Hey everybody, this is Peggy at Merchandise Outlet. Does that line sound familiar? Local Michiganders will recognize it as the lead-in line to most of our radio advertising. I figured that I would use it as the lead-in line to our blog as well. I would like to use this platform as an inside look to Merchandise Outlet. Granted, we are retailers - not necessarily authors - so bear (or is it bare) with us as we share our company with you on a more intimate level. I hope you don't mind, but this may be a little sporadic. There are just a lot of little factoids, tidbits, scenarios, etc. that come up every day that I find interesting, or thought provoking, that I hope to share with you here. Feel free to communicate to us if there are topics that you would like us to address - no promises.
My first blog topic is reflection. We have a regional manager who has been with us for over twenty years. She is the first person who I hired when I joined Merchandise Outlet and has since become an integral part of our company as well as a dear friend. She recently was faced with some major health issues and it slapped us right in the face. She has since been recovering but it just made us sit down and think about what we have been through together.
We have been operating Merchandise Outlet for over thirty years. We have seen fads come and go. Do you remember "Billy Bass"? He was the fad that looked like a bass mounted on a plaque but was actually rubber and turned and looked at you and started serenading when you walked past him. Boy, we couldn't keep those in stock for a while! And what was with "lucky Bamboo"? They were stalks of curly bamboo sold in bunches. That was a very quick fad - thank Goodness! That was a pain to have live plants shipped in. I guess florists do it all the time - I'm glad we aren't florists.
It's funny to think how long or how short-lived some fads are. One current fad seems to be the fidget spinners (quickly going by the wayside as we clearance out our remaining stock). Now the adult color books are still going crazy. They are only getting bigger and better though. Emojis. Need I say more? Keychains, pencils, pillows, blankets, clothing, electronics, etc. Again, they don't seem to be ending anytime soon.
We used to be a major giftware source. It seemed that approximately a third of our stores were stocked with poly-resin and ceramic statues and tchotchkes (Urban Dictionary: A small piece of worthless crap, a decorative knick knack with little or no purpose. Side note: Tchotchkes can be pretty, sentimental, or even occasionally useful though it usually breaks easily if useful. If you are having trouble identifying Tchotchkes just look around your house or someone else's and whatever you see that a burgler wouldn't steal is probably Tchotchkes.) That whole market became very difficult when prices of poly-resin sky-rocketed. We still have a few collectables, but they are very select. As you can tell, I am personally not much of a collectable person.
Being in retail, it is quite interesting to see some of the fads come and go. In our business; liquidation and closeout, it can be even more interesting. Some of the things we see are fads that go so fast they didn't even become fads. These just leave me shaking my head. Some things are so random and cool that they should have been fads but nobody has ever seen them before.
It is common-known fact with Merchandise Outlet shoppers that "you never know what you will find at Merchandise Outlet".
Well, our MSU Spartans are getting ready to play, so I have to close for today. Thanks for listening and I will talk to you soon.