As most everyone knows by now Amateur Electronic Supply (AES) closed its doors toward the end of July after 59 years. I have fond memories of visits to the store with my great uncle’s W9SIZ and W9KKX/SK when I was a kid (the store was on Fond Du Lac Avenue at that time.) I bought my first new radio there, a Kenwood TR-7600 with the matching KPS-7 Power Supply when I passed my Technician exam. Along with that I bought a KLM 13 element long boomer and a Ham IV rotator. Virtually emptied my savings in one fell swoop but I was very happy. That was a very nice 2m station and it saw a lot of usage with the antenna at about 30 feet on a light pole that my dad acquired and built a custom mount for the rotator and thrust bearing for the antenna mast.
Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) bought AES and elected to make the Milwaukee store its Amateur Radio super store. The new store opened today and of course my friend and fellow operator Josh, KD9DZP and I felt obligated to pay them a visit.
If you are familiar with the AES layout you’ll immediately notice that the new store is larger. brighter, and packed with all manner of Amateur Radio goodness. I’d guess that the store is about 25% larger with one center counter as opposed to the store long counter of AES.
The west wall that used to contain the magazine rack and used equipment now is a long wall filled with just about every transceiver that they sell from the lowliest VHF rig all the way up to the Kenwood TS-990 and everything in between. They will all be powered up and operable very soon (they weren’t today.) It’s very nicely done and I’m sure that it will aid in the sale of a lot of new radios. I know that it inched me closer to the acquisition of the Kenwood TM-V71A. Who know’s what would have happened if it had been powered up and operable?
The layout of the store is nicely done and the shelves of all of the aisles are packed with all of your favorite flavors of Amateur Radio equipment.
Gives a whole new meaning to “clean up in aisle 5.” About the only thing that they are missing is shopping carts (baskets aren’t sufficient) and perhaps bibs.
The store staff was excellent. We were cheerfully greeted multiple times and the staff was walking about the store, more than happy to assist. We arrived just a wee bit after they opened and there seemed to be a good flow of people coming to check out the new store. My understanding is that every weekend in September they are going to have an event with various manufacturers present and sales on assorted equipment. I guess I know what I’m doing on Saturday mornings in September.
My only acquisition was the Kenwood VGS-1 for my TS-590SG and another pack of PowerPoles. That’ll do me for now. I’ll see what’s in store for September and maybe a TM-V71A will follow me home.
It’s good to have HRO in town and I wish them all the best with their new store. It seems like it’s off to a good start.