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February 12, 1993 - Image 90

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-02-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

BUSINESS

so, HOW'S
BUSINESS?

Rima Parker and
Rosalie Beck of
Renoir Woman.

For four businesses in
suburban Detroit, the
consensus of opinion was
one of thank goodness 1992
is over; now let's move on
and hope that its recession
and doldrums never come
around again.

By Phil Jacobs, Managing Editor

Dressing Down. The Recession

Rima Parker and Rosalie Beck pilot Renoir Woman through
the downturn with cautious optimism.

R

ima Parker and
Rosalie Beck are
beaming with
pride. Well they
should be. The co-owners of
Renoir Woman, a clothing
store for the full-figured
woman, recently tripled its
space to its current Main
Street location in Royal Oak.
Business seems to be going
well. The owners say, though,
with a laugh, that it also de-
pends on what day of the
week you ask them.
"There is a difference now,
compared to before 1992 and
the recession," said Ms. Park-
er. "The difference is that in
the past, customers had the
income to buy at any time.
Now, many people wait
longer than they used to.
There's not a free sense of
buying like before. Now, it's
a well-thought out, 'Can I af-
ford this now or should I
wait?' type of thing. We're
seeing that many people are
choosing to wait instead."
Ms. Parker added that the
store's Royal Oak location is
a real plus, because of the
constant high level of activi-
ty on the streets.
'We see that the economy
is improving," she continued.
"We can see from out of our

window here in Royal Oak.
It's a gradual improvement.
We're seeing that people are
having more hope about the
economy in general. Presi-
dent Clinton and Vice Presi-
dent Gore offer a vigorous
new direction. They seem so
young and vital. They pump

"A lot of it for

its has been to

go by instinct,
`How does it
feel?' "

people up with their atti-
tudes."
Ms. Beck indicated that
their five-year-old business
actually got its feet wet dur-
ing the recession. Even
though the store has been
successful, the partners ad-
mit that they've had to de-
velop almost a sixth sense of
how to outwit the economic
downturn by spending more
time learning about their cus-
tomers and how the business
could meet their customers'
needs.

"The recession brought on
a tremendous change for
many retailers," said Ms.
Beck. "Not just here in De-
troit, but the effect was all
over the country, with other
people we know in the same
type of business."
'We try to think like the
customers would think," said
Ms. Parker, so in many in-
stances, we make decisions
in inventory as if we were
customers making the deci-
sions. But you learn in this
business how to fill a need for
your customers. You have to
find that need, and if you
don't do that successfully, you
can lose customers. A lot of it
for us has been to go by in-
stinct, 'How does it feel?' "
Because the business is a
specialty shop, the entrepre-
neurs do get a repeat cus-
tomer who does want skilled
sales advice. So there is a loy-
alty to the store.
Both co-owners agreed that
they were "cautiously opti-
mistic" that the recession was
in their past.
"We don't want to be too
excited," said Ms. Beck, "Clin-
ton can't make an immediate
change. But we do feel that
the immediate future of re-
tail is a bit safer."

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