Ar*Jers

Legacy

“I worked there while in and a bit after high school both on Western Ave and when they opened the Norton store. Even several times at sales in Grand Haven which was also cool. I learned allot that helped me in my 44 year Manufacturing career – being on time always, doing whatever needed to be done in the store, getting along with people and helping othersArt & Jerry were great guys and made work fun at times, but taking care of customers a priority. They helped lots of young people build a work ethic that lasted a lifetime,,,”

ArJers was a popular local clothing store during the 70s and 80s. Like many businesses, economics and markets changed….not every business can exist for 50+ years.

The owners were well liked and more importantly created a legacy that others remember.

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Trust

The Right Thing + Brand

From inc.com:  https://www.inc.com/jason-aten/ford-just-did-1-thing-a-company-should-absolutely-never-do.html

“That’s really the lesson: Your brand is the way people feel about your business. When they don’t feel they can trust you, you’ve done the one thing no company should ever do.”

Ford management should have known better….it’s a blemish on their reputation.

Our business worked hard to gain our customers trust….and each day was important….often simple issues can cause a lack of trust.

Business Acumen

Involved

From The Triangle Business Journal:

Hutch & Harris restaurant in downtown Winston-Salem won’t reopen this month as originally planned, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

“I left my hands off and wasn’t as involved with the restaurant as I should have been,” he told the Journal.

“There’s really several factors. There’s a lot of new competition. There’s the (Business 40) closing. Everybody’s struggling.”

Restaurants are a challenging business….the average life span is 5 years.

However, most businesses don’t operate by themselves….and if the owner is not involved and does not have the business acumen….the probability of failure greatly increases

Wine+Market

Charles Shaw

From the Stanford Business School: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/experience/news-history/charles-shaw-mba-71-risk-rigidity

Sometimes business strategies does’t quite work out as planned. The interview points that out.

Of course the Charles Shaw wines are an iconic brand for Trader Joe’s.

A key lesson learned:

“I wouldn’t be as rigid in my thinking….What I should have done was throw things against the wall to see what would stick….I should have made a chardonnay, a merlot, a sauvignon blanc, for example, and put them out there in small quantities, then watched to see if there was a demand pull. And when there was, I should have turned and run in that direction. “

Eventually the market points a business in the right direction….and the market can change.

BBQ Grills

Everdure

Someone always makes a product better and different….that’s even the case with BBQ grills.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2019/07/01/best-bbq-grills-world-famous-chef-invents-groundbreaking-new-brand/#a0614fe6cfba

Two key features that differentiate the Everdure grills from others:

  • “The first is a backyard game changer, electric ignition. This sounds simple but try and find another grill on the market with it and you will be hard pressed, as there are just a couple of esoteric models.”
  • “The second great feature is the best rotisserie I have ever seen on a grill at this price.”

Next year someone else will more than likely improve on the Everdure grills….that’s innovation and what creates successful businesses.

https://www.everdurebyheston.com/

Redevelopment

Competitor

From Mlive: https://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/2019/07/trendy-restaurant-opens-in-historic-downtown-muskegon-building.html

While the main area of Downtown Muskegon is being redeveloped from the ground up….it’s fortunate that some of the older historic buildings are being brought back to life.

The building in the 70’s was used by a formidable competitor. We carried similar brands….primarily Stratford which was our main upholstered line. 

Those folks had a different business model with high accounts receivable….expensive to operate. 

A good location during that period of time….none-the-less we held our own.