Horrible things I’ve said today…

Regarding retail space, and the various business models of retailers…

... jewelry stores carry HUGE inventory costs. When one of those fails (and it happens) there are bankruptcies filed. When a comic-book store fails, the owner just moves back in with his mom.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled friends page.

20 thoughts on “Horrible things I’ve said today…”

  1. I’m confused. Call it the business-ignorance of an English major/aspiring Sound Engineer. What exactly are inventory costs, and how does an inventory cost “fail?”

    1. that means that the inventory/stock/goods of the shop are bloody expensive. and the ‘failure’ thing is referring to the shop itself, not the inventory costs. so when the jewlery shop fails to get enough sales to break even on its huge inventory costs, it goes bakrupt

  2. I’m not going to rag on you or hold it against you, but I am going to agree that it was a horrible thing to say.

    Having had friends who lost their comic/gaming shop, I’ll note that I suspect they work on far more of a shoestring than your average jewelry shop, and I’ll further suspect that jewelry shops have a much better chance of selling off their remaining inventory to recoup costs…

    1. Oh, I KNOW it was horrible. Comics and Gaming shop owners are in business because they love it, not because they have loads of business sense and know how to make great money.

      Jewelers are in the business of converting people to the love of money, and then subsequently converting them to the belief that jewelry is like currency, only more stable.


      1. That, and the belief that jewelry is the best (and/or only) way to express your love to another human being.

        But you’ve written that rant before.

      2. And, of course, the delightful cognitive dissonance of “Think of it as an investment” combined with “Oh, no, no, you would never want to buy used jewelry; what kind of message would that send your precious loved one?” So, naturally, the appraisal for your “investment” isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, because nobody would ever actually buy it from you; no, jewelry doesn’t really say “love” unless it’s just been ripped from a bloody war zone and/or leached from the ground using tons of arsenic.

        1. Heh, indeed. I am positively amazed when I consider what a huge mullet of wool the Diamond industry has managed to pull over the collective eyes of humanity (or at least Americans, not sure if it’s as bad the world over or not).

    2. Yes and no. A lot of it depends on how much the Jewelry store is “generic” versus how much of it is “specialized”. A store like Zales or Kay’s would have an easier time recouping their costs from bankruptcy(and may even continue on afterwards) than a store that like to specialize in either custom made or rather expensive pieces(i.e. Ten grand for a tennis bracelet). The big exception would be a firm like Harvey Winston that has made a mystique for themselves and has branded themselves into a very lucrative niche market.

      But as inappropriate as Howard’s comments may have been, he may be right on one point: On average one would expect the comic book retail industry to have lower entry and exit costs(Economic costs not accounting costs) than a Jeweler. Comic Book retailers may be closer to true Perfect Competition than Jewelers(Neither are really in true perfect competition with anyone).

      Sorry for my ramblings. One of my favorite hats is that of Economics Student. So, any discussion on markets almost automatically peaks my interest.

  3. In the grand tradition of the Simpson’s comic book guy:
    Worst business comparison ever!

    But it takes guts not just to admit that you said a mean thing, but to let everyone know that you’re sorry. Bravo, Howard.

    1. He never said he was sorry, actually. He’s a comedian, I doubt he is, and I don’t think he *should* be, as long as he acknowledges the comment for what it was, which he did, and as long as it made us chuckle, which it did. You never hear George Carlin saying he’s sorry… =)

      1. The funny part is that he’s nailing the guys who ultimately may be carrying his product someday too. 😀 It’s those small comic-shop owners who are more likely to stock Schlock stuff, if any carry it, rather than the big chains or drugstores, after all.

  4. One of my customers is a jeweler, who was offered a deal to make jewelry for Zales. Apparently, what Zales does is similar to Wal-Mart. They use the size of their ordering to pressure smaller vendors to offer them fantastic price breaks, and many of them end up going out of business due to cost overruns that aren’t covered by Zales.

    In other words, Zales doesn’t tend to have to worry about bankruptcy, they just pass it down the line.


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