Friday, May 7, 2010

What Would Kate Spade Do?

Dilemma. What Would Kate Spade Do?

There is a sweet, swanky little shopping district within walking distance from my house. It is the obvious choice for The Franchise location, which likes to place itself among cute, swanky little stores. There's good walking traffic and a big art fest in the streets every year.

Except, there is one other store that makes a product similar to the Franchise's in that area (in fact, it's the only other store selling the product within the city limits). It's independent, and the residents around the district tend to cringe when a franchise comes in (but they do - Earls, Houstons, Ink, Panera, Starbucks).

Now, to be perfectly frank, the independent store's product is not as good as The Franchise's. In fact, although I love the product so much that I am making it my life, I just never went to the independent store because the product was not what it should have been there. Also, the store is a bit grungy.

There's a large possibility that The Franchise, if located there, would put them out of business. Business is survival of the fittest. This is my family's future. But we know the guys that own and operate the independent store (they also happen to sell an Italian Wedding Soup that my son loves and they make good coffee) and we like them. We like these people.

Go for the obvious choice because I am betting my family's assets, or consider the family that is running the store with the sub-standard product. I guess I know how this has to play out.


  1. 1) it sounds like a totally perfect spot for the Franchise. SO perfect.
    2) is it their main product? Or one of a bevy of products? Any idea how easily they could switch to something new or improve their current recipe?
    3) since the Franchise is so new to your state, will the current residents know that it's a franchise? or at least have less hostility because it's novel and delicious?
    4) your family comes first, but if you do decide to go there, you should give your friends a heads up - you don't want them to find out from somebody else.

  2. Wow, this is TOUGH. So tough and with repercussions serious enough on both sides that I'm not going to venture an opinion. But I like Amie's suggestion about talking with the owners of Grungy a little bit ahead of time if you do decide to give that location a go. I also agree with Amie's intimation that if Grungy sells this product as one of many, the concern about sinking a mom and pop is less.

    I am assuming that cute, swanky shopping district has some empty retail space?