To open a store or not to open? Morally.

Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2015 10:43 pm
Hello. To put it simply, my dream is to open my own clothing store. I can do it and I will do it. But the issue is a matter of location and whether or not it would be bad character on my part. I use to work for a woman, D, who taught me everything I know. And for that I am grateful. Towards the end of my career at her store she started to treat me horribly and walked all over me. I couldn't take it any longer so I had to quit. It's been about half a year since I left my job there and the next move for me is to open a store of my own. The only issue is, the only feasible way for this to happen for me, would be to open up in the same town. Would that be wrong to do to D? Or am I in the clear? I would never want a descion like this to reflect badly on my character. But I do feel that I need to look out for myself. Would this reflect poorly on my business. (Just to clarify, my store would be a clothing store like D's is, however I would carry totally different brands) Any thoughts?
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2015 10:45 pm
I see no moral or ethical problems. Not even if it is a very small town.
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Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2015 11:13 pm
There's no morality clash whatsoever. this is not an usual situation. Picture another individual opening a store in the same town. the town can handle more than one clothing store. Why not you? It's not like she passed on any insider industrial secrets to you. You didn't sign a non-compete contract, either.

That's especially true as you aren't carrying the same lines (not that it would matter even if you did).

go for it!
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Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2015 11:47 pm
Are you planning a mens clothing store or womens clothing? (I hope it's mens because my husband needs some decent suits....tell me where you are and Ill be your first customer) Did you sign any sort of document promising to non compete within a certain number of miles for a specified period of time? If you haven't signed such a provision, you shouldn't have to now, If she asks you when you end your employment to sign such a document, don't do it.
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2015 05:29 am
It's been about half a year since I left my job there
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Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2015 05:40 am
No it would not reflect badly on you. It is not like you are opening one across the street from her with the exact same product and less money and with a huge sign saying her stuff stinks.

Seriously though .. it should not recent badly, especially as you said you have different brands. Is your town large enough to support both clothing stores? Is the brand you plan to sell in demand in your town? As much for you to be successful.

As far as morals...yes you are free to open up and not because she was terrible to you, because we have free markets and if the market in your area is good for a store like you plan to open then it would be likely someone else would. Competition is to be expected. Just be polite to her if you see her and do not bad mouth her and her store...I'd also avoid being right within visual sight of her store.
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Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2015 08:10 am
"But the issue is a matter of location"

There is nothing wrong with being right next door - as long as you don't carry the same brands and try to tap into the same market as she specializes in.
THIS is so much more important than what your former boss thinks.

Be sure you have a solid business plan.

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Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2015 08:19 am
I agree. There is no moral problem.

You were working for her. She benefited from the fact that you were there. She wasn't doing you a favor "teaching you everything you know". What she taught you, she did for her benefit, not yours.

You owe her nothing.

You have every right to open up your own store. You can compete with her. You can put her out of business if you want (not that this should be your goal). None of this would reflect poorly on your character-- business is business.

Opening a business is difficult. If you are going to do this, you have to focus on what it will take to make it successful. This other woman is not your concern... let her worry about her own business.

Make it happen.
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