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dramatically,” said Czech. “Since the start first episode we have gone from locally known shop to being contacted from people all over the country via Twitter and Facebook.” To commemorate the store’s 75th anni-

» Tanks to the web series, the store’s business has been focused mainly on iPad installations, such as this install on a VW Beetle.

local artists, the shows’ theme song and all other music used are provided by unsigned local artists, like the Drama We Cause, a two-person group that is still in high school. “The episodes that we have been doing are fun and have changed our store

The Best Never Rest Easy F

or Mike Bartells and the crew at Extreme Audio in Mechan- icsville, Va., being

the best means constantly evolving and staying on top of their game.

One of the aspects that has made Extreme Audio, one of the current Retailers of the Year, so successful is the physi- cal and aesthetic appearance of the store. After having worked on the front show- room, it was time to upgrade by completely redoing the garage. “We stripped the floor down, gutted everything from work benches out,” Bartells said. “We have office kiosks now, with lighting.” The garage now features six

separate yet matching work areas. The store also bought new toolboxes so that they all match, giving the garage a more uniform look, while also making it cleaner and brighter. “We also have far more cabi-

netry,” Bartells added, explain- ing that now there is space to store everything the shop could ever need. “It gives us the ability to bring a customer to the back and show them that we really care.” So far, the results have been

great with Bartells and his crew getting many compli-

ments about the cleanliness of the garage. “It’s one of those things.

If a customer walks into the back and we let them see how things are, if they have any ap- prehensions about what we’re doing to their car, they will see how serious we are about this. No other factory in the state has this,” Bartells explained. Although the garage re- model has been well received, Bartells admitted that there is always something that can be fixed or improved with regards to the store. “If there wasn’t, we’d get mired in a rut,” he said. “We’re pretty up on it right now. Most everything is up to date.” Other cosmetic changes include additional signage for the awards the store has received and other graphics. “When people look to the back, they’ll see a sign: Retail- er of the Year,” Bartells said. The sign also serves as a

morale boost for the crew working at Extreme Audio, but Bartells said that the improve- ments to the garage itself have worked wonders with the happiness of employees. “Now, I’m getting appli-

cants,” Bartells said. “We have better labor rates. We have good products. Overall, there is a great mentality in the shop. It’s a somewhere to be

versary, the store held a special event on October 5, with approximately 100 attend- ees. During the event, the store offered free car audio tests to anyone interested, had local bands perform and featured a special address by Jim Schmitt, mayor of Green Bay, showing the city’s appreciation to one of the oldest businesses in the city. The address and other moments captured from the event were featured on episode five of the web series.

» To match the modern look of the showroom, Bartells added six separate work areas, lighting for each, and a new floor.

» In contrast to the old look of the install bay, the showroom sports a clean, fresh look to entice all potential clients, which Bartell believes will happen with the redesigned install bay.

proud to have your toolbox.” With the approaching colder weather and holiday season, Extreme Audio plans to participate in a “Coats for Kids” program that gives participants credit toward a remote start.

“We do about 200 to 300 a season. The guys in the north do about 200 to 300 in a week! It’s a good Christmas present,” Bartells said. 37

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