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    8 Replies Latest reply on Apr 15, 2009 2:39 PM by DomainDiva

    Can we stop our copy cat business neighbors??

    399clothes Newbie
      We opened a clothes store July 2008 where we offer name brand clothes at exceptional prices. Our business neighbor, "the Florist", decided to take our ideal and open another shop about 10 minutes away modeled after ours. Where they advertise using verbiage similar to ours, they can not actually compete as they do not have the same buying power or contacts that we have. The issue we have, is the Florist continues to post flyers all over the exterior walls that advertise their business down the street. They even tell their customers that we are affiliated or business partners. Our customers ask us all the time "why do you have a shop down the street that sells clothes for higher prices?" Our customers also tell us about dissatisfied shopping experience and we definitely do not want ppl to think we are affiliated. We are curious if there are any legal actions we can take to stop them from telling people we are partners and to stop them from posting their flyers in our strip. (In our location there are 4 business in the strip). Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.
        • Re: Can we stop our copy cat business neighbors??
          DomainDiva Ranger
          Put a sign in your window that tells people that you are not affiliated with the bozos down the street. be sure to NAME THE PLACE. Also, since they are claiming that they are affiliated with you but are not your attorney may want to write them a letter, however a phone call + a letter wwould be even better. Be sure to keep the customer service, start building a list of customers with names and email addresses to get the word out on sales etc. You may even want to have silent sales where the buyers are notifed by email and get a special discount if they bring in a copy of the email.

          You could also see if the florist is a member of the BBB and make a complaint. The point is you want to make any association they claim to have with you a real pain.
          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Can we stop our copy cat business neighbors??
            399clothes Newbie
            Looking for new ideas on how to handle this situation. I new to the site and not sure what to mark...but I didn't want others to not respond because it's marked answered.
            • Re: Can we stop our copy cat business neighbors??
              Bridge Navigator
              Start selling small floral arrangements from your shop - cheap (breal even or a small loss).

              Perhaps partner with another local florist to sell on consginment and/or offer coupons to other florists from your space.

              Let your "neighbor" know. Tell them you will be happy to get our of the floral business when they decide to stop saying they rae afifliated with you.
              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • Re: Can we stop our copy cat business neighbors??
                  399clothes Newbie

                  We did talk to our lawyer and he does feel we have a case if we decide to move forward with that. Of course, there is a hefty retainer fee so we are pondering which way to proceed.

                  That's a funny comment on selling flowers. That thought did cross our minds as well. We know where they buy their flowers and could get the flowers from the same source. Of course this would be a bad direction if we were to pursue the legal route.

                  On honoring their coupons - once they found out we were accepting their coupons and that our customers were tearing them down off their banner only to bring them to us, they moved all their flyers to the inside of the floral shop and now display them from inside the window. 1 point for our store! :-)

                  Another tidbit - We had 2 customers complain to us yesterday about the prices in our "other" store. They wanted to know why our prices were so high over there. Of course we informed them that we are not affiliated with that store.

                  Any comments on whether or not we should move forward with our attorney? Is it worth it - or best to just ride it out...
                • Re: Can we stop our copy cat business neighbors??
                  BizOptimizer Adventurer
                  Be careful - as they say, start a tit for tat with a crazy person and you have to ask who is crazy. I watched as 2 businesses in the same center went at each other here. One inched into the other's territory, so the other retaliated. Pretty soon they were direct competitors on EVERYTHING and had battling signs in the parking lot - what one did - the other beat.

                  It seemed a sampson/Goliath, but after a few years - only sampson survived - taking down the bigger multi-store. But for years, they drove the profit right out of their (and my) business. I'm sure the one that survived did because he had plenty of reserves and was willing to put them at risk? I'm sure when it started he didn't see how much he'd have to invest - how many days work given away to boot.

                  You want to make a living - one upmanship can be contrary to that. I would use the attorneys as suggested. I would be VERY careful what documents I threw away. The landlord should discourage tenants competing - especially in the parking lot. Check you lease - maybe the attorney should call/write landlord too.

                  If all else fails, a competitive flower shop may be willing to help your parking lot sale(grin)! Good luck!