Owner: Bob Grass
Address: 917 S. Gloster St., Tupelo
Phone: (662) 844-5297
Hours: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (during winter only)
Advice: “You still get what you pay for.” - Robbie Grass, son of Grass TV owner Bob Grass.
Bob Grass began working at Caldwell’s Appliance store on Main Street in Tupelo as a senior in high school and has been in the business ever since.
“That was 53 or 54 years ago,” said Grass, who owns Grass TV.
After Caldwell’s, he worked for his uncle’s refrigeration business before striking out on his own. In 1979, Grass started selling televisions in the back of the store, but his uncle didn’t think he could thrive selling TVs.
So Grass opened his store in 1980 on South Gloster Street, where it’s been ever since. And he’s seen the industry change dramatically.
“I’ve been through black and white TVs, color, real tubes, projection and now flat screens,” he said. “It’s changed a lot.”
The next big thing, Grass said, is 4K – televisions that have four times the resolution of today’s high-definition sets. And, Toshiba is set to introduce its first glasses-free 3D TV.
The store carries several brands, including LG, Mitsubishi, Samsung, Sharp, Sony and Toshiba.
“We’ve got TVs from seven inches to 92 inches,” he said.
Grass runs the business with his son, Robbie, who started in 1985.
The key to their success in a world of big-box stores is customer service, the Grasses say.
“We have free set-up and delivery, and we have our own in-house repair,” Bob Grass said. “The big-box stores either can’t help you or they’ll send it off somewhere.”
He also said his business takes the time to educate customers about their new TVs.
“We don’t want them to get it out themselves; we want to make sure it’s set up right and show them everything they can do,” he said. “We’re not just selling you a box and leaving you on your own.”
The Grasses also take it a step further and offer a temporary replacement TV for customers who have to get repairs.
“We can’t always compete with the big stores on price, but we offer services they can’t,” Bob Grass said.
- Dennis Seid