Colder’s Acquires Flanner’s
The locally owned Milwaukee-based four-store home furnishings/appliances/CE retailer Colder’s announced Friday that it has acquired locally-based CE specialty retailer Flanner’s Home Entertainment.
Flanners had suspended operations in April in hopes of reopening, but then began liquidation proceedings last month.
A Colder’s news release said the company “plans to quickly bring Flanner’s Home Entertainment back to meeting the needs of Milwaukee with the highest level of products, sales knowledge, demonstrations, and customer service that their customers are accustomed to receiving.”
It went on to state that there were plans afoot to add Flanner’s locations throughout southeastern Wisconsin; heretofore, Flanner’s had operated a single store throughout its 109-year existence.
“In the Milwaukee area, there are underserved areas that we are looking to explore,” said Randy Felker, a Colder’s spokesman and a member of the owners’ family.
Felker added that the Flanner’s name would be kept. “The brand is very strong in its market and serves a very specific demographic. Our goal is to continue that brand as separate,” he said.
Ideally, said Felker, the current Flanner’s location, which includes a retail showroom in addition to corporate, service and custom installation operations, would be retained. “It’s in a well-trafficked area and is a beautiful store,” he said. But additional locations would likely “be slightly smaller; we would not need to duplicate those operations at other locations.”
He added that Colder’s, a Brand Source member, has “started conversations” with former Flanner’s owner John Flanner about possible involvement in the store’s resumption of operations, but “at this point, we haven’t moved that far forward.” Similarly, said Felker, “at this point, we’re trying to figure out how to move forward in the best possible way” regarding employee rehires.
Felker added that while there is some limited CE brand overlap in the Colder’s electronics mix with brands carried in Flanner’s, the strategy going forward would be to keep the Flanner’s product mix of “leading-edge CE technologies, home automation and home control” as is.