RADIO FRANK HUB FOR TAPE PLAYER CARTRIDGES AND CAR PLAYE
Radio Frank Hub for Auto Tape Player Units and Cartridges in Dearborn for 1967
DETROIT — A “please handle” policy on tape cartridges has created a booming business for Radio Frank, a Dearborn-based, 2-way mobile phone and tape outlet here. “First, we tried keeping the cartridges back of the counter,” said owner Frank Meckrock. “But we now we put them out front where customers handle them. First thing you know, the customer is picking up two or three extra cartridges he never intended to buy.”
If Radio Frank returned the cartridges behind the counter, “business would drop 50 per cent,” Meckrock said. Pilferage is rare, but if a clerk suspects anyone of thinking of pocketing a cartridge without paying for it, the store clerk gives them extra special service and attention.
Radio Frank, relying heavily on radio promotion, has been moving anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 tape cartridges a month and installing player units at the rate about 200 per month. Most of the business — “about 25 to 1″ — is 8-track, Meckrock said. The firm promotes heavily on radio, mostly on weekends when people “have got money in their pockets,” including the major deejay shows of CKLW and WCHB in Detroit.
Tom Shannon on CKLW does an excellent job in marketing cartridges, Meckrock said. The radio advertising pulls 30-40 people into the store on a Saturday. About the middle of May, business tapered off a little bit . . . “there were only three to four cars waiting at a time in line in the alley behind our building to have units installed. We used to have 30-40 cars waiting out there like, for a car wash,” he said. Radio Frank installs units in six cars at a time, “doing this, all day.”
Overall, however, business has been very good. The firm is located on Michigan Avenue in Dearborn, in “Ford Country.” Executives at Ford Motor Company get their cars free and all have tape cartridge players; they buy a lot of their cartridges from Radio Frank. The firm was mostly involved in the car radio business until about four years ago when it started selling 4-track units and cartridges.
“I thought at one time that the 4-track business was good,” but 8-track has far passed it.” he said. Meckrock got into the 8-track business in August 1965.
When he used to buy on 4-track cartridges, he bought the music he like personally. Some of those cartridges were still around, he says, and now he buys only the product that would sell. END
(Information and news source: Billboard; July 1, 1967).