Discount Tape Village

DiscountTapeVillageI founded Discount Tape Village in 1963, which was a retail store, selling 8-Track tapes, as well as Tape machines for home, automobile, boats and all retail items related to that type of music.  As an incentive to the consumer, each store had a full time staff for installation and repair service.  I was one of the first in the  industry to introduce discounting in this segment of music entertainment.

This business began after my good friend, Stan Lewis, from Shreveport who owned Stan’s Record Shop told me the music industry was evolving from acetate records to tapes and expanding from there.  I decided to test the market and added some music tapes of the more popular artists to my retail inventory in Medical Arts Pharmacy.  After that decision proved successful, I decided to move forward with the plan to expand and own multiple sites.

My first free-standing store was such a huge success that I quickly opened three (3) more stores in other cities.  The sales went “through the roof” and I formed another company named Stereo Sounds, Inc., which was a distribution center that supplied all of the stores.  My buying power allowed me to purchase inventory at a lower price.  The large quantity of sales of particularly Muntz tape machines was such that I started placing the store name on everything that was purchased.  My marketing ability was soon proven by bringing all types of live entertainment to Discount Tape Village on Saturdays.  The list included recording artists, popular bands, professional ballplayers, professional drag-race drivers with their cars, dignitaries, politicians, beauty queens, and the list goes on and on with too many to mention.

My ambition was to eventually sell franchises; however, although I had employed a district manager for all four (4) stores, I found that store managers were stealing from me.  In one instance the manager of the Lake Charles Discount Village store stole over $100,000.00 dollars in cash, stereo tapes, machines and other inventory.  I received the news from my banker in Lake Charles, Louisiana, who had gone by the store to check on things because he had not received a deposit in several days.  I soon realized that the stores success depended on my own ability to oversee the management of the stores, so rather than sacrificing any more of my time, which was needed elsewhere, I decided to get out of the business, as successful as it was.