Identical Shop Opening Two Doors Down
This person obtained a business license (general),
two months ago, describing a unique, high end,
asian-oriented boutique of antiques, artwork, and
After selling nearly nothing the first month, he came
to my shop when my teenage niece was covering for
me, and chatted with her as he fingered the aisles
and racks filled with the successful result of four
years suffering through trial and error purchases,
until we discovered which things sold and which
didn't. Unwilling to put in the work, the new guy
asked my niece if she knew where we bought our
items, what we normally sold them for, which ones
sold best, and lots of other inappropriate questions,
while he noted vendors, style numbers, and our prices.
Three days later, I returned, to find her shop window
decorated similar to mine, featuring identical skirts,
dresses, etc., same vendor, same variety of sizes
and colors, only her price was 30% less than mine.
The unpopular asian artwork has been pushed back.
We live in a tiny, tiny town. We are a tight knit group,
our rules and protocols mostly unwritten but nonetheless
respected by all. Until now.
Yes, I tried to explain, request, negotiate a compromise,
but he refused even to listen. "It's a free market, I'll
sell whatever sells," was his response.
Our state does not endorse our vague non-compete
lease clauses, as we have an old fashioned belief, true
til now, that no one would come in and steamroll over
an established, unique business intentionally--particularly,
not one located only a stones throw away.
I have investigated and found no "legal" recourse.
Surely someone has had this experience, or knows
someone who has, and who emerged victorious.
Please, write to me with any ideas, suggestions, or
successful responses you may think or know of.