Monday, December 22, 2008

Gone, and Perhaps Not Mourned?

The past few weeks have seen announcements of various store chains that have announced that they are either closing completely or closing down many of their less profitable stores. In some cases I have been a customer of those stores, either occasionally or fairly regularly, and in other cases I've been in those stores either never or maybe once. Some are flagship stores for a particular brand/label and others are general merchandise stores.

National Wholesale Liquidators is one of those chains which is closing down all its stores. That's really too bad. It was sometimes quite possible to get incredibly good bargains in their stores. Linens and Things is another chain that is closing a number of stores and may have to close all of them. Towards them I have a very "so what" attitude; the merchandise in this chain was waaaay overpriced for what was being offered.

But the one store/brand/label that I wish would go out of business is still around. Everyone knows of this business and it is the rare person who hasn't purchased something they have been pushing. That store/brand is called "Yehnem's**."

Yehnem's has the advantage of being the most sold product line in America, and especially in the frum communities. There isn't a product manufactured that Yehnem's is not better than, at least judged by the number of people who see something in someone else's possession, declare they "need" that item also, and run to buy Yehnem's. It doesn't seem to matter what you yourself own already, because your life is just not "complete" until you have Yehnem's.

It matters not a whit that Yehnem's is going to be costly, far costlier than most people can afford. It matters not that Yehnem's may turn out to be a poor fit for you or your family. It matters not that Yehnem's may turn out to be of shoddy workmanship and inferior materials. The only thing that does matter is that it be an original Yehnem's.

Yehnem's is not a shopping venue that I've patronized very often, although it takes real discipline to be living in a frum community in NYC and not catch the Yehnem's craze. Fortunately, the community I live in does not have a Yehnem's flagship store any where near it. Unfortunately, some people have been going over the bridge and bringing the products back with them. Fortunately, most people here can do a product cost analysis and have decided that there is no value for the money when you buy Yehnem's. Unfortunately, many of our children attend schools in areas where Yehnem's is the number-one selling brand.

At a time where many businesses are in financial trouble I'd like to hope and believe that Yehnem's is going to fall in that group that can't survive this economic adjustment period. If people were to stop buying Yehnem's the savings to Klal would be immeasurable, both monetarily and socially. I live in hope that some morning I'm going to open the Wall Street Journal and see screaming headlines: "Yehnem's can find no buyer and announces that all stores will be closed immediately and all manufacturing has halted as of today." Now there would be good news.

**For those who may not be aware, "yehnem's" is the Yiddish for "theirs."


Anonymous said...

You failed to mention that yenems is the most active new product producer in the world. As soon as you come home with their must have product there is already a new one waiting to replace it. We've had the same neighbor for over 30 years. She is now on her 6th kitchen appliance remodeling. Are they all inferior and failing? No, but they aren't a yenems and have to go.

Anonymous said...

What business is this, and what product do they make? Please explain, as I really don't get it.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that she meant that we are always looking to buy what someone else has. what they have is what we have to have too even if we don't need it or like it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation; I feel silly for not getting it before.

Anonymous said...

I didn't get it either...