After nine months of negotiations and construction, Madison Street once again has a “destination” appliance shop – Grand Appliance and TV, a multi-generation, family-owned appliance and television store chain, which opened last week in Forest Park.

“We’re an 80-year-old company,” said Neil Sax, sales associate.

Named after the flagship shop, opened in 1932 on Grand Avenue in Waukegan, Grand has 14 stores in Wisconsin, Naperville, Chicago, Crystal Lake and Zion.

“We have refrigerators for $399, but we also have the high-end sub-zero built-ins,” he said. “We carry every manufacturer.”

The 7,500-square-foot shop, which underwent a gut rehab over the summer is now jam-packed with flat-screened televisions, sound systems and a spectrum of ovens, cooktops, washer-dryer pairs and fridges.

For generations, local residents were accustomed to shopping for appliances at 7440 Madison, until the economic downturn closed Trage Appliances in 2009.

Operations Manager Anish Gauri said as the economy changed and new construction slowed to a crawl, the chain focused on the “replacement market” of retail customers.

“You make it home, we make it Grand,” is the company slogan.

In December last year, the village negotiated a sales-tax rebate sweetener for the appliance store, consisting of a total of $300,000 in local sales tax revenue over a 10-year period. Those payments will begin after the village has collected sales tax on the first $500,000 in yearly sales. The company also was offered a tax incentive to hire up to five Forest Park residents.

Sax says they’ve already rehired a former Trage salesman.

“Some people don’t want to go to a big-box store where the salesmen don’t know about specific products,” Gauri said.

Sax said the company will meet the price of appliances sold at a chain store.

“People know if they buy a product, it will fit and be installed correctly because our installers will make it fit,” said Sax.

The shop will host its grand opening on Thursday, Oct. 4.

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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