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To the American Public,
Please forgive me for I’m not a writer but if one is to write one should write about what one knows and say it with passion. So, here I go. I’m just a merchant from Brooklyn who had a family store. We have been in business since 1977. At that time, there were over 2500 specialty stores of our type in the country, now there are less than 400. That means for every 5 stores, 4 have closed. Is this due to merchants not knowing what they are doing or is it something else? Are all small business merchants unaware how to run a business? Do you wonder what do we sell? And how does this relate to you?
Well, we were that sock and underwear store on the corner. You know, when it came to Father’s Day and you needed to pick up a gift for Dad, you came into our store and bought him some new socks and underwear. You are going to a wedding and need a panty girdle and some pantyhose, you came to me. A bra for a strapless dress for the summer party, you guessed it, you came to me. You see, all businesses follow the same basic principles, so whether it was socks and underwear and lingerie or its a hardware store we try to accommodate you the consumer and at the same time, make a living.
Why a blog? Well, for some time I have seen the small merchant at a big disadvantage to corpaorate America. Of course corporate America is doing well, everybody else is going out of business so the competition is eliminmated. If anyone ever told you the playing field is level they are full of it!!! What do I mean? Well, exactly what I said, there is no level playing field in business. Is this legal? There are always loopholes that companies use to get around this. Let’s say there is a style # for a particular bra … let’s call it style # 9855, well if you sell it to a store like Kohl’s, all you need to do is change the style # to 9855K, therefore, it is a totally different # and so a legal loophoile to charge a lower price for the same item.
What about outlet stores and the Costco’s? Whether or not you think you got a great deal, think again, perhaps you didn’t. I say this for I know for a fact that outlet store merchandise and products made specifically for K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl’s, Costco and many more have to be cost effective both in price and quality. That’s right, the secret is out. YOU ARE NOT getting the same quality for less, you are simply getting what you pay for.
Why does good bras like Warner’s 1035 get discontinued? Is it because no one wants it? The answer is no. The closing of your neighborhood specialty store is the reason why there is a disconnect between what the consumer wants and what is offered. You see, the specialty stores bought what the customer wanted but since they are no longer in business the public is at the mercy of the department store buyer. This buyer is most likely in her 30’s and buys for a few hundred stores in their region. She has tunnel vision, what I mean by that is that she buys for her stores what she wants in her own draw. Being from the Victioria’s Secret generation she has bought ointo the fantasy and not reality of functional everyday bras and panties. Staple items such as Warner’s bra style # 1046 Fit to be tried Hidden Powers, Warner’s 1058, Waarner’s 1035, Olga 319, Warner’s 1218, Warner’s 1021, Olga 32044 and countless others.
Since the department stores started having their 1 day sale 355 days a year for the last 18 years, a Mom and Pop can not sell the only item they have at cost or below cost and remain in business. By the same token, if you put small retailers out of business then its your responsibilty to cater to all those people. Well, they don’t and we are expected to be like the society portrayed in George Orwell 1984 as depicted in the Apple comercial of the early 80’s.
Looking for that special item no one in the United States has, well we have them
I don’t blame people for looking for a better price but in the end you lose in winning.
Thank you for reading this post,