2019: Abt's Year in Review

As we wrap up 2019, here’s a look back at the major events of the year.

Renovations Galore

2019 saw big changes for our showroom. Anyone who knows us knows we’re always changing things around—whether that’s by switching out a small display here and there, or completely gutting and remodeling a large section of the sales floor. This year, we did a bit of both. Here are the year’s notable changes to the store:

Small Electronics Renovation. We started the year off with this massive upgrade, the single largest refresh of any area of the main sales floor since we opened this location. The new design is brighter and better laid out, making it easier to navigate and get hands-on with many of our products.

Living Kitchen Remodel – This was another space that had been with us since the store was built. And while it was still an impressive showcase for Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, it was looking a bit dated compared to our most recent kitchen displays. Plus, the Cove dishwasher brand had since been added to the brand family. So, the entire showroom was redone from the ground up. The new Living Kitchen features the best Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove appliances built into stunning modern kitchens.

Tumi Boutique Refresh – As the most fashion-forward brand we carry, it’s important that Tumi luggage is displayed in digs that match its style. Though one of the atrium’s newer additions, it was time to refresh the Tumi boutique, because, well, fashions change quickly. The new space is lighter and brighter, with updated lighting and no more of the red and black accents that were—in hindsight—not particularly flattering.

Abt Tumi Boutique

New Bluestar Kitchen – Continuing the trend of opening up and brightening existing spaces—meet the new BlueStar kitchen at Abt. Formerly the location of kind of a mishmash of concepts (a Gaggenau display, our functional but not-terribly-pretty cookie kitchen, the interactive Butterfly Wall), this space at the rear of our atrium has been transformed into a lovely kitchen-slash-cafe, inspired by cozy European bistros. We unveiled it to the public with a special cooking event led by Chef Paul Kahan, one of Chicago’s best-known chefs. When it’s not hosting events, it’s the place to grab one of our famous fresh-baked cookies on the weekend, or to just take a quick break during a marathon shopping trip.

Ask the Experts

We’re a regular resource for local news stations looking stay up to date with retail and tech trends, making appearances on Chicago news programs many times a year. But this year we had a few national names stop by. In May, a team from NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt visited Abt in the wake of new tariffs on Chinese-made products. Correspondent Kevin Tibbles interviewed customers and picked Jon Abt’s brain about the effects of the changes. Click here to watch that segment.

And just last week, Fox Business hung out with us to learn why the weekend after Christmas is often the best time to score a good deal on a big-ticket electronic item. You can watch that segment here.

In-store Events

2018 was a year packed with events—sometimes more than one in the same week—and it got to be a bit hectic. This year, we aimed for fewer events, but ones that would leave a bigger mark, like the cooking demo with Chef Kahan.

We kicked the summer off with a visit from Kikuo Ibe, the legendary creator of G-Shock watches. Abt was one of only a handful of appearances Mr. Ibe would make in 2019, and it attracted G-Shock fans from across the country. They stood in line to meet the icon and get his signature, and a lucky few fans even enjoyed a private lunch with him.

And we closed the summer out with a sweet event in conjunction with our friends at LG appliances and everyone’s favorite food content creator, Buzzfeed Tasty. They rolled into town with a mobile cookie-making machine, serving up hundreds of fresh-baked cookies ready to be decorated by eager eaters. Check out the recap video below.

2019 also marked the tenth year in a row that we were honored as one of Chicagoland’s Top Workplaces. Interested in joining the team? Check out our current job openings here: Jobs at Abt.

We want to extend a sincere thanks to everyone who chose us in 2019. What does 2020 have in store for Abt? We’re looking forward to another year of being able to offer the best shopping experience anywhere, in person or online. There might be some construction projects here and there, and we hope to host more events as well. And, of course, we hope you’ll join us along the way. Happy New Year!

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  • Reply
    January 3, 2020 at 10:37 am

    Has your Co. have any plans of opening a location in Wi.?
    We could use you, here!

    • Reply
      Pete R
      January 22, 2020 at 3:04 pm

      Hi Peter!
      We truly appreciate the interest, but don’t have any plans for another location right now. However, we do consider most of SE Wisconsin part of our “local” delivery area, and we’re happy to offer delivery and service to Milwaukee-area customers.

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