MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - AVAC, The Audio Video Appliance Corporation, announced Wednesday it will soon close its doors for good.
AVAC opened in November 1990. AVAC President Keith Ferrell said the decision to close wasn't made easily.
"The saddest day of my life was the day we decided to close this. You just don't want to see your child go away. This child of mine is now 23 years old. It's hard for me," Ferrell said.
Ferrell said the local competition is too stiff to continue trying to compete.
"We're simply competing head-to-head with big box stores who have much deeper pockets and a lot more buying power and can stand to lose a little bit more money on the front end because they're gonna get it on the back end from manufacturers. We don't even get that anymore," Ferrell said.
Ferrell said the economy today is different than when AVAC opened because manufacturer's aren't picky about who sells their product.
"We're all selling the same stuff," Ferrell said.
Ferrell said people don't want to pay for the special attention they can get from a small business when they can buy a TV for hundreds of dollars less at a big box store.
"Some of these stores are using hourly employees. When you use an hourly employee to sell something that's high end - that guy's gonna make his hourly rate whether he sells something or not. So the fact is, the only way that product gets sold and the manufacturer's keep loading them up with it, is just mark it down and let it sell itself," Ferrell said.
One Walmart shopper, Anthony Frye, said he understands shopping at a locally-owned business helps the local economy. But, when it all boils down, Frye also wants to get the best price possible.
"Nobody can compete with Walmart. The prices are so convenient, they're so low. Anyone else would be losing money to get prices that low for the customer and that's why we're here," Frye said.
Ferrell said he's grateful for the customers who've been loyal to him over the past 23 years. Ferrell said he did everything he could to stay in business before making the decision to close.