East Texas Business Competition

Hometown Pets Co-Owner Sonny Tamez says his new business is doing well.

But only after the previous pet store he managed was forced to close when the new Petsmart opened across town.

"It's hard to compete against big business. Especially when they come into a town and slash their prices down so you can't compete against them. You have the loyals but sometimes it's not enough to keep it going," Tamez told us.

But pet stores are not the only small businesses in East Texas now facing bigger competitors. Jack's Tapes and Records has been in Lufkin for 25 years and is still popular with customers. Jack's employees believe a major reason is because the store supports a lot of local artists as well as nationally known ones.

"The stuff that they sell there. We can sell that here, too, as far as music. But local stuff? we usually are the ones that have it," said Jack's employee Octavia Price.

Store managers at Lufkin's Best Buy welcome the friendly competition from mom and pop stores like Jack's.

"A large retailer such as Best Buy versus the small mom and pops, we're certainly not saying anything bad about them or anything. They definitely have their place and we just want customers to feel like they can come to us for anything they need and get the same type of one on one atmosphere in a large store," Lufkin Best Buy General Manager Jason Jones said.

Small store owners know there will always be reasons some customers prefer them over larger rivals.

"People want a small place like this. They want personalized service where they know you by name. They can call you up and talk to you by name and know that you know what you're talking about," Tamez said.