Abt Electronics has opened a licensed, 600-sq.-ft. Dylan’s Candy Bar location inside its sprawling appliance store in Glenview, Ill.
Jon Abt, who runs the 81-year-old institution with his brothers Mike, Rick and Billy, offered a few remarks during a grand opening ceremony on Wednesday. He said the Abt family always strives to go above and beyond in offering a positive retail experience.
“We’re always looking for opportunities to bring exciting new innovations to our store,” he said. “We view shopping as more than a transaction -- we want it to be fun and enjoyable.”
In an interview with Candy Industry earlier this month, Abt acknowledged most appliance stores don’t pair chocolate bars and gummy candy with refrigerators and home theater systems. But Abt is not the average appliance store.
“If you look at it on paper, it doesn’t fit. But if you come into the store, it really does fit,” Abt said over a fountain bubbling in the store’s atrium. “It really goes well with everything else we do here.”
Founded in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood in 1936 by Abt’s grandparents, David and Jewel Abt, the store has since moved to its 450,000-sq.-ft. location in Glenview, a northern suburb of Chicago. The store’s showroom covers 100,000 sq. ft. alone.
“We’ve got a lot of families that shop here, a lot of people bring their children in here,” he said. “We want them to have just as much fun as their parents.”
What better way to delight kids — and adults — than to put in a candy store? Jon said Abt began working with Dylan’s Candy Bar a year-and-a-half ago after his sweets-loving brother, Rick, visited a Dylan’s Candy Bar location. The Abt brothers added space for Dylan’s in the appliance store’s atrium, which has other shops inside a shop. Dylan’s had a soft opening in June.
Dylan Lauren, daughter of fashion designer Ralph Lauren, launched the first Dylan’s Candy Bar on New York City’s Upper East Side in 2001, offering “retail-tainment” through brightly-colored candy displays and decorations. She said Dylan’s and Abt share a similar philosophy.
"Both Dylan's Candy Bar and Abt Electronics in Illinois are more than just stores; we are experiences,” Lauren said. “Whether you're browsing through a 'candyland' of electronics, or our real-life candy land, it's about having fun and trying something new with your family and friends. We hope guests shopping for the latest gadgets will stop by to indulge in our world of chocolate and sweets."
Abt’s store is the second Dylan’s Candy Bar location in Chicagoland. In 2015, Dylan’s opened its fifth standalone location in the Tribune Tower on Chicago’s Michigan Ave. The two-floor, 13,000-sq.-ft. store also has a café and bar.
Jam-packed into the Abt Dylan’s store are 96 bulk bins and about 500 different products. Dylan’s signature lollipop tree sprouts from the center, and images of candy fill the walls.
“We’re super excited to have a store like this within the walls of the building as a whole. It’s an added value to being a customer of Abt, and we’re looking forward to a real long relationship with Dylan’s Candy Bar,” he said.