AEG Showroom

Chicago, Illinois (2017)

In 2016, after years of “dreaming and scheming,” we made the decision to move forward with our strategy to take our brand to a higher level, and become the first ever residential electronics contractor to plant their flag in the design mecca that is Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.  We started looking at available spaces in June of that year, and at that time everything we saw was much bigger than we thought we needed (or could afford), so we tabled the idea for the summer and went about our business as usual.  In September of 2016, I got a tip that there was a smaller space that had become available on the 14th floor, and from the very first moment I looked inside Suite 1486, I knew that this would become our future home.

At that time, it was an empty shell, which I prefer to think of as a blank canvas.  I knew that there was absolutely nothing in the space that we would reuse, but the space itself was right for us, to build what we wanted to create.  At 1,105 square feet, it is one of the smallest spaces in what is still the single largest commercial building in the free world, at just over four million square feet.  Our objective was to build a showroom unlike any other electronics showroom in the world, and we never considered any location other than the Mart.

After spending the first 14 years in business as “electronics generalists,” our strategy for our ascendency to the Mart was to “narrow our focus and make our bullseye larger.”  Rather than be all things to all people, as is typically the model in our industry, it was our aspiration to reduce our offering to only two elements.  Do complete design+build of true best-in-class dedicated theater rooms within 250 miles of Chicago, and further support that with stand-alone custom seating projects, on a national, if not potentially international level.  The first objective was to create a demonstration theater, open to the public, such that there could be a true destination for people (trade & consumer) to get an up close and personal experience (with no sales pressure) of what the sensational capabilities of a $250,000+ theater room looks and sounds like.  Amazing is the best word to describe that experience, and we never get tired of hearing people say that, every time we turn the beast loose.  

From there, our next objective was to create a layout in our space that would allow us to show as much custom seating as possible, as we believed that this was a category that was all but completely untapped.  In 2023, as we enter our 7th year in the Mart, our hunch has turned out to be absolutely spot on, and it would be the understatement of a lifetime to say that we love being in the custom theater seating business, and consider ourselves to be the very best in the business at this craft.