The Fate of Steve & Barry's

N Was the poor economy a factor?

Yes, said Barry Berman, a professor of marketing at Hofstra University in Uniondale. "You would expect their sales to be going crazy" in a bad economy, Berman said. "But the economy is such that people seem to be delaying purchases of even inexpensive clothing."

N What's the best course of action for Steve & Barry's now?

The experts say the company has little choice but to shutter stores and file for Chapter 11. The well has run dry, they say, and persuading vendors to provide new merchandise can't be an easy task these days, Davidowitz added. "Every day that goes by they're piling up new debt," he said. "The sooner [they file Chapter 11] the better."

N Does the Steve & Barry's experience say anything about the strategy of low prices and high volume?

"This is a crazy situation," Davidowitz said. "Nobody does what they did. They had a paradigm that made no sense. It was crazy to start with, and it's going to finish crazy."


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