i was under the impression that lou's, like amoeba, was essentially a retail outlet for ernies catalog. that is, they get 99% of their stuff from ernie.
that is more the case now than what used to be.
the "studio one dave" mentioned above was set up and importing JA records into San Diego before Lou's even existed, and was an early partner in the store if i remember correctly. anyway he remained the buyer for years, which is how and why Lou's was a real reggae powerhouse for so long.
dave was always very cool to me and after i moved out of SD i'd call ahead to see when he'd be there.. i'd go through tons of wax and wait for him for a walk down to the corner store/burrito run, etc.. he told some killer stories like being literally escorted thru kingston by King Stitt one late night...
concidentally, dave was the long time holder of the coveted record at Ras Rojah archive for most hours recorded onto tape in a single weekend... until my brother and good friend went there and busted it.. but it took two to do it!