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As More Shoppers Go Online, D.C. Retailers Face A Choice: Evolve Or Go Extinct

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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Retail in Washington DC story by Ally Schweitzer
Julie Egermayer owns “Violet”, a women’s clothing store, in an upscale mixed-use building off U Street NW. It is in a pop up space right now following the failure of her store location in Georgetown.

Not long ago, Chevy Chase boutique owner Susanne McLean began to notice a change in her customers’ behavior. Instead the usual browsing or buying, some people were starting to treat her shop like a showroom.

“A customer will come in, and we’ll help them for 30 minutes, fitting a pair of shoes. Then, they’ll take out their cell phone camera and take a picture,” said McLean, who has owned clothing and home-goods store Catch Can for nearly 30 years. “Then they’ll go home and order the shoes online.”

Browsing in person and buying online is the kind of “new normal” feared by small shop owners, especially those that specialize in apparel, furniture and other merchandise easily purchased on the internet. As mall anchors and chains shutter across the country — spurring headlines about a retail apocalypse — some predict local mom-and-pops are succumbing to the same fate.

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Business News

How Could Initiative 77 Affect Eating Out In D.C.?

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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Partisans from all sides of the controversial ballot measure to phase out D.C.’s tipped minimum wage scrambled to respond the day after voters approved it.

The restaurant industry immediately started angling to overturn it. Business owners began figuring out how they could pay for the higher labor costs. And consumers wondered how it could affect their favorite restaurants — and their restaurant bill.

Here are some commonly asked questions about what comes next.

Am I going to pay more to dine out?

That’s possible. Initiative 77 will slowly phase out the subminimum wage that’s been standard in the city’s restaurant and bar industry for decades. Some establishments won’t be able to afford the increase in labor costs, and they may choose to pass that increase onto customers.

As Black Restaurant Group’s Jeff Black told the Washington Post, “You can’t afford to give somebody a 500 percent pay raise and not have it come from somewhere.” (The raise is closer to 350 percent, according to our calculations.)

Will tipping still be allowed?

Read all @ WAMU

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Business News

#BUYBLACK: TOP BLACK BUSINESSES YOU SHOULD SUPPORT

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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#BUYBLACK: TOP BLACK BUSINESSES YOU SHOULD SUPPORT

Keep the Black dollar in the community. Here are some poppin’ small businesses that deserve your support.

 

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Business News

Oprah’s Stake in Weight Watchers Balloons to $400 Million

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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Oprah Winfrey’s investment in Weight Watchers two and a half years ago is paying off.

The lifestyle company reported last week strong earnings and sales, as well as an increase in subscribers. The stock jumped 5 percent on Friday because of the news, CNN Money reports.

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