Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Closing Up Shop
It was announced just a few days ago that American TV & Appliance was going out of business. A retail giant and staple in our area for decades, it came as a shock to me that this once-robust business would no longer have its doors open. Living in another community from the nearest American TV store, I didn't get there very often, but the store was so well known that I couldn't possibly imagine that it might no longer exist. My most vivid memories of American TV are linked to the TV commercials done some 30 years ago for the business by a man who called himself Crazy TV Lenny. Lenny's voice would yell and rant through our television into our living room, expounding at high pitch and pace on the many virtues of buying appliances, furniture and more from American. Crazy TV Lenny wasn't crazy at all. In fact, he was quite brilliant. He was Len Mattioli, the man at the helm of American during those booming years. He knew that by separating himself from the competition, even if it was in a feverish pace and ear-shattering volume, he'd get your attention. And that he did. In a day when retail competition is stiff, and online versus in-store sales are increasingly vying for our precious dollars, I fondly recall the day when Crazy TV Lenny would yell himself into our living room, urging us to contemplate our next big purchase.