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Is the internet responsible for the poor health of the traditional retailer?

Wednesday, Jul 13, 2005

Posted By Larry Adlerstein

Q: Is the internet responsible for the poor health of the traditional retailer?

A:  No, I don't believe the internet is a major factor as yet. Many retailers have the option of entering internet sales if they want to learn this new market (as we are).

For those who do not diversify, there is an uncomfortable phenomenon - your rents, salaries and other expenses stay constant but the internet drains 10% or so of your sales. That must be addressed. But overall, including internet sales, the art material industry is down. Ask any manufacturer.
0 Comments | Posted in Notes From Larry

MAP – Minimum Advertised Pricing

Thursday, Feb 09, 2006

Posted By Larry Adlerstein

At this writing, February ’06, the individuals and companies that bring you color, brushes and surfaces are embroiled in a debate about MAP – Minimum Advertised Prices. We are having an important dialogue.

Some manufacturers (and we support these manufacturers) feel the excessive discounting damages the reputation of their products. It makes them look cheap.

The also feel that this deep discounting will centralize distribution. Only the most efficient, the Wal-Marts, will survive and the smaller retailers will fail.

As the retail distribution becomes more focused the few big survivors can dictate terms and smaller manufacturers will be pushed aside and the manufacturing base may slip away to china where manufacturing is cheapest.

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0 Comments | Posted in Notes From Larry

A&C, DaVinci Paint & Leon Nicaragua

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2007

Posted By Larry Adlerstein

A&C partners with DaVinci Paint to help repaint a historic mural in Leon, Nicaragua. Marcello Dworzak, President of DaVinci Paint, of Irvine, California is donating gallons of his new fluid acrylic to the artist community of this small Nicaraguan city on the Pacific. The mural depicts the plight of the Nicaraguan peoples who have suffered with many invasions. A&C President, Larry Adlerstein, came across the mural when he was visiting his 19 year-old daughter who was “gap yearing” in Central America. The teenager was traveling alone, often hitchhiking for months. Dad went down to “check up on her.” They stayed at Rancho Esperanza, a hammock hostel on the beach. $12 a night room and board. They had 2 flat tires getting there. The mural graces the walls of the Central Square. The hot Central American sun has faded the years old painting. The cooperation of DaVinci Paint and local artists will brighten the mural with Artist Grade Pigments. The Leon effort is being organized by Danilo Gutierrez Garcia.

0 Comments | Posted in Notes From Larry

Dear Artist

Friday, Aug 31, 2007

Posted By Larry Adlerstein

Dear Artist,

In our 2002 catalogue I wrote…

“This catalogue finds my business and our world in an interesting time in the circle clock of history. The shrinking world puts each of us in contact with humans all around the globe.

We can’t ignore international trade and business. Our clothes, food, and even art supplies are made everywhere. Shopkeepers, like me, seek their best values for their customers – often to be found in the low wage third world.

How do I feel about today’s retailing? Pretty good.
Yes, it’s true that American jobs are being lost, but third world jobs are being created. Our world will be a more peaceful place only if jobs and money are more evenly spread. Containers coming in from China and India may be our best insurance against the anger of war and terrorism.”

Beware; sometimes the things that you wish for come true. 

Now a days people come into our store looking at labels. What they’re not looking for is “Made in China.”

Here’s our dilemma. Here’s our position. 

There are economic realities that we ignore at our own peril, but within those realities we can steer towards a better result.

The dilemma is that the American consumer’s present standard of living is based on the import of cheap Asian goods and retailers who ignore that reality are put out of business. Another dilemma is that domestic management, companies, and jobs are being lost so that we are even more dependent on those overseas factories.

Our position: At first we named our Asian imports honestly so we sold “Mao Brushes” and “T’ang Easels.” These were products made to our specifications in China.

Our later position is to support domestic companies even if they use Asian manufacturers. Better yet we keep production closer to home if possible. We presently buy all the Canadian stretched canvas they can make for us.

Larry Adlerstein

0 Comments | Posted in Notes From Larry

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