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Old 28th June 2009, 07:37 PM   #1
merchanteusse
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1
Default 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
scents.

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.

Gratefully,
M

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Old 29th June 2009, 01:37 AM   #2
mattcarpet
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Location: Lubbock Texas
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Default

I'll pray for you, that's all I could do. I understand losing a customer to a new guy who undersells the exact same product/service though I'm online not a brick and mortar.

That's just plain wrong in my honest opinion but there are people out there who just plain don't care about simple courtesy. Still maybe somebody here will have a better answer.

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Old 29th June 2009, 06:42 AM   #3
ArcSine
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Location: Charlotte, NC
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Default

Just a couple of thoughts to throw into the mix...

You mention that it's a small town, and you're in a "tight knit group". Can you play that card? Make sure the community is aware of your long-standing "membership" in the group. Sure, they already know it, but this sounds like a good time to really play it up. If you can point to any local civic or charitable activities on your part, all the better. Remind the local market that you've been a 'member of the family' for a long time.

I have no idea if this is the case in your situation, but many times a new or start-up biz finds itself on a shoestring....they've maxed out their debt just to get started; everything they have is financed, right down to the little bell that tinkles when you walk in their door. If you have a predator's mindset--and the cash reserves to do so--remember that a new biz frequently doesn't have the ability to withstand a price war for very long, thanks to their large monthly debt obligations.

In other words, if you can afford to undercut Johnny-Come-Lately for a time, you might find that Leveraged-To-The-Hilt Johnny has to run up the white flag soon. Obviously, the risk of this strategy is discovering that Johnny is well-heeled, with plenty of family money behind him. So play this one only if you've got reliable intel that Johnny couldn't withstand a prolonged price war, and only if you know for sure that you can.

Best of luck, and I'm sure you'll get plenty of good ideas at this forum.

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Old 7th March 2012, 07:56 AM   #4
elia123
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I know this may be late, & I hope you are still in business, I have been through this many times. I myself after 13 years of hard work through many ups and downs now have my competor moving 3 doors from me! She too has walked through my doors snooping around getting ideas, we sell the exact same merchandise, our town is small also. Many emotions go through my mind, and the first one is "why" why would she do that? It's one thing if you move into the area but your intentions are cruel to move and try to steal someones hard work and dedication to customers....right in the back yard. I try to think positive, but it is very hard. Price cutting is vicious! But with all your hard work, and your established customers, I only hope they support you in every way and see the ugly in the other guy! Sincerely.








Quote:
Originally Posted by mattcarpet View Post
I'll pray for you, that's all I could do. I understand losing a customer to a new guy who undersells the exact same product/service though I'm online not a brick and mortar.

That's just plain wrong in my honest opinion but there are people out there who just plain don't care about simple courtesy. Still maybe somebody here will have a better answer.


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