Lance MacDonald of TELUS looks on as Andre Blanleil of Andre’s Electronics addresses those gathered at the grand opening on Thursday evening.

Andre’s Electronics hosts grand opening for Prince Rupert location

Prince Rupert's newest business, Andre's Electronic Experts, has officially arrived to town.

Prince Rupert’s newest business, Andre’s Electronic Experts, has officially arrived to town and the company’s partners hopes to bring more than just televisions to the fold.

Andre’s partnered with TELUS as its authorized dealer and hopes to bring a wealth of knowledge on everything from cell phones to appliances to Blu-Ray players to residents of Prince Rupert.

Andre’s owner Andre Blanleil himself was on hand to officially cut the ribbon on its grand opening of the Third Ave. location.

“TELUS wanted to have a presence here so that drives a lot of where we go, but also there’s potential growth here, although our whole corporate strategy has been building in mid-to-small sized markets,” said Blanleil last Thursday evening.

The family-owned company, which first opened its doors in Kelowna in 1976, currently has locations in Penticton, Cranbrook, Kamloops, Prince George, 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and others. The preparation work wasn’t easy, but the company wanted to hit the ground running as soon as possible.

“We opened temporarily in the CityWest building for about 90 days. Then, right after we got here, we started looking around for property. We bought the building, we renovated the building and that’s our commitment to the community. We’re going to be here long-term,” said Blanleil.

Andre’s typically encourages healthy active children in the communities they serve and that will be no different in Prince Rupert.

“We pride ourselves on being part of the community. We have a give-back program so every dollar of business we do in this town, we have a certain amount allocated towards charities. Our big charity is we want to see active kids so whether it’s a soccer team or basketball team or those types of things, we help support the community,” said the owner.

Blanleil’s two sons help manage different locations of the business as Andre and his father were partners at the company’s outset 37 years ago.

TELUS representatives were also on hand to celebrate the opening and general manager supporting Northern B.C., Lance MacDonald, had encouraging words for wireless infrastructure along B.C.’s northern coast.

“We want to invest in the communities we live, work and serve and this is a great opportunity for us to get more involved,” he said.

“With a partner like Andre, he’s invested in the community and that’s why it’s so great to work with partners like that … it’s a synergy we’ll both benefit from and hopefully the community sees that benefit as well.”

Blanleil said part of the business’ commitment is to offer prices people would see in the Lower Mainland.

“We actually guarantee that we have the best pricing. In the past, I think people paid a premium [for televisions and other electronics] here, and with us, literally our website searches every night for Best Buy or Future Shop in Vancouver’s prices and if a TV’s at $999, the next morning, we’re at $999,” said Blanleil.

“We’ve hired local staff … we want to be the experts. We do a lot of training here and we bring reps up here to make sure that if you have a question on electronics it gets answered.”