By Tim Leeds
Sam Goody soon will offer Havre-area shoppers some new entertainment shopping opportunities.
Dawn Bryant, spokeswoman for the national chain, said Oct. 26 is the tentative date for the opening of a store in the Holiday Village Shopping Center. The store will stock more than 25,000 items related to music, electronics and books. Bryant said Sam Goody aims its products mainly at young adults.
The store is moving into a space once filled by two stores between Game Point and Havre Health Foods in the east wing of the shopping center, with a location of nearly 5,700 square feet. David Young, who will manage the store, has started interviewing applicants for sales positions.
Bryant said the store will employ about eight people, although there will probably be a few temporary employees hired for the Christmas season.
Mike Hamilton, owner and operator of Creative Leisure in Havre, said he's not too concerned about the competition.
"Competition is a good thing. There's nothing wrong with it," he said. "We've got a good customer base and treat our customers well. I don't think we'll have any problem with a little competition in town."
Hamilton said Sam Goody will definitely have a large inventory, but he thinks the chain might be disappointed with how slowly some of the inventory sells. Mall-based chain stores usually sell at market prices, he said, and Havre-area customers are used to getting items at a little lower price.
Creative Leisure's ability to special order items and have them in the store the next day will allow it to compete with Sam Goody's inventory, Hamilton said. His store does a big business in special orders, he added.
Julie Bergren, who is in the process of closing Face the Music, her music store in Holiday Village, declined to comment.
Sam Goody, which has 625 stores in 48 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, carries a variety of merchandise. The inventory typically includes CDs, some electronic equipment including portable CD players and MP3 players, videotapes, a large selection of DVDs, video games, computer software, books and video games. The inventory also includes a small selection of musical instruments, Bryant said, such as electric guitars, drum sets, amplifiers and accessories.
Sam Goody also offers special ordering of merchandise. Bryant said there are so many services available for people to order merchandise on the Net that the chain wants to offer that same kind of search at its local stores.
The same option is also available through Sam Goody at its Web site, where customers can search through available items and order them online.
Sam Gutowitz opened the first Sam Goody store in New York in the 1950s. It grew to a small franchise in the New England states, and was purchased by The Musicland Group in the 1970s.