Tradersmart picks up Mr. Goodbuys' old siteMr. Goodbuys...

CONSUMER MARKETPLACE

October 17, 1992|By Michael Dresser

Tradersmart picks up Mr. Goodbuys' old site

Mr. Goodbuys has disappeared from the Glen Burnie retail scene, but the new tenants in its old building say there will still be plenty of good buys at the site.

Tradersmart, a retail clearance center boasting more than 200 vendors, held a preview opening yesterday in the 80,000-square-foot building at Ritchie Highway and the Beltway, which has been vacant since the Mr. Goodbuys home improvement chain went bust last year.

Before it was developed as a shopping center in 1988, the site was the home of the Glen Burnie Farmers Market, and Tradersmart's owners say the new venture will bring back some of the flavor of the old market.

Some of the space will be used by established retail chains as a clearance center for disposing of unwanted inventory at low prices, said Daphne Fisher, vice president of the new venture. They include Sunny's Surplus, Ups and Downs, The Jesus Shop and Miss Harpers.

The established chains will be joined by some 200 other vendors, most of them set up in permanent stores, says the management, which takes great pains to emphasize that it is not a flea market. The vendors will sell everything from fresh produce to clothing, housewares and sporting goods.

The market will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays year-round. Tradersmart's organizers are promising an arcade, carnival and auction every Saturday. Joining Ms. Fisher as co-owner of the venture is Richard Kabat, a Washington developer.

Catalog company delivers overnight

"Order today, wear tomorrow" could soon become the standard in the catalog sales business.

DM Management, a New Hampshire-based catalog company, announced recently that it has joined with Airborne Express to offer next-business day service at no added cost to customers of its J. Jill, Nicole Summers and The Very Thing catalogs -- as long as orders are received by 5 p.m.

The catalog company is claiming that the free overnight delivery service, which it says is a first in the industry, will give it "an edge in the brutally competitive catalog business."

Perhaps, but the betting here is that the edge won't last too long. Rather, DM Management might soon find that it has plenty of company in offering the same service.

Coupon redemptions run at record clip

With a slow economy pinching family budgets, consumers have their scissors working overtime clipping coupons.

NCH Informational Services, a Chicago-based coupon processor, reported recently that consumers redeemed manufacturers' coupons at a record pace during the first half of 1992. NCH said the number of coupon redemptions was up 10 percent over the first six months of 1991.

Mark Roeder, a spokesman for Landover-based Giant Food Inc., said the company would not disclose details of its coupon redemptions, but added that NCH's figures "do seem to be pretty much in line with what we've seen here the first six months of the year."

NCH says a high level of coupon-clipping is an indicator of a weak economy and low consumer confidence.

Courvoisier sells $3,750 cognac bottle

Courvoisier, the famous French cognac producer, is betting that recession or no recession, the spirit of conspicuous consumption lives on in America.

The company is offering 195 of a total of 595 bottles of its Succession "J. L" Grande Champagne Cognac for sale in the United States. The damage: about $3,750 for a standard-size 750-milliliter bottle.

That comes to about $170 a snifter, according to Courvoisier publicist Dana Glazer.

What makes this bottle so special, the company said, is that its is an unblended, single-vineyard lot of Cognac distilled from a rare grape variety early this century. The lot was passed down through the generations of the family that grew the grapes and was eventually acquired by Courvoisier, the company said.

Each hand-blown bottle comes in its own wooden box with a lock and a secret compartment for the key.

Don't feel too bad if you can't afford it. For connoisseurs whose junk bonds are now trading for a dime on the dollar, Courvoisier is also offering its bargain-basement Degustation Cognac, part of its Collection Erte, a series of rare blended Cognacs in bottles designed by Erte, the famous Art Deco master who died three years ago at 97. You can pick this up for a mere $500.

BBB has guides on disabilities law

The Better Business Bureau has published a series of six guides, each aimed at a specific industry, on how to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Each of the guides, financed by a grant from the U.S. Justice Department, presents an overview of the law, discusses ways to remove physical barriers to the disabled and describes ways to modify practices that inhibit their use of a business' facilities. The guides also deal with the question of what landlords must do to comply with the law and what is left to the business tenant.

The six industries covered in the guides are fun and fitness centers; car sales and service establishments; medical offices; retail stores; grocery stores; and restaurants and bars. For copies of the guides, which cost $3.50 each, write the BBB at P.O. Box 2297, Philadelphia 19103.

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