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Don't Diss the Customer ^ | June 14, 2014 | Charles Payne

Posted on 06/14/2014 4:05:34 PM PDT by Kaslin

Dillard's Department store is the quintessential American success story that begun in 1938. By 1953, it was the leading store in Texas. The company grew rapidly, and eventually went public in 1969.

In the early 1990s, several complaints were filed about the mistreatment of, and racist attitudes toward customers and employees. The company's stock peaked at $50 in November of 1992. Thereafter, with all the lawsuits and media reports, the stock went down and continued to sink.

By the time management paid a $5.6 million settlement in July of 2001, the shares were changing hands at just $14.00.

In 2002, William T Dillard II (Chairman and CEO), began to turn the company around. The shares got back to $50 in May of 2011, and have been a juggernaut since hitting rock bottom at $2.50 in November of 2008.

There was more going on than accusations of racism. The store was also slow to discount or update its look, but I think their reputation hurt them for a long time.

Fast forward to 2013, when two of the hottest retail brands dissed consumers:

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF)

-CEO Mike Jeffries

"In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids."

"Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends."

"A lot of people don't belong [in our clothes], and they can't belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."

Lululemon Athletica (LULU)

CEO Chip Wilson, Nov 2013, explaining why their yoga pants could cause chafing, leading to a recall in March.

"Quite frankly, some women's bodies just actually don't work for it."

I am not surprised LULU has warned on guidance for the fourth time in the last five quarters. I think it is time management tries to figure out a way to get back into the good graces of their lost customers. Wall Street continues to like Abercrombie at lower levels, but I think it is too early to tell if ANF will make a strong turn around. In fact, there is no telling how long it may take; after all, it has taken ten years for Dillard's shares to recover after its fall.

To every business, the message is clear...

People love people and interact with a variety of races through school, work, friends, and even within their extended families. Everyone has overweight friends and family members, and others that some may not think are attractive. A willingness to hurt the feelings of, and to alienate one group can alienate everyone.

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

Just about every single day, one of the big tech companies releases news about another acquisition, initiative, or plan that when pieced together, it seems like a plot to take over the world. In fact, it is a plot to take over the world. The question is: how does the desire for global domination not eventually take a sinister turn?

I wish I could say this is all tongue-in-cheek, but I cannot.

Perhaps I have seen too many movies where organized crime syndicates grow in sophistication, and eventually into rival sovereign governments. In the movies, the only thing they are missing is a nuclear warhead or a way to deliver a nuclear warhead. Or they have such a weapon, and demand a ransom.

There is no way a private corporation could have the kind of tentacles around the world featured in the SPECTRE logo. That was then and this is now, and there is not just one company with an ever-growing ability to know all facets of our lives, but together they can disrupt or destroy our lives, if they so desired.Ian Fleming created SPECTRE (Special Execution for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion) as a foe for the super-secret agent James Bond. There have been many factious mega-corporations eager to unleash their voracious intentions on mankind, and each has a farfetched reach, manpower, and know-how.

The race is on and there is no place people can hide.

Don't Be Evil
-Google Motto

I think thou protest too much. Why would a company have to state, right out of the gate of their existence that they plan to do no evil? What is that all about? Did they know all along that the goal would be to gather more personal information on people, than even the federal government possess? There are so many questions and very few answers. Instead, each day, we are greeted with more news of yet another tentacle and pathway into our lives.

The latest weapon in the Google arsenal is 'Skybox.' Google paid $500 million for a start-up, which uses low-cost satellites that can take high-resolution photos and videos from as far away as 500 miles. I have to say that the Google street van creeps me out. So, 'Skybox' will peek at me, while I peek out my window at those ominous vans, while filming the neighborhood. Officially, Google says it will use 'Skybox,' (not to be confused with Skynet) to beef-up its Maps and spread Internet access to remote areas.

Then there is Facebook, which seems to match Google step-by- step in acquisitions and questionable motives.

How about the websites microphone feature, when activated on smart phones, it picks up stuff in the background and logs the information. It could be noise from a television or a radio, or a conversation, which is swiftly logged into a status update. Facebook says they are not recording or storing conversations, but many are suspicious. Why create such a feature in the first place? Then again, Facebook has done a lot of unusual things. Perhaps I am just a bit paranoid, but I think I would feel better if the company would adopt a new motto.

How about: "Don't Be Evil."

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society

1 posted on 06/14/2014 4:05:34 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

I’m confused about the connection between Dillard’s, where I used to shop in Texas in the 1980s - I even had their credit card - and the rest of the article.

2 posted on 06/14/2014 4:07:56 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I have a classic sports car.)
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To: Kaslin
Some women look ridiculous in high fashion. Same with men. If don't fit, it ain't legit. They can certainly buy the clothes and look like a clown..but it's not racism when someone laughs at you.

3 posted on 06/14/2014 4:20:45 PM PDT by Dallas59 ("Remember me as you pass by, As you are now, so once was I, As I am now, so you will be")
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To: Dallas59
Not everybody can pull off cool like this dude...

4 posted on 06/14/2014 4:34:11 PM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: Tax-chick

Ditto. My mom, the women in our family has always shopped at Dillards and as black females never encountered racism there.

5 posted on 06/14/2014 4:35:43 PM PDT by RginTN
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To: RginTN

The store had a good line of clothes, and we bought some household decorator items there, too. It was like Belk is here in the Southeast ... classier than J.C. Penney or Sears, and cost more, too. I remember I spent $80 there for the dress I wore to my college graduation ... and many funerals and job interviews thereafter, it was a black shirt-dress ... and that was a lot of money then.

It’s a lot, now. It’s rare for a dress to cost that much first-price at Dress Barn, and I only shop Belk if it’s the 50% off sale or more.

6 posted on 06/14/2014 5:04:53 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I have a classic sports car.)
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To: Tax-chick

Yep. My mom shops at Dillards or Macys. Macys more cause of the sales and the sales coupons they send her. Dillard’s has never sent her coupons in the mail.

7 posted on 06/14/2014 5:51:43 PM PDT by RginTN
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To: RginTN

I’m not a coupon-shopper. I’d probably find some great bargains if I was ... but then, I go to The Salvation Army on half-price day!

8 posted on 06/14/2014 5:53:58 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I have a classic sports car.)
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To: Kaslin

Dillards is a great store. I get all my fancy stuff there when I visit the midwest

9 posted on 06/14/2014 6:26:50 PM PDT by Organic Panic
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To: Tax-chick

That dress sounds nice! I spent $100 on a dress for my sister-in-laws wedding (well my mom spent it, as I was dead broke at that time, she gave me a hundred dollar bill and said: go get a dress for the wedding, thanks mom!) and I got a lot of wear out of that dress.

Obviously it was pretty fancy, but I wore it to another wedding or two and to a couple of christmas parties.

I wasn’t super crazy about it when I bought it, but I ended up loving it.

10 posted on 06/15/2014 1:36:51 AM PDT by jocon307
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To: Kaslin

I haven’t set foot in there for five years, and never will again. We stopped by there during Christmas Season one day after work. We own a small business, and about half the time fancy clothes would not be appropriate; so we were dressed in our work clothes (jeans, sweaters, and winter coats).

My husband has wildly curly hair, and has always worn it in a short ponytail (it’s either that or shaved bald for him)...but he is very clean cut otherwise.

We had about $1000 to spend on gifts, and had begun looking at some gloves and scarfs for “Grandma” when they called a “code” over the speaker system. I used to work in retail and recognized it for what it was (we were in that department). Next thing I know, we had one of those creepy store security types following us around, hiding behind racks and “pretending” to be a fellow shopper.

So, I guess we aren’t their “type” of customer. I post this while wearing a Ralph Lauren outfit that I bought at one of their competitors.

11 posted on 06/15/2014 1:59:31 AM PDT by garandgal
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