Founded more than 20 years ago, Appliance Brokers Ltd. Is the industry’s most trusted wholesale supplier of appliances to developers and building managers. Not only does ABL compete on price, but the company believes it can offer unmatched customer service thanks to its fully stocked, 30,000-square-foot warehouse in South Brunswick and its ability to act quickly.
"We can deliver within 24 hours, we take care of all our customers issues and problems, and we understand the landlord's need to provide good working appliances to the tenants," said Larry Stein, the founder and president of ABL. "Everybody in our organization understands that. We’ve been living and breathing property owners and developers since 1994."
We asked Larry to tell us more about Appliance Brokers Ltd.
FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW, tell us about where the company operates and how you see the business today.
Our strength is the tristate market – New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania – and of course with the growth of the internet our coverage has now become nationwide. We can deliver everywhere now. I see the business as incredibly competitive, but also with a lot of opportunity, and it’s a very busy time in the appliance business.
WHAT DIFFERENTIATES YOU from your competition?
What differentiates us is that we’re big enough, because we have our own 30,000-square-foot warehouse which allows us to do customization of appliances and buy and receive merchandise directly from the manufacturers, but we never lose
our concentration on customer service. We can compete with anybody on pricing, but our attention to customer service is our major focus.
AT WHAT POINT DO DEVELOPERS and owners begin to think about what types of appliances to include in their units?
It’s my feeling that most developers and owners think about their appliances early in the construction phase so that they can incorporate the cost into their budgets. Many times, the landlords and property owners would like fancier appliances, but the reality is that it becomes cost-prohibitive. So we’re able to provide value-added services that enable the developers and owners to have appliances that look and feel more expensive at value pricing.
HOW HAS THE SURGE IN NEW multifamily construction – much of it in the luxury segment – impacted your business over the past decade?
It has been a booming time in the appliance industry at all levels. Even the beginning level of appliances are nicer, using stainless steel and nicer Energy Star design.
More and more landlords are including washers and dryers in the individual apartments, including the condenser laundry, which we specialize in, which allows you to put laundry in these apartments without having to vent the building. And we carry most brands, if not all makes, of this ventless laundry. I would say more and more owners and developers are putting in some high-end appliances, especially in New York City, North Jersey and Philadelphia.
DO YOU SEE AN OPPORTUNITY in the value-add market with the rise of investors buying older properties and renovating the apartments?
Certainly there is an opportunity there and I think that leads us to the volume of business today.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHANGE or trend to come to your business over the past five or ten years?
More owners and developers are using better appliances, including the stainless product. More and more people have switched to stainless, making stainless almost the norm in appliances over black and white.
HOW DO YOU SEE the business changing over the next five to ten years?
I think landlords are going to want people that they can count on to provide them with more than just price, people that can take care of their problems with tenants, people that can provide product to them in a timely manner and, most important, people that can that can take care of their issues and problems. All internet providers, all of the big-box stores, everyone wants to compete on price, but are they going to be able to compete on customer service? Since 1994, ABL has really focused on customer service and that’s enabled us to not only win, but to grow our business.
VISIT OUR SHOWROOMS
THE ASBURY PARK EXPERIENCE at 1001 Asbury Avenue in Asbury Park and our DESIGNER SHOWROOM at 49A Wilson Avenue in Manalapan.
The designer showroom at Appliance Brokers Ltd., 49A Wilson Ave., Manalapan, is open to the public and features products from many well-known manufacturers. - AMY ROSEN/STAFF
MANALAPAN — Appliance Brokers Ltd. (ABL) recently celebrated the grand reopening of its designer showroom at 49A Wilson Ave. (Route 527), Manalapan.
Township dignitaries gathered as Mayor Jordan Maskowitz cut the ribbon with ABL owner Larry Stein of Manalapan and his staff.
Outside appearances would indicate that ABL is a small appliance store. But when one enters the expansive showroom beyond the quaint country façade, it is immediately evident the business is anything but that.
“It is a very deceiving building. I think it is probably the nicest showroom in the state," said ABL Sales Manager Michael Richter, who lives in Jackson with his wife, Sandy, a sales consultant at ABL. “Nobody would think that under this roof we would have this type of operation."
The showroom is laid out in areas complete with cabinets and appliances, to give the customer an idea of what those items might look like in their home.
ABL even has a barbecue room and a laundry room, with an array of options from which to choose.
Manufacturers on display include Viking, Fire Magic, DCS, Alfresco, Lynx, Bosch and Sub-Zero.
“We are one of 13 dealers in New Jersey that have a living kitchen for Sub-Zero and Wolf with products you will not see anywhere else," Richter said. “It represents the crux of their entire line with 60-inch ranges, all built-in equipment, wine chillers and more."
ABL also sells more commonly known brands such as Maytag and Frigidaire.
“We go head-to-head with the big-box stores," Richter said.
Having been in business for 21 years, ABL previously served as a wholesale supplier for builders, management companies and more. Store hours were previously by appointment only, but the company extended the business five years ago to include retail sales to the public.
“We do Internet sales and work with builders, remodelers and architects, too," Richter said. “We do many projects in New York City, and we have a presence in Philadelphia.
“We like to pride ourselves on the fact that we have a very, very good reputation. There is a good reason for that — because we take care of our customers. This is an important aspect of the business."
Richter said all deliveries are brought into a customer’s home with what he referred to as “white-glove service," so nothing is dropped at the curb. All installers are factory-authorized.
ABL has a 40,000-square-foot warehouse at its corporate headquarters at 2-B Corn Road in the Dayton section of South Brunswick and a second retail location at 1201 Main St., Asbury Park.
For more information, call 732-438- 1400, ext. 124.