Sparta TV and Appliance is moving

Posted By | June 24, 2019 12:07 pm

Last Updated: June 24, 2019 at 7:41 am

Sparta TV and Appliance, which has long been a popular movie rental and appliance business, will be moving to a new location in the same shopping center as Floyd’s Cash Saver and Little Caesar’s Pizza. (Photo by RACHEL AUBERGER)

By Rachel Auberger

Sparta TV and Appliance, which has been serving customers in White County for 27 years, will be moving back to Bockman Way, in July.

Carlos Billings, owner of the long-standing business, said he will be moving his business to the empty unit between Floyd’s Cash Saver and Little Caesar’s Pizza, in the shopping center, on Bockman Way.

“We are going to be sandwiched between a grocery store and a pizza place,” Billings said. “This will provide us better foot traffic for our movie rentals.”

Billings said he moved his business, which was originally on Bockman Way but at the other end of town across from Sparta City Hall, two years ago.

“We kind of thought we were nearing retirement, and we were given the opportunity to sell our building,” he said. “We thought that would be a good plan, not to retire right away, of course, but to have the asset of a building already taken care of would make the transition to retirement easier.”

Another great opportunity was available to Billings at the same time. A business venture to share space and personnel with Don Blalock, at Morgan Furniture, on North Spring Street, made the transition from building owner to tenant easier.

“Recently, I came to a realization, however,” Billings said. “I realized I am probably never going to retire – not if I am healthy. I like what I do, and I can’t imagine not running this business.”

Billings said the decision to move the business back into its own location rather than continue sharing space with the furniture store has nothing to do with relations between himself and the owners and managers at Morgan Furniture.

“We have a good relationship with Morgan Furniture and the people here,” he said. “In fact, we are still going to share some things like warehouse space and delivery personnel. The time has just come for us to go back to being who we are as a business.”

Billings said his customer base for Sparta TV and Appliance is different than the clientele to which the furniture store caters.

“We are geared more to the local market – people in Sparta and White County,” he explained.  “They serve the people of White County, but they also bring in a lot of customers from surrounding counties, and those people are not here to rent movies or buy a television.”

Billings said he’s learned a lot in the two years he has spent sharing space with the Blalocks at the Morgan Furniture location. The biggest of those things has to do with financing.

“We are going to change to in-store-financing,” Billings said. “We will have a plan for everyone. Regardless of your credit, we will help you get that new appliance or TV for your home. I think our most popular financing plan will be our new 12 months same as cash plan.”

“This isn’t rent-to-own,” he added. “We help you finance your new appliance just like you were buying it with credit. That way you can get that washer or dryer you need – a new refrigerator or a TV. Whatever it is.”

Billings said some of his customers had thought his store had closed two years ago, and others said it just didn’t have the same feel they had come to know and love.

“Now they come in the furniture store, and they have to walk to the back of the store to get to the movies or to find an appliance, and people were telling us it just wasn’t the same,” Billings said. “So, out of popular demand, we will move into our own location.”

Movie rentals are still a big part of family entertainment, according to Billings, who said renting movies allows families to do something together. For that part of his business to be successful, however, he needs foot traffic. He feels that his new location, back on the main road, in Sparta, and right next to a pizza place is the perfect solution.

“It feels like we are going home,” he concluded.

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