boutique, our huge saltwater aquarium, and other store attractions, but it’s hard to visualize what they actually look like unless you’ve been here.

Abt Virtual Tour

That’s why we’ve put together this Virtual Tour of Abt, which lets you wander around the store as if you were really here. You can click on areas of interest, zoom in for a closer look, and basically take in the whole Abt experience at your own pace. There are convenient navigation tools, a map, and instructions that tell you what the various arrows and other symbols do when you click on them, if you’re unsure. Just click on the photo above, and you’ll be on your way.

Our first virtual tour was posted on our site four years ago, but while looking at it recently, we noticed how much things had changed. So we decided to create this new one, which we hope you enjoy. We also hope to see you in person one of these days.    —by Graham W.

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Abt Salesman Inducted Into Muskies Hall of Fame

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Lenny Szulc, who has been with our company for 14 years, was recently inducted into The Muskies, Inc. Hall of Fame. Muskies, Inc., founded in 1966, is a service-oriented, non-profit organization for men, women, and children that focuses on improving the sport of muskie fishing everywhere.

The organization consists of 47 independent local chapters throughout the country and currently has more than 7,500 members. It also is widely recognized as the first organized group of sports anglers to espouse the practice of “Catch and Release,” which many conservation groups now embrace.

Lenny Szulc with Hall of Fame plaque

Lenny Szulc with his Hall of Fame plaque

Lenny has served as president of the South of the Border Chapter of Muskies, Inc. since 1987. He also is chairman of the chapter’s annual fundraising, which aids the stocking of muskies in the Fox Chain of Lakes and other areas, with funds also going toward the group’s annual Youth Outing. The police and fire departments of Antioch, Ill., assist with the event, and kids get to enjoy a day of fishing and a free picnic with their families.

“This is truly a great honor,” says Lenny. “I’d like to thank everyone associated with Muskies, Inc., and especially the members of the South of the Border Chapter. They’re a great group of people to be involved with, and they do a fantastic job in promoting the sport and raising funds for worthwhile causes.”    —by Graham W.

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Save During Abt’s Memorial Day Sale

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Today through Monday, Abt is holding a special Memorial Day Sale throughout the store and on our website. You can save $25 off any purchase of $250 or more on thousands of items, including air conditioners, grillsTVs, audio receivers, camcorders & action cams, and a whole lot of other great products.

Memorial Day Sale image

If you’re ordering online, simply use the discount code MEMDAY09 at checkout, and your savings will be entered for you automatically.

by Graham W.

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Abt Featured In Article On Induction Cooking

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Do you suffer from technophobia? Does the term “induction cooking” induce fear deep inside you? Well, the cure for what ails you can be found in the June issue of House Beautiful magazine. Joe Klett, manager of Abt’s custom kitchen group, is interviewed in the magazine’s Technophobia feature and does a great job of cutting through all the technical (or potentially scary) terms to let you know how induction cooking works and what it can do for you.

GE Profile 30″ Electric Induction Stainless Steel Cooktop

As Joe explains in the article, “Induction is an advanced version of an electric cooktop. Instead of heated coils that turn orange-red, the electrical unit below the glass surface doesn’t heat up, but creates an electromagnetic field. When you put a pot made with ferrous metal on top. . . the electromagnetic field sends a current into the pot or pan. This current heats the pan itself, nothing else.”

To see all the cooktops available at Abt, including induction cooktops, click here.

by Graham W.

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Meet the Maytag Repairman This Saturday and Enter to Win a Maytag Washer and Dryer

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

The Maytag Repairman will be paying a visit to our store this Saturday, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., to help celebrate Maytag Month at Abt. Customers can have their photos taken with the friendly Repairman, and he’ll also be glad to add his autograph to the photos or other items.

Meet the Maytag Repairman

As part of the celebration, Maytag and Abt also are teaming up to give you a chance to win one of two Maytag Laundry Pairs that we’ll be giving away on Saturday. All you have to do is stop in and fill out an entry form, and you just might become the proud owner of a Maytag Centennial Series White Top Load Washer and a Maytag Centennial Series White Electric Dryer.

If you’d like to see the full line of Maytag appliances featured at Abt, including ranges, cooktops, micro hoods, refrigerators, dishwashers, and more, just click here.    —by Graham W.

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See Abt On WGN – TV News

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Abt audio/video manager Marc Cook made an appearance last night on national superstation WGN-TV, during the station’s nightly newscast. Marc talked about the digital television (DTV) transition, which is scheduled to take place on June 12, and discussed the things TV viewers need to be aware of if they’re not already prepared for the analog-signal shutoff. Here’s a video clip of Marc’s appearance:

A recent tracking poll by Nielsen Media Research found that nearly 3.5 million households in the U.S. remain unprepared for the DTV transition. The original analog shutoff date was February 17, but the federal government gave TV stations the option of waiting until June 12 because so many people still weren’t ready for the transition. Approximately 33 percent of U.S. television stations have shut off their analog signals and currently broadcast only in digital.  —by Graham W.

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Abt Atrium Provides Setting For Prom Photos

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

When you want to have some nice prom photos taken outdoors before the big event, a rainstorm can seriously disrupt your plans. However, if you’ve been to Abt and seen our Atrium area, you know that it serves as a perfect substitute for an outdoor setting. With its elaborate fountain, huge skylight, and extensive array of flowers, plants, and other greenery, the Atrium provides a beautiful backdrop for special photos—even a recent wedding party posed for pictures here.

Last Friday, several students from Glenbrook South High School came to Abt with their parents to avoid the rain and have their photos taken, before heading off to the Westin O’Hare for that evening’s prom.

Beth Kulyk & Matt Narasimhan

Matthew Dubas & Erica Aquino

Raul Hudema & Julie Louis

Diane Hund & Alex Gosin

Jessica Pedraza & Kevin Daniels

If you’d like to have some special photos taken in our Atrium, you can make arrangements by contacting our customer service department at 888.228.5800.

by Graham W.

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Play Your iPod Through a Pig, a Panda, Or a Ghost

Monday, May 18th, 2009

There are tons of iPod sound systems available these days, but if you want yours to stand out from the crowd—I mean really stand out—you can’t do much better than the line of iPod speaker systems from Speakal. The iPig, which is the company’s flagship model, is even featured in the June issue of “O—The Oprah Magazine.” If Oprah is paying attention to this little piggy, you know millions of others have taken notice, too. Including us.

Abt recently started carrying Speakal’s iPig, as well as the company’s iPanda and iBoo speaker systems in an assortment of colors. (As you can see in the image below, the iBoo looks like a friendly ghost—thus the name.) The iPig and iPanda feature five speakers, including a 15W subwoofer, and a total output of 25+ watts. The iBoo comes with three speakers, including a 9W subwoofer, and a total output of 15 Watts. All three models have remotes to control iPod functions, 3.5mm AUX input jacks to connect to other music sources, and are compatible with all iPods that have dock connectors.

Speakal's iPig, iPanda, and iBoo

“When I first saw these, I thought they looked pretty cool,” says Abt sales specialist Rob Christoffel, who works in our Apple Boutique. “The designs really caught my eye, and I was surprised by how good they sound and all the fun features they have. The mouths on the iPig and iPanda light up when they’re on, and they flash when they’re receiving commands from the remote.”

With the iPig and iPanda, you also can raise the volume by touching the right ear and lower the volume by touching the left ear. You can do the same thing with the iBoo, but since a ghost doesn’t have ears, you just touch the left or right side. When the iBoo is on, its light casts a ghostly glow on the surface below.

Next time you visit Abt, stop in the Apple Boutique to see and listen to these unique iPod sound systems.

by Graham W.

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Need Some Graduation Gift Ideas?

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Selecting the perfect graduation gift isn’t easy, so like we recently did for our Mother’s Day gift ideas, we’ve asked some of our co-workers to offer suggestions on what they’re planning to give or what they’d like to receive.

“As a soon to be college graduate, I would love a 24″ Apple iMac,” says Diane H. “With 4GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, I could do all of my web and design work quickly without having to worry about slowing down my computer. I’d also recommend the Brenthaven Switch MB Vintage & Runway Laptop Case. It has plenty of space for a laptop as well as all of your books and supplies, so it’s perfect for students going on to college.”

Apple 24″ iMac Desktop Computer

Samantha D. says, “If I were to pick out something as my graduation gift, it would be a home theater system to go along with my plasma TV, like the Onkyo HT-S3200 5.1 Channel Home Theater System. Since I’ll have a lot more time not doing homework, I’ll be able enjoy more movies and video games. If I were to give someone a gift, it would be a snazzy dress watch, like the Tissot T-Trend Generosi-T Women’s Watch. That way, if they were going on a job interview, it would complete the outfit.”

Tissot T-Trend Generosi-T Women’s Watch

Web merchandising manager Ken A. says, “After years of determination to obtain a second bachelor’s degree, I will finally be finished, and graduation is just around the corner. For my efforts, I think I deserve a reward—ok, maybe a few. Since I had no social life for 3 years, I would like a Tumi duffel bag so I can take a trip and gather my thoughts and enjoy life once again. I’d like to take along an Apple MacBook —even though I don’t have any more papers to write, I still want it to keep in touch with friends and family while on my trip via email and video chat… oh, and to watch movies, too.”

Oakley ROKR PRO Sunglasses

“I would want to preserve the memories of my excursion, so a Sony Cyber-Shot Digital Camera would be a great gift to receive,” adds Ken. “Lastly, I’d like Oakley ROKR PRO Sunglasses, because where I plan to go will be sunny, and with these sunglasses I could also listen to my tunes via Bluetooth from my iPod touch. Yes, I know these gifts are a bit on the pricey side, but hey, so were my classes.”

by Graham W.

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The Klipsch Chopper Roars Into Abt This Weekend

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Are you a fan of “American Chopper,” the reality TV show that airs on TLC? If not, are you just a fan of cool stuff in general? Either way, you’ll want to visit Abt sometime between this Friday at noon and next Monday at 5 p.m., when we’ll have one of the latest creations from Orange County Choppers on display— the Klipsch Chopper.

For those of you who haven’t seen “American Chopper,” the show is centered around New York-based Orange County Choppers, a custom motorcycle manufacturer that’s run by Paul Teutul, Sr. and Paul Teutul, Jr., who founded the company in 1999. “We customize theme bikes for lots of different companies, but this one is second to none,” says Paul Sr. “It really incorporates Klipsch’s standards of high-performance, high-quality audio into a truly unique ride.”


The Klipsch Chopper features the world-renowned loudspeaker company’s signature copper and black color scheme, horn and woofer assemblies, a working iPod dock, and Klipsch logos on the air filter and black leather seat. The bike is 10 feet long, weighs 600 pounds, and packs a 120 horsepower engine with 135 foot-pounds of torque.

Mike Klipsch, president of Klipsch Audio Technologies, says, “Our bike rocks—literally! For us to be part of something like this is too cool for words, but you definitely feel it once you sit on it. High performance all-around—it’s eye-catching style meeting sheer brute strength.”

To see our full line of Klipsch loudspeakers and Klipsch iPod speakers, click here. —by Graham W.

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