Witbeck Showroom Opening


Witbeck is pleased to announce the grand opening of it’s new showroom at 6551 Orchard Lake Road in West Bloomfield, next to Plum Market. The family-owned, Michigan-based company has been selling appliances for 95 years. Vice President Mark Bishar and his staff are proud to carry American-made appliances and feature Michigan businesses in their showroom. Witbeck is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays; and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call (248) 932-0870 or visit www.witbeckappliances.com

Article from The Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle

Habitat for Humanity & Big George’s pair up to help people in need

Habitat for Humanity

A partnership between nonprofit Habitat for Humanity and Big George’s Home Appliance Mart has mutually benefited both entities.

Sarah Stanton, executive director of Habitat for Humanity’s local chapter, says she approached Mark Bishar at Big George’s on behalf of Habitat’s Restore about six months ago. The ReStore, which sells recycled materials and building supplies, was looking for ways to keep new appliances coming into the store at 170 Aprill Drive, located just off Jackson Road.

“We sell donated new and used appliances, and Big George’s sells new appliances,” Stanton says.

When Big George’s workers remove an old appliance from a customer’s home, they immediately bring it to the ReStore. The item is checked and fixed, if it doesn’t work properly, and then resold.

Stanton says the partnership has helped Habitat for Humanity bump up sales at the ReStore. Plus, it helps generate unrestricted revenue for Habitat — money that’s not needed for heat or electric or salaries, and can be used for rehabilitating Habitat homes.

According to its January newsletter, Habitat is on track to renovate 10 houses this year, in its 20th anniversary of providing affordable housing for low-income families in Washtenaw County. In Ypsilanti alone, there are 29 Habitat houses.

In 2009, Habitat homeowners paid $200,455 in property taxes to Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Superior and Ypsilanti townships. Six houses were completed and sold in 2009 and five of which were rehabilitated.

Habitat has now helped 103 adults and 205 children live in affordable homes in the county.

“It’s extremely meaningful and valuable to us,” Stanton says, adding that these are appliances are fixed up and recycled and don’t end up in a landfill somewhere.

The ReStore has two people who test and fix the appliances, and get the washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves and freezers back out on the floor, Stanton says

Stanton says that sales are up 45 percent at the ReStore thanks to the partnership.

“Mark helps us look at how to market our store, as well,” Stanton says, adding “Big George’s has helped us get more exposure.”

By Lisa Allmendinger, Heritage Newspapers

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Ann Arbor’s Big George’s launches solar panel line

Big George’s Home Appliance Mart is now carrying solar panels at their Ann Arbor store. They offer a complete system package from start to finish including installation.

Lance Murrell, the salesman launching the solar panel line, says Big George’s, 2023 W. Stadium, is entering that market in an effort to expand into other select categories.

Big George's Goes Solar!

“With the economy being so tough, our market share is getting smaller in electronics and other areas, and we need to expand to get ahead of the game.”

Murrell explains that solar panels are a good fit for the store because of its current staff.

According to The Wealthy Review, the worldwide solar panel market is expected to grow from $19.6 billion in 2009, to $125.5 billion by 2016.”

The solar product line complements the local appliance dealer’s other services, Murrell said.

“We already have staff on board who can install the solar panels because of their experience installing the full range of appliances we sell as well as fireplaces and home theaters,” he said.

Store management felt that solar panels were a natural extension of its appliance business, including the wood burning and gas inserts for fireplaces they sell which are EPA certified and also eligible for tax rebates.

Solar panels are installed on a roof and tied into the electrical grid through the local electric company. When sunlight hits the solar panel cells, a direct current flows from the panel to an inverter, which converts to the AC current that flows throughout the house. The electric company buys whatever energy the solar panels are generating by crediting it to the homeowner’s energy bill.

“If you had a system that would do 3,500 watts, you would save approximately $75 a month on your bill,” explains Murrell. “A larger system like 10,000 watts saves up to $300 a month.”

The price of the product and installation is eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit as well as state solar rebates.

No sales have been made yet, but the store is hoping to sell 20-30 systems in the first year. Packages range from $4,000-$10,000 including installation.

Big George’s is the authorized dealer for several solar panel brands including Mitsubishi, Sanyo, Sharp and Bosch. Murrell is not aware of any other local dealers selling the systems.

Big George’s also will be carrying the GE tankless water heater shortly, as another in its line of energy-efficient products.

By Laura Blodgett AnnArbor.com Freelance Journalist

Read article from Ann Arobr.com here