City Electric Supply (CES) recently announced it opened three new stores throughout October in Florida, South Carolina and Arizona. The Davie, FL, branch is located just 24 miles north of Miami, and Branch Manager Gilbert Avila is excited to be part of the thriving city and anticipates plenty of opportunities.
“You couldn’t ask for a better location,” Avila said. “We’re in the middle of an industrial complex, close to the Hard Rock Café, so everyone knows exactly where we’re at. It’s easy for customers to get in and out, which also makes it easy for us to handle deliveries any time of day.”
Opening in the midst of the ongoing pandemic has caused a few hiccups along the way, but nothing the branch couldn’t handle. “The main thing was just filling inventory,” Avila said. “New branch, new location, so you have to bring a lot into stock to get started. Luckily, we had TAMCO’s Port St. Lucie facility just up the coast from us, so we’ve been able to fill out a lot of our shelves with in-house brands — TAMCO, Tamlite, F4P, Centaur, MCG. It helped out a lot, and it should help expose our customers to the TAMCO family of products, too.”
With a strong network of CES branches already in the Miami market, the new location is also excited to make things even easier for existing customers. “At CES, every branch complements each other,” Avila explained. “CES Davie is yet another location where we have a lot of customers who have jobs in the vicinity. This branch is making it so much easier for them to pick up here without having to drive further out and lose money or time. It’s really a win-win.”
And Davie isn’t the only place that can now experience the CES atmosphere. CES Greenwood in Greenwood, SC, is the first City Electric Supply branch in the city and the 29th in South Carolina. Branch Manager Brad McCall couldn’t be more thrilled to take on this new venture.
“There is a lot of building going on — lots of industrial, lots of residential,” McCall said. “We just opened October 12, but we’re already seeing a good mixture of business here. We’ve got school districts buying from us, and we’ve even opened up quite a few residential, commercial, and industrial accounts already.”
One thing McCall and his team have already noticed about customers in Greenwood is their appreciation for personal customer service. “It’s a small town with small towns surrounding it,” he said. “Customers really appreciate personal service around here, which makes City Electric Supply a perfect fit for this community. For me and my team, building that personal relationship is going to be big.”
With just a few competitors close by, McCall is confident the new store will find a lot of success in the rapidly growing city and its surrounding counties. After all, he’s got experience on both sides of the counter. “After about 16 years in the field, I know the products,” he said. “Now, I don’t know everything, but getting to work with these products and then doing outside sales really helped me learn how it all comes together.”
The new branch is also receiving a lot of attention for not only personable customer service but also the unique, open layout of the branch that gives customers a bird’s eye view of the products. “It was a flooring showroom before, so I wanted to keep that huge floor open and put product up front,” he explained. “About 90% of what we carry is out in the open. Customers can touch, feel and see the product with their own eyes.”
The third CES branch to open in October was CES Gilbert South, the second company location in Gilbert, AZ, and the 13th in the Phoenix area. Steven Bauer, who has experience on both sides of the counter, will be running the location as branch manager.
“I can ask electricians what they’re doing or how they’re using a part, and I can tell them what they need,” said Bauer. “Usually, electricians get into a certain field, and they stick to it. I’ve worked as a salesperson in Wyoming and helped coal miners who work in high voltage and drag cables, but they’ve never wired a house before. With my background, there are a lot of electricians I can help.”
And with 250,000 residents, the opportunities are endless in the thriving city of Gilbert. “Gilbert just keeps expanding,” he said. “They’re building a lot of homes and developing a lot of commercial buildings, even right across the street from us. When your supplier is just right there, you can’t help but work with them.”
One of Bauer's goals for the branch is to open as many new accounts as possible. “We’re slowly building our customer base and targeting new customers who haven’t set up accounts with CES yet,” he said. “Right now, it’s mostly residential, but there are a lot of commercial opportunities near us, so we’ll be chasing those also.”
City Electric Supply has an extensive network throughout the Phoenix area, and this new location provides existing customers another place to go. “Some of the big box stores here only have one location, but at CES, wherever you’re working, we’ll probably have a store close by,” said Bauer.
Bauer’s branch has the advantage of a large network, but they also have something else going for them — Bauer’s own electrician expertise. “You’d work for several years as an electrician, but then the job would end and you’d have to find something else,” said Bauer. “That’s when I started working for distributors.” Bauer hasn’t looked back since. Not only is Bauer excited to help new customers in the area, but he also can’t wait to train the next generation of CES employees with his knowledge and background in the industry.