Buying in to a buying group
Buying groups enable a family business to partner with other independent retailers to increase profit margins and compete against the chains. But be sure you know what you're getting into before signing up.
By Gwen Moran
In 1990, Anthony Fratto, the second-generation owner of Anthony Jewelers in Palmyra, N.J., was approached by a representative of the Independent Jewelers Organization (IJO), the world's largest jewelry buying group. The rep told Fratto that joining the 850-member IJO would not only save him money on purchasing but also help him put more money in his pocket.
Understandably, Fratto, now 63, was skeptical. His business, which his father had started in 1953, was doing well. “They told me they were going to help me make more money,” Fratto recalls. “They told me they were going to help me …
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