How do I Handle Someone Carrying the Same Merchandise As Me?
Q: About a year ago, I foolishly told another retailer in the same town as I am where I get my accessories, jewelry, etc. for my clothing store. It's a business I never thought would copy my products. Now they have so much of the same product, they buy at the same places that I do now. It's very frustrating. So my question is, how do you think I should address it with the other business owners? Or do you think I should let it go? She knows she's imitating my store. Her recent marketing has products like I currently carry in my store. How do I handle this situation?
A: You know, I get this question at least once every other month, and I don't think it's an easy answer. I will just say, look at your options. One is, you ignore it and say, "It doesn't matter." And if it's a great brand, maybe it can sell at a couple of places.
Number two is you have a meeting with that owner and you tell them that you didn't expect them to do that and it's detrimental to your business. That would be probably harder for you to do.
The next one is you go to the vendors and you say, "Hey, I was a vendor long before and I'm gonna cut the items if you keep selling the exact same items to them." I don't think you have an easy choice in that scenario.
Quite simply, people get so focused on this kind of stuff and you forget the idea that online has got all of your stuff too. And somehow, it's easy for me to be upset about this person a mile or ten miles away. I don't think that's a good use of your time.
I say, hold your people accountable to sell whatever products you carry no matter who else is carrying them and train them better. And if the brand does have legs, then it should be able to serve both businesses because more than likely, it's an opportunity when people come into your store to discover that brand.
It's doubtful to me that that that one brand is the one and only thing bringing people to your store.