Tim Gianelli: Building Out the Family Business

Gianelli helped pilot AVB’s newest digital price tag program.

By Allyssa Baird, YSN

Gianelli’s Appliance is located in Rancho Cordova, Calif., not far from AVB Marketing headquarters in Sacramento. From this location, principal Tim Gianelli sells both new and used appliances, as well as parts, HVAC and repair services. But let’s back up a bit…

Tim’s parents have owned an appliance repair business for 41 years. For much of that time they worked closely with a local appliance shop, performing installations and deliveries. But the business closed about eight years ago after the store owner passed away, costing his parent’s some 60 percent of their revenue.

To help recoup the lost income, the family opted to open a small second-hand appliance shop of their own. But Tim, who already had his own heating and air conditioning company, wanted to sell new appliances. Unfamiliar with that side of the business, he reached out to all the appliance dealers he knew but failed to glean any vendor contacts.

Tim decided to take matters into his own hands by researching the topic and came across the BrandSource buying group. Noticing an upcoming Summit event in Orlando, he reached out to the organization, but was told he had to be a member to attend. His response: He will be!

Tim went through the approval process, had his first vendor meeting a month later, and within a week of that the Gianellis became a Frigidaire dealer. It was Tim’s first step into the world of new appliances.

Fast forward to a year and a half ago when BrandSource consolidated two regions, creating an open seat on the new Pac Rim board. Being very active within the group, it was fitting when Tim was voted to fill the empty seat as the youngest board member to date.

“Well, I guess I talk too much and express my opinions, and I am always looking to get more involved,” he laughed.

Tim took his new role very seriously and only missed one board meeting, when his daughter was born. “I feel blessed as a younger board member, because I get to go rub elbows with these great guys who have 30 or 40-plus years in the business,” he said. “So I get great advice and help, to push me forward. It’s a fantastic group of guys.”

Gianelli was also there for the group during a BrandSource Leadership Conference, when his crew converted outdoor cooktops to propane for a Toys for Tots charity cookoff.

The same could be said of Tim and the Gianelli’s crew. When BrandSource held an outdoor charity cookoff in a Sacramento parking lot in 2018, Gianelli’s Appliance converted all of the cooktops to portable propane. “We enjoyed going to the event and showing what our team could do,” Tim said.

A year later, BrandSource once again called upon Gianelli’s for its proximity to Sacramento, and Tim, always eager to help, agreed to pilot AVB’s latest digital price tag program. Being close to the AVB Marketing hub meant the high-tech devices could be readily tested and adjusted before rolling out nationwide.

More recently, when Gianelli’s tried moving to a significantly larger retail space next door, the town changed the parking lot zoning, leading to a 30-month squabble. “We’ve been fighting for so long, we never thought it would get approved, especially once the pandemic hit,” Tim said.

Instead, Tim considered a 6,500-square-foot building in downtown Sacramento. That’s when the town finally cleared the way for his move next door. But rather than drop the Sacramento property, he decided to take on both projects, and Gianelli’s is now slated to open its new 7,000-square-foot Rancho Cordova location this month, concurrent with the debut of a neighboring Harbor Freight store.

At the same time, Tim is also launching a new service business called The Economizer. While he typically sends all service work to his parents, the new company will handle any repairs his father doesn’t pick up, as well as warranty service and installations.

Clearly Tim is a busy guy, making his support of the BrandSource family all the more special. We applaud this Young Professional as he continues to build his businesses and make his family and fellow BrandSource members proud.

BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, furniture, mattress and CE dealers.