Farewell AES

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Amateur Electronic Supply is going to be closing it’s doors on July 27th. The Milwaukee store along with it’s other outlets are all shutting down effective on that date. A press release by HRO (Ham Radio Outlet) to the ARRL indicates that HRO is buying most, if not all of AES’s stock, and will even be hiring some of it’s employees. It will also be buying the AES building on Good Hope Road in Milwaukee, and will re-open it as an HRO facility after remodeling.

I’m going to miss AES. I’ve been buying stuff from them for three years and I never had a problem with them. Unfortunately I seem to have been the only one buying equipment from them. It was the the only retail facility for amateur radio equipment that was actually in reasonable driving distance, about an hour and a half away. When I ordered something from them online, it almost always appeared at my door in less than 24 hours.

While their prices were a tiny bit higher than some other places, AES was generally my first place to go when I needed something.

Unfortunately, things like convenience, the reliability of the retailer, satisfaction with the purchase, seem to be worth very little in the eyes of most consumers these days. Up-front cost is everything, and I know a lot of people who will endure poor service, hassles with returns and other issues just to save a few bucks, even though that savings may be entirely illusory in the long run if one adds into the mix.

The people at AES always went out of their way to make sure I was satisfied. Well, granted, I spent a lot of money there, but still, they didn’t have to bend over backwards the way they did to make sure I was happy with them.

I’ll miss them.