|Headquarters||Glenview, Illinois, USA|
Abt Electronics is an independent retailer in the United States of consumer electronics, major appliances and furniture. Abt operates at a single location in Glenview, Illinois, on 37 acres (150,000 m2) of land, and (since 1997) through an online retail website. The store is a family-owned business that has operated in the Chicago market since 1936.
Abt Electronics began in 1936 when Jewel Abt gave $800 to her husband David to start a business. The firm was originally named Abt Radio because it only sold small electronics in its early days. The original location was a small storefront and service department in the Logan Square area of Chicago. Abt Electronics expanded over the years to employ 1100 employees on a 65,000 square feet (6,000 m2) sales floor in Glenview, a suburb of Chicago. By 1955, the store was strictly a showroom, with merchandise kept at a separate warehouse.
- 1936 – Jewel and Dave Abt opened Abt Radio with $800, located at 2835 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL. Abt Radio had a small service department. The store sold small electronics
- 1953 - Bob Abt (current Abt CEO) began working at Abt Radio part-time and over summers.
- 1955 - Moved to Logan Square Location at 2858 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Merchandise was kept off-site at the Hollander warehouse. One van made all the deliveries.
- 1962 - Bob Abt began working full-time at Abt Radio.
- 1971 - The Abt Family opened a store in Niles, Illinois and kept both locations open for 6 years.
- 1975 - The Abt fleet grew from one van to four 16’ trucks.
- 1975 - Mike Abt began working part-time at Abt.
- 1977 - The Logan Square location closed.
- 1981 - Jon Abt began working part-time at Abt.
- 1985 - Fire at Abt, the only time that Abt was closed when it was scheduled to be open.
- 1985 - Billy Abt began working part-time at Abt.
- 1986 - Abt expanded the Niles location. Abt doubled in size from 12,000 to 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2).
- 1988 - Abt began hosting classes on product usage.
- 1989 - Mike Abt began working for Abt full-time.
- 1990 - The Niles store closed on December 9 at 9 p.m.
- 1990 - Abt’s fourth location, in Morton Grove, Illinois, opened for business at 9 a.m., December 10.
- 1990 - Recycling program begins.
- 1995 - Billy Abt began working at Abt full-time.
- 1997 - Abt completed an Addition to its Morton Grove doubling its size.
- 1997 - Abt.com was launched and Abt became an authorized on-line retailer for brands like Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Bose, and Onkyo.
- 1998 - Jon Abt began working at Abt full-time.
- 2002 - May 26 Abt’s fifth location, in Glenview, Illinois, opened for business.
- 2005 - May 25, The City of Chicago dedicated the corner of Wolfram and Milwaukee Ave. to Jewel and David Abt. The new corner is called Jewel and David Abt Way.
- 2005 - Newsweek featured Abt in an article, “Abt- Beta-Testing Paradise.”
- 2007 - June through September Abt took part in the City of Chicago’s Cool Globes program, encouraging people to take action against Global Warming.
- 2007 - The Wall Street Journal featured Abt in an article, “A Way to Fight Big Rivals: Play Up Style and Service.”
- 2008 - Jewel and David Abt are inducted into the 2008 Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame.
- 2008 - March, the Wall Street Journal featured Abt in an article about Abt’s green initiatives.
- 2008 - In June Abt opens the Design Center
- 2008 - In Oct the 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) recycling center opens
- 2008 - Abt won the "Partners for Clean Air" award.
- 2008 - Abt chosen as the Chicago tribune's Top Workplace in Chicago.
- 2009 - Abt's Mobile Installation department was voted one of the top 100 best retailers and installers from Mobile Electronics Inc.
- 2010 - Abt begins selling HVAC equipment furnishing homes with water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners and more.
- 2010 - Chosen as the 2010 Dealer of the Year by Control4; a premier home automation company.
- 2010 - Voted in the top 10 of Chicago Tribune's "Top Chicago Workplaces" for the best place to work in the Chicago area.
- 2011 - Creates a "trade in your old electronics" program, allowing consumers to get the latest and greatest products.
- 2011 - Voted the #1 place to work in Chicago Tribune's "Top Chicago Workplaces"
- 2012 - Abt enters the field of home security, providing customers added comfort and security to their daily lives.
- 2012 - Abt updates their atrium by designing a new loft carrying a wide selection of mattresses.
- 2012 - Voted the #1 place to work in Chicago Tribune's "Top Chicago Workplaces"
- 2013 - Voted the #20 place to work for nationwide by WorkplaceDynamics
In 2006 the company built a recycling center which collects the company's used cardboard, plastic and plastic-foam packaging and prepares it to be sold for recycling. The recycling center processes 150 loads of Styrofoam and 200 loads of cardboard per week. Abt also recycles 20,000 wood pallets and plastic bags per week and is in the process of installing two small wind turbines and solar panels on the roof to help reduce energy costs at their store. Abt finished installing the wind turbines and solar panels in late 2008.
- Gemperlein, Joyce (9 May 2004). "Appliance Lust". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
- Abt - Company Description - Hoover's
- Springen, Karen; McGinn, Daniel (21 February 2005). "Beta-Testing Paradise". Newsweek. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
- Wolf, Alan (22 December 2003). "That Was The Year That Was: A Retail Retrospective". TWICE. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
- "Abt Opens Sony Shop". TWICE. 20 November 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
- "Abt Company History". Archived from the original on 10 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-20.
- Schwarz, Phil (20 February 2007). "Bill aims to keep electronic garbage out of landfills". WLS-TV (ABC 7). Retrieved 2008-07-25.
- Brat, Ilan (24 March 2008). "The Extra Step". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-07-25.