Radio Shack on the move
Julie Bovay was getting settled this week into the new location for her Catalina Radio Shack store that was housed in Cricket Alley on Metropole for the past 10 years.
Next to the cash register in her new location at 208-C Metropole, stood a vase filled with a colorful flower bouquet sent to her courtesy of the Santa Catalina Island Company. The move from the original Catalina Radio Shack location began on Monday of this week.
“I feel lucky with everything going on in town right now,” Bovay said. “There is a lot of movement, a lot of businesses being closed for remodeling and refurbishment. Meanwhile, there hasn’t been a lot of opportunities for anyone to move into another building.”
Bovay said hers was the only one of four businesses in Cricket Alley able to find a new location. She also noted that more businesses would be displaced when The Landing is redone.
“Another nice thing is that we are only a half a block up from where we used to be and that is making moving a lot easier,” Bovay said. “We are still unpacking some things and trying to do our best in a smaller space. It’s a bit of a challenge but we are getting there.”
Due to the cost of transporting goods to the Island and the way merchandise is often marked up to reflect the related costs to Avalon merchants, Bovay’s business is somewhat unique in the Island business community. Catalina Radio Shack is able to offer the same discount prices that other Radio Shack franchises offer on the mainland.
Catalina Radio Shack offers such merchandise as wireless phone chargers, computer and digital camera accessories, prepaid phone cards, iPods and more.
“Something else we do that is different is that we offer bill payment at our site,” Bovay said. “People can come and pay their phone bill or credit card bill and we have relationships with Edison, Verizon as well as pre-paid phone time so that people can pay those bills in cash and don’t have to write checks.”
Throughout the last decade, Catalina Radio Shack has been a work in progress.
“We actually started out by partnering with Catalina Computers, and Discount Store,” Bovay said. “We started to expand and add more electronics and things people need here on the Island. We got together with Radio Shack and purchased the franchise.”
Eventually the partnership with Catalina Computers ended and the store continued as a Radio Shack outlet for Islanders.
Bovay made her move to Catalina from San Diego, where she grew up. She said she loves he radopted home town of Avalon and living on the Island.
“It suits me perfectly,” she said. “I love all the beautiful scenery and the people are wonderful.”
She said when she is not busy at work, she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend up at Middle Ranch.