Entrepreneurs Jimmy and Billy Mobley

Their Blockbuster Stores Facing Internet Competition,

Central Brothers Turned to Fantastic Sams Franchise

CENTRAL — Central entrepreneurs Jimmy and Billy Mobley have been in business for many years.  One of their ventures has been owning and operating local Blockbuster stores.

But competition from the Internet pushed them to find a business that could not be challenged by an on-line competition.  Today they own and operateFantastic Sams Hair Salons.

Yesterday, they opened their newest store, the Fantastic Sams on Sullivan Road in Central.

The “aha” moment

Some entrepreneurs have had one inspiration that sparked a successful company.  Brothers Jimmy and Billy Mobley have had two.

The first came when Billy converted his father’s former Curtis Mathis television store into a video rental operation.

“Video was a funny business because almost every year everyone would write about the demise of the video business.  Yet, it kept going and growing,” Billy Mobley said.    “But now finally we are seeing the demise of it.”  The brothers paired up more than 20 years ago, eventually operated several Blockbusters and still own some today.

Their next big moment came on a trip last year to a franchising convention in Las Vegas.

“We happened to stop in front of a Fantastic Sams booth, and we really weren’t even going to talk to them,” Billy said.  “But this guy comes from the counter behind the booth, and he was the guy who did our original Blockbuster deal.”


“The thing that sold us on Fantastic Sams was they’ve been around a long time,” Jimmy Mobley said.  “Fantastic Sams has an excellent support system, which is very important.”

After operating Blockbusters in small towns in south Louisiana, the Mobleys figured investing in Fantastic Sams in suburban areas would lead to success.  After signing a development agreement for three stores as a result of the Las Vegas trip, the Mobleys have also found a few Fantastic Sams’ for sale and have jumped at the chance to purchase the salons.

Hitting the Market

Without having to worry about competition from the Internet for haircuts, the Mobleys have been pleased with their decision to acquire franchises of Fantastic Sams.  “We’re kind of a medium-range hair salon,” Jimmy said.  “We’re not competing with the high end, and with the economy the way it is, it’s a good niche.”  The brothers have concentrated on location — looking for good shopping centers with strong anchors—and aim to get to at least 10 to 12 stores.

“We had to get into something else, competition online affects books, video, and newspapers,” Jimmy said.  “Our plans are probably to get up to 10 or 12 Fanastic Sams stores,” Jim Mobley told the Business Report.  They are looking at two in Lafayette and one in the Lake Charles.

The Mobleys have acquired the Fantastic Sams Salon in Zachary. “We are excited to become a part of Zachary,” said Jimmy Mobley.  “We encourage the community to visit the salon and allow one of our certified color specialists to give them a free consultation.  All of our services are 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed.  Additionally, we have doubled the retail product inventory to better suit the needs of our clietns and re-decorated the salon,” Mobley added.

Fantastic Sams’ has been in Zachary for the past 18 years, and in its current location next to Cactus Café across from Wal-Mart since 2001.  Fantastic Sams has been franchising salons across the United States for 37 years.  “People are looking for quality hair care services at reasonable prices and that is exactly what we offer,” Mobley said.

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