There's nothing small about the way Micro Electronics sets up shop. The company sells computers and consumer electronics through more than 20 Micro Center stores in 15 states (including California, Ohio, and Texas) and an e-commerce site. The stores, which span up to 60,000 sq. ft., stock more than 35,000 products, including desktop and notebook computers from major makers (such as Apple, HP) and Micro Electronics' own WinBook and PowerSpec brands. Micro Electronics' computers are built by its International Products Sourcing Group (iPSG), which also supplies discounted computer gear. Another subsidiary, Redemtech, recycles and refurbishes IT equipment. Micro Electronics was founded in 1979 by John Baker.
Micro Center stores cater to tech enthusiasts with "Build Your Own" departments -- which allow customers to assemble their computers from scratch -- and "Knowledge Bars" up front where customers can speak with technicians. The chain distinguishes itself from its big-box competitors by stocking a wider assortment of products and employing a knowledgeable sales force.
Micro Electronics' strategy is aimed to maintain a loyal customer base, such as Apple's (which happens to do quite a bit of business with Micro Electronics), without spending money on expensive advertising. Although larger rivals have shuttered stores or closed up shop entirely amid the economic downturn, Micro Electronics' network of Micro Centers has grown to more than 20 stores over the last three decades. Openings have included a store in Brentwood, Missouri, (2009) and in Yonkers, New York (2010).
Micro Electronics shifted direction in 2012 when it agreed to sell its electronic asset disposition (EAD) services provider, Redemtech, to Arrow Electronics for an undisclosed amount. Redemtech serves a roster of large enterprise clients, OEMs, and government. It also sells refurbished computers, peripherals, and parts through its Red Rabbitt online store to wholesale buyers, resellers, businesses, as well as consumers. – less