Spencer also is working on ways to provide more consistency in the store’s inventory by negotiating contracts with vendors, such as Columbia and Woolrich. Such contracts would ensure that the store was not selling “over-makes,” from a …
Since becoming manager of The Merc two months ago, Lesli Spencer has made a number of changes, and she’s still working to improve the store’s offerings.
“We’ve been doing a lot of reorganizing of the departments, and they are pretty much set now,” Spencer said. “I’m trying to organize more like the bigger stores, like Penney’s or Kohl’s.”
Spencer also is working on ways to provide more consistency in the store’s inventory by negotiating contracts with vendors, such as Columbia and Woolrich. Such contracts would ensure that the store was not selling “over-makes,” from a vendor’s manufacturing runs, or seconds and off-brands, Spencer said.
Already, Spencer said, she has contracted for a line of women’s purses as well as a full line of men’s socks and underwear, and she is working to improve The Merc’s offerings for kids.
“We need to get our junior department beefed up. We don’t want it to be just off-brands and seconds,” she said.
Another goal is to keep the store’s merchandise in season, Spencer said.
One thing that hasn’t changed much is the store’s staff, which has stayed mostly intact.
“One person has left and one has been hired, but that’s all,” she said. “We’ve got a good team together.”
Spencer said she believes most people who come into the store are happy with what they’ve seen, and she hopes others will visit The Merc and look around. The store has been running weekly specials, and not all of them are advertised, so shoppers may find unexpected good deals.
“We would like people to come in and look around,” she said. “I think they will be surprised at what they see.”
Spencer said she still has a way to go before the store is the way she thinks it should be, because of the long lead time in stocking the store for the next season. But her goal is to have it all done by the time Christmas shopping takes off with “Sample the Season” in November.
“We’ll be 100 percent ready by holiday time,” Spencer said. “Sample the Season is an important time, and we want to be ready.”
The store is owned by local shareholders.