The Ultimate Computer Store
|Founders||John Baker and Bill Bayne|
Number of locations
|Products||Computers, Consumer Electronics & Accessories|
|Revenue||$2.4 billion (2015)|
Number of employees
|Parent||Micro Electronics, Inc.|
Micro Center was founded in Columbus, Ohio in 1979 by John Baker and Bill Bayne, two former Radio Shack employees, with a $35,000 investment. The first Micro Center store was established in a 900 sq ft (84 m2) storefront located in the Lane Avenue Shopping Center in Upper Arlington, Ohio. The store benefited from its proximity to Ohio State University and the scientific think-tank Battelle Memorial Institute, which provided a large customer base and a source of computer-literate salespeople. Their goal for the first year was $30 million in sales, and they achieved $29.9 million. In 2009, Micro Center developed an "18-minute pickup" service where customers who order merchandise on their website can pick it up from the store in 18 minutes.
Stores are sized up to 60,000 sq ft (5,600 m2), stocking about 36,000 products across 700 categories, including major name brands and Micro Center's own brands. Micro Center has had Apple departments in all stores since 1982, and has included "Build Your Own PC" departments, "Knowledge Bars" for service and support, and "Knowledge Theaters" for free classes on weekends since 2007.
Micro Center was the first retailer in the United States to sell the DJI Mavic Pro drone, launching it by hosting a three-day demonstration in their Columbus store's parking lot which was open to the press and the public.
In a 2015 interview, Microcenter CEO Rick Mershad described how their product line is changing: the STEM movement is driving students and adults to make their own creations, and Micro Center is focusing on Arduino projects and Raspberry Pi, which require more consultative selling.
Joan Verdon of The Record noted that meeting customer’s needs with a high level of service and skilled salespeople are Micro Center’s "claim to fame". She also quoted Doug Olenick, editor at TWICE, a major consumer electronics trade publication, who said that the store’s salespeople, compared to others in the industry, are extremely well trained.
Awards and rankings
In 2014, Micro Center was ranked number 93 in the list of 100 hottest retailers in the US, compiled by the National Retail Federation. In 2015, the industry trade journal Dealerscope ranked it as the 18th largest consumer electronics retailer in the United States and Canada. In 2016, Forbes magazine ranked it 195th among America's largest private companies, with 2,750 staff and annual revenue of US $2.4 billion.
- Eaton, Dan (2014-01-16). "Micro Center opening stores in Brooklyn, Queens". Columbus Business First. Retrieved 2015-09-23.
- Franklin, Peter D. (November 4, 1990). "The Miracle on Lane Avenue". The Columbus Dispatch.
- "For Profit Corporation Annual Report" (PDF). www.sos.ks.gov. September 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
- "Peggy Wolfe at Micro Electronics, Inc.: Chief Operating Officer". leadferret.com. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
- "Trademark/Service Mark Application, Principal Register". tsdr.uspto.gov. August 16, 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
- "Micro Electronics on the Forbes America's Largest Private Companies List". Forbes. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
- Columbus Dispatch DFAS Magazine, "Doing the Right Thing Right" December 1995, p.12
- Verdon, Joan (March 16, 2007). "Service is their password - Computer chain to open N.J. store". The Record. Hackensack, NJ. p. B01. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
- Micro Center (November 18, 2016). "Micro Center First Retailer to Host DJI Mavic Pro Experience". News Channel 10. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
- "Store Locations". Micro Center. Micro Electronics. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
- "Company Profile - Micro Electronics Inc". Hoover’s (a subsidiary of Dun and Bradstreet). Retrieved 3 November 2016.
- Verdon, Joan (April 27, 2007). "Steady as she grows". The Record. Hackensack, NJ. p. B01. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
- on YouTube
- Malone, JD (August 2, 2014). "Columbus companies among top retailers". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
- Spinale, Laura (2015). "Top 101 CE Retailers: Retailers Post Modest Increases in a Turbulent Marketplace". Dealerscope. North American Publishing Co. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
- (Press release) (October 11, 2016). "Micro Center® to Present $45,000 in Donations from Intel to Local Schools". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
- McGowan, Mary Kate (October 24, 2016). "Computer store to donate $10,000 to Powers Ferry Elementary". Marietta Daily Journal. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
- Official website of Micro Center
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