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Random Reflections

January 3, 2008

Hard to believe but Homecrest is back in business.  According to their news release, "we’ve been purchased by a new investment group…are taking orders immediately and will commence production by February 1." I guess the reports of their "death" have been greatly exaggerated.

Still haven’t decided whether to accept AmEx or not. Several retailers took the time to give me great advice. Some brought up a point I didn’t mentioned but has been in the back of my mind, "Do I lose credibility in my high end customer’s mind by turning away American Express? If so, what is that credibility worth?" This will be a major consideration when I make the final decision. Stay tuned. I will let you know what I do.

I ring in the New Year with mixed emotions. Of course, being the Pollyanna that I am, I always expect the New Year to be better and brighter than any year before it. But a new year means end-of-year closing; physical inventory, W-2’s and 1099’s, preparation of figures to calculate the dreaded federal and state tax burden. Geez, there is a lot of paperwork!

Speaking of slow boats from China (okay you got me there, I wasn’t talking about China at all but you try to come up with clever segues), the Pacific must be crowded with those slow boats because I am still waiting for early buys that I ordered at the July premarket. Oh please, oh please, get launched before China closes for a month celebrating the New Year!

As for the early buys we already received, I can already tell that I am going to have to reorder pretty quickly. Customer acceptance has been great for some of the lines I ordered. But because the lines were new to the store, I didn’t place a back up programmed order. Got to do that now. Of course, the worrywart in me is concerned about having too much inventory in the face of a supposedly declining economy. Do I put my blinders on and plough ahead or what?

Would like to pass on this letter from Happy Land. "I would just like to take a moment to thank all of you for your words of comfort and support as I cope with the loss of my much loved son, Averill Williams. And, your contributions to my son’s memorial fund are so very much appreciated. There’s no doubt that our little industry is comprised of some of the finest people in the world who, like my son, have the biggest hearts you could ever imagine. Bless you all. Happy Land"

Finally, Atlanta market is next week. There will be several CFR members there. If you are going, I hope you took advantage of the two free hotel nights offered to CFR members by America’s Mart.  If you didn’t know about it, contact Tasha Robinson, 404.220.2435. Hurry, it is a great deal and may be closed out by now.

Happy New Year everyone.

Yours in confused retailing, Bruce