tv The Profit CNBC October 19, 2016 1:00am-2:01am EDT
at a popular kitchen-supply tostore in manhattan...... howard: how you doing, ladies? come on in. lemonis: ...one of the owners is cooking up a catastrophe. howie, why would you be ordering knives? howard: i'll get approval. don't worry. lemonis: are you being a dick? his reckless spending has put the business in the red. howard: we're not choking. lemonis: can you close for a week to do inventory? howard: no. lemonis: then you're choking. his careless merchandising... there's [bleep] everywhere. ...has thrown this store into chaos. howard: that's a real machete. you don't see that in williams & sonoma, do you? lemonis: and despite her mounting frustration, his ex-wife and partner... howard: who makes their wife 50%? robyn: so i haven't done [bleep] here, right? lemonis: ...has been powerless to stop him. that's not what an equal partnership looks like. if you have an opinion, he has to listen to it.
if i can't help her step up as a leader and restore this business to order, its doors will close forever. you got somebody else to write a check? howard: we'll just keep going on the way we are. lemonis: and you will not survive. my name is marcus lemonis, and i risk my own money to save struggling businesses. we're not gonna wake up every morning wondering if we have a job. we're gonna wake up every morning wondering how many jobs we have to do. it's not always pretty. everything's gonna change. everything. but i do it to save jobs, and i do it to make money. this... let's go to work. ...is "the profit." ♪ in 1996, with the help of his best friend, robyn coval, howard nourieli opened bowery kitchen supplies, a store serving professional chefs and home cooks alike. howard: robyn, why are these here? lemonis: the two soon married and started a family,
and bowery's reputation grew, its vast selection making it one of new york's premiere kitchen-supply stores. man: aah! lemonis: but then the marriage fell apart. now howard and robyn can't stop fighting over inventory, over management issues, over everything. robyn: what is this? lemonis: the store is losing money, and they're out of cash. howard: robyn, god damn it! robyn: [ sighs ] lemonis: located in manhattan's popular chelsea market, bowery draws tons of foot traffic. and it's focus on both commercial and retail customers makes it a very unique concept. if i can whip the store and its owners into shape, i think bowery can go nationwide. ♪ if you are into knives,
this place has every knife you can think of. but as i walk through the store, the merchandising is really unclear to me. there's [bleep] everywhere. it's kind of tight in here, huh? man: yeah. lemonis: merchandising is an organized plan of displaying product in categories that allows the consumer to know where they're going and what they're looking for. geez. a glassware section, an appliance section, a cutlery section -- it's not here. everything seems random. howard: welcome. lemonis: i'm marcus. howard: marcus, i'm howard. i'm the nice guy, usually, and this is robyn, my partner. robyn: i'm robyn. lemonis: hey, robyn, how are you? nice to meet you. robyn: nice to meet you, marcus. lemonis: so how long have you guys been in business? robyn: 20 years. lemonis: how did you guys get in business together? howard: we knew each other since high school. lemonis: okay. howard: best friends. robyn: this is my ex-husband. we have two human children, and bowery kitchen is our first child. lemonis: you guys are 50-50? robyn: yes, absolutely. lemonis: who's in charge, between the two of you? robyn: howie. howard: i would say me.
robyn: only because it's just like howie maybe started the business, but i'm not allowed to touch the knife wall. howard: yeah. lemonis: this place is big. howard: yeah, we can take you around and show you. lemonis: i would love to see. how many square feet is it? robyn: 4,000 square feet. lemonis: it looks kind of junky to me. customer comes in, no directional signage. howard: "holy [bleep] look at all these knives." that's a real deer's foot. lemonis: that is nasty. howard: that's a real machete. you don't see that in williams & sonoma, do you? lemonis: a machete makes sense for cutting through brush or maybe even a martial-arts store, but for a kitchen-supply store? yeah. not so much. would you like to buy one? man: no. ♪ lemonis: do these have good margins? robyn: yeah. lemonis: like, if you had a wall of aprons... howard: mm... robyn: that would be amazing. lemonis: how important do you think that window is to you? robyn: very. all the glassware used to be in this window. howard: which i hated the glassware. robyn: he hated it. he made us move it. so i was like, "okay, okay. howard: people don't come here to buy glassware.
robyn: no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. howard: i hated the glass. lemonis: did you sell more glass when it was out here? howard: we sold more glass, yes. lemonis: i feel like i'm getting a good inside look into how both of them think about their business. robyn understands the real estate and the value of really using the space to sell products. howard -- he's just not into the glassware. howard: the knives make us much more money than the glass. lemonis: the business does how much overall in revenue? howard: $3 million. lemonis: of the $3 million, how much comes from knives? $1 million? howard: $1 million. lemonis: that's good. that's a third. you know why? because there's a great display. there's a product knowledge. it's the effort and the commitment to it. how much revenue got generated last year in this quadrant? robyn: there's no merchandise here. lemonis: one metric in measuring a retailer's success or its performance is to calculate its sales per square foot. and in my opinion, bowery has real room for improvement. in the last year, bowery's done about $3 million in sales across 4,000 square feet, or $750 a square foot in sales.
by using their space more effectively, they could raise that number dramatically. take this window, for example. by using the space to merchandise product -- space that wasn't used before -- not only are you gonna generate revenue, but you're gonna attract people into the store just by the visual merchandise. and de-cluttering the space would make it easier for the consumers to get around the store, finding specific departments. now, that's the easy stuff. i think if you do a few changes, that sales per square foot can go up by at least $100, or an extra $400,000 a year. ♪ i don't want you to take this the wrong way, but it feels like a hardware store for kitchen stuff. robyn: i think howie was responsible for tons of things that don't sell. we had to find space for all the [bleep] that we have. lemonis: how much inventory's in the whole place? the longer you take, the more i know you're making it up. howard: it's about $600,000. robyn: i was gonna say half a million. lemonis: how often do you do inventory?
robyn: not often enough. howard: not often enough. lemonis: how do you keep inventory? howard: i don't know. i'll see something missing, and i'll put it on an order. robyn: honestly, we don't really do a proper inventory because our inventory system is weird and it doesn't work right. howard: yeah. lemonis: and -- okay. this is the first time i've ever heard about an inventory system that where you scan the store with your eyes. do you have a pencil and a piece of paper? because it's not great, but it's better than nothing. hi, i'm marcus. howard: marcus, lorraine. laurie: lorraine. lemonis: lorraine? laurie: laurie, people call me. lemonis: laurie? okay. nice to meet you. we were just having a discussion about inventory. how much inventory do you think is in the...? laurie: oh, gosh, we have to have at least $400,000. lemonis: well, that's $200,000 less than they thought was here. let me just chat with laurie for just a minute. so, are you the general manager? laurie: yeah, because i manage most things. lemonis: what's the biggest challenge? laurie: one hand saying one thing, and then the other hand saying another.
lemonis: who are the two hands? laurie: howie and robyn. lemonis: okay. which one of them is here more? laurie: honestly, robyn. lemonis: robyn. where is howie? is he surfing? is he playing cards, golfing? laurie: no, i mean, sometimes, he's out with clients or he's traveling. lemonis: when i first met robyn and howard, i learned that howard was the one in charge, but what i'm finding out is that he's there a lot less than robyn. it doesn't make a lot of sense to me. ♪ howard: these are the two receiving areas. lemonis: laurie told me you're not here all the time. howard: i take a lot of vacation time, though. lemonis: you do? howard: i do. lemonis: when you say "a lot," what does that mean? howard: two weeks every three months. lemonis: are you [bleep] me? howard: i'm not [bleep] you. lemonis: you take two months off a year? howard: i do take two months off a year. lemonis: but you're a business owner. howard: yes. lemonis: in a struggling business. howard: yes. lemonis: two months?! howard: yeah. it runs on its own, basically. i mean, laurie, i have robyn. that's why you have a partner, you know? lemonis: all right, well, i'm gonna get back inside. i don't want to take any more time off.
howard: okay. lemonis: i don't know how a business owner can take two months off. howard: you can't get over that, huh? lemonis: i can't get over it. i've never seen it. i mean, i'm in awe. howard: i like to take my time. i'll tell you why. 'cause you only have so much time on this planet. why shouldn't i do something with my kids, something myself, traveling. lemonis: but you're also a business owner. i mean, you choose to own a business. howard: yes. lemonis: sometimes you make sacrifices. howard: but i choose that business not to own me. robyn: i feel like sometimes, he'll go away for all -- and we've been here. and then he'll come in and start, you know -- "oh, this!" howard: you take time off, too, now. robyn: this is my xanax bottle right here. ♪ roger: the front of the store is all howie. the knives are all howie's business. we don't do any knife-ordering. it's all howie. lemonis: stay away from it. roger: yeah. lemonis: or you get cut. roger: or you get screamed at, you know. lemonis: when he's here. roger: when he's here. lemonis: is that a big issue for some of the employees, honestly?
roger: we actually quite like it when he's not here, to be perfectly honest. lemonis: you do? roger: yeah. 'cause howie can come in and say, "i don't want that there," you know, "get rid of it." lemonis: you do it and you spend all day on it, and the you turn around and it's... roger: that is so soul-destroying. ♪ lemonis: could you grab all of your financial data? and i'd like to sit down and go over it all with you. howard: okay. all right. lemonis: all right? you want to go ahead and grab it? howard: yeah, yeah. lemonis: all right, great. ♪ let's start with the profit and loss statement. howard: so january through december 2015. lemonis: total revenue -- $3,136,00. the cost of goods is $1,381,000. gross profit -- $1,755,000. total expenses -- $1,876,000. leaving you with a loss of $121,000 last year. the two single biggest expenses are the payroll at $583,000 and the rent at $405,000. can i see a balance sheet? ♪
so when i look at your assets, the line of credit is $111,000. the line of credit is a liability, not an asset. let's talk about the liabilities. $196,000 of payables. nearly $130,000 of it is past due. $111,000 to chase. $185,000 to mark. howard: that's my brother, yeah. lemonis: that's a loan from him? howard: yes. lemonis: so the total debt is $492,000, and there's $30,000 in the bank. the business is in the hole right now. howard: the $185,000 -- that's not due right away. i can pay that off very slowly. so we're not... you know. lemonis: you say you're not choking? howard: we're not choking. lemonis: can you close for a week to do inventory? howard: no. lemonis: okay, then you're choking. robyn: the money that howie borrowed from his brother went into goods --
knives that howie purchased from france, from china. it wasn't really a discussion that was had as partners. lemonis: you felt like you were left out of the decision-making, yeah? robyn: it happens, you know, but i've been dealing with it for 20 years. lemonis: does it make you feel insignificant? robyn: of course. i feel like it's still howie's business, like i'm still working for him. i mean, i'm there, like -- i sweat and bleed there. howard: this is my business. you know, i started it. you know, we're 50-50 because i gave her 50%. unfortunately, i have a partner, and i overstep it. robyn: i do love him. he's my best friend. we're much better friends. howard: i think more than marriage, friendship is much better. robyn: we're much better friends than husband and wife. lemonis: and that happens. you've proven that you can generate revenue.
you've proven that you are a horrible merchandiser. and you've proven that you are a fighter and that you survive no matter what. so i want to make an offer. $350,000 for 40% of the business. robyn: it's been just him and i for 20 years. now the two of us -- together, we have more of a percentage than you, but individually, you own more of our business than we do individually. howard: i'm not interested in giving up 40%. i'm interested in giving 30%. lemonis: and so just like you don't want me to have 40% so that you have 30%, i don't want you to have 35% and 35% so i have 30%. howard: okay. lemonis: because quite frankly, i'm writing the check that keeps the doors open. howard: not necessarily. lemonis: you got somebody else to write a check for $350,000? 'cause if you do, they're gonna take -- howard: we'll just keep going on the way we are.
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you can't lose money and have past-due payables and stay open. so my offer was $350,000 for 40%. your counteroffer is what? robyn: to be equal partners. i feel it's probably more comfortable. lemonis: i can live with that. i'll accept your counteroffer of $350,000 for 33%. i want to remind you of something. when you take my check, i'm 100% in charge. howard: and what does that mean? lemonis: you'll see. robyn: oh, my gosh. lemonis: do we have a deal? howard: we have a deal. give it to her. she handles the money. lemonis: i'll see you bright and early. robyn: thanks, marcus. see you tomorrow. howard: i'm looking forward to it. ♪ lemonis: i thought maybe we could just meet up here
as a group. howard: yeah. lemonis: so i wanted to let you guys know that we made a deal yesterday for me to invest $350,000. with that being said, when i look at the people -- fantastic. when i look at the process -- disaster. i don't know where the departments are. i don't know who's in charge of merchandising. i don't know who's in charge of inventory. but what i do know is that despite all those things, you guys kick ass. question is how much better could it be? howard: right. lemonis: i did not do this for one store. i think there could be, with the right floor plan and the right system -- i think there could be 20 of them. and i think this could be a $50 million business. we're going to establish departments and make visual merchandising an important part of what we do. i'll give you a good example. we're gonna develop a glass department with a specific anchor brand. one of the ways that you improve the credibility of your business is to anchor each one of those departments with well-known brands. the credibility that you have as a brand retailer
will spill over into the products that don't have established brands with really good margins. when i look at the linens and the clothing, i think you can do a better job of really being in the wardrobe business for chefs. but we're not gonna make decisions solely with our gut anymore. we're gonna let the data tell us, "this is what we sell. this is what we don't sell." and the things that we don't want to be in -- they need to get liquidated, and we need to turn that inventory into cash. and we're gonna spend money on putting in a new pos system that actually ties to quickbooks. laurie: thank the lord. robyn: thank god! lemonis: and probably in three weeks, we're gonna shut down for at least a week to do that. ready to go to work? laurie: yes, absolutely! lemonis: okay, great. ♪ we have to take a hard look at what sells and what doesn't. so here are the departments. remember that the total revenue's a little less than $3 million -- $2. 8 million.
robyn: this is 2015, or this is year-to-date? lemonis: june to june. robyn: okay. lemonis: so bakery -- $245,000. the bakery department makes up almost 10% of the whole business. howard: yes. lemonis: big deal, right? howard: that's a big deal, yeah. lemonis: beverage -- only $22,000. every square foot costs the company money, but all this space is dedicated to less than 1% of the business. howard: yeah. lemonis: and so we want to look at how do we make every square foot make money? just like they're wasting the window up front, they're also wasting the wall here with a product that barely sells. you see, in order to really make sure this space works, you have to develop a merchandising plan -- a plan-o-gram -- and you want to use the sales data to determine what department's gonna be there, how it's gonna be organized... so we have to eliminate that department. ...and quite frankly, if a department should even exist at all. textiles. howard: it's the aprons. lemonis: $57,000. it means there's opportunity there. the glassware department did $130,000.
how big should that department be -- that glass department? jenny: i mean, when we had everything outside, it was really good. robyn: yeah, like, boxes full. cases, cases, cases. lemonis: why did it go away? roger: howie didn't like it in the front. howard: i didn't like it. lemonis: and then the knife business -- only $457,000. you said it was $1 million. howard: i was wrong. lemonis: you were wrong? howard: yes, i was wrong. lemonis: and so you have all that wall space in the front -- the most important part of the store -- for a department that does half of what you thought it did. that may have to shrink. or maybe the knives go in the back. howard: i don't agree with it. you lose a lot of knife sales. and most people that come in the store -- they're like, "wow, look at the knife," and they come in further. lemonis: we want to use more of the walls. okay, so maybe shrink the knife department. robyn: wow. lemonis: so we know that the bakery department's great. gadgets is a major department. we can make a bigger deal out of that.
bottles and glass -- we can make a bigger deal out of that. so here's what we're gonna do, guys -- we're gonna liquidate stuff. any time you're gonna put on a liquidation sale, you have to have a purpose behind it. folks, head on in. everything must go. i want to generate cash. i want to see what product sells and doesn't sell. i want to watch how the customer navigates through the store. i want to watch how the staff interacts with customers. [ conversing in spanish ] lemonis: but more importantly, if i'm going to renovate this store, i don't want to spend $50,000 hiring movers to pack it all up. i'd rather generate the cash and solve all these other problems and get questions answered. howard: this can't be here, though. this you can't sell for a dollar. i don't know what this table is, but it's not -- this is not selling for $5. suddenly, howard starts racing around this place
trying to save what he calls his precious inventory. hey, roger. roger: yes, sir? lemonis: what are you noticing? well, here's a news flash. how many people are buying things? roger: nobody yet. can't even give it away. lemonis: nobody wants it because you bought a lot of junk. roger: i blame the ordering department myself. lemonis: so you see the point? inventory management is what kills people. it's like even at a dollar, people don't want it. ♪ man: what do you want to do now? howard: i want to make an order for the epicure. what about the six-inch? i got it! lemonis: howie, why would you be ordering knives? howard: because we don't have a certain knife that people ask for. lemonis: i mean, today you have to order it? howard: no, i'm just preparing the order. lemonis: but shouldn't we wait until we see how the whole -- howard: i'll get approval. don't worry. i'm gonna ask for approval. lemonis: are you being a dick, or...?
that business will eat itself alive if the two of you can't work together. robyn: i'm just so used to it. i'm just like... it will die. this car is traveling over 200 miles per hour. to win, every millisecond matters. both on the track and thousands of miles away. with the help of at&t, red bull racing can share critical information about every inch of the car from virtually anywhere. brakes are getting warm. confirmed, daniel you need to cool your brakes. understood, brake bias back 2 clicks. giving them the agility to have speed & precision. because no one knows & like at&t. juswho own them,ople every business is different. but every one of those businesses will need legal help as they age and grow.
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lehoward: i'll get approval.u be odon't worry.es? i'm gonna ask for approval. lemonis: are you being a dick? howard: no, i'm not being a dick. ♪ [belches] lemonis: it's obvious to me that howard's just gonna do what he wants to do. everybody here's working, trying to liquidate stuff, and i'm watching howard... re-order knives? what are you doing? howie, can you help me get people in, tell them that stuff's on sale? howard: i'm not gonna stand out there yelling for everybody to come in. i'm sorry. i can't do that. lemonis: and so everybody else will just solve this problem that you've created? howard: 40% off everything in the store today. 40% off. come on in. lemonis: store liquidation. everything must go.
howard: brand-new items 40% off. i don't like doing this. roger: neither do i. robyn: $20.58. ♪ howard: so we did $15,000 already. lemonis: we cleared a lot of cash, and we got rid of a lot of stuff. ♪ alan, how are you? alan: nice to see you again. stephanie: hi. lemonis: hello, stephanie. today, i'm bringing in my design team to go over the changes i want to make for bowery. i want to make sure this store feels warm and inviting and has a really good customer experience with good signage and really defined departments. so this could be a knife sharpener right here. from an entrance standpoint, we want to light this bad boy up so that it's more vibrant and bright. in two weeks, the store is closing. howard: yes. lemonis: the key is i don't want to pack up one box.
this should literally become a flea market. howard: yeah. lemonis: there's no more stocking the shelves. it's a rummage sale. robyn: nothing. done. howard: okay. lemonis: if everything goes, then you rebuild the store. you start over. while this merchandise may be selling for lower margins, it's been sitting here for years. i'd rather have the cash in my hand so i can reinvest it into inventory that actually sells. lemonis: would you like one of these at 40% off? [ both chuckle ] [ horn honks ] ♪ robyn: this is garbage. roger: this is rubbish. we don't need any of this. there's plenty of stuff to go through. lemonis: we've already liquidated $250,000 of merchandise, but with a week left before we close, we have a long way to go. so i'm stopping by to check on the progress, and while i'm here, i want to talk to robyn and howard about
the new departments we want to create. robyn: hey. lemonis: hey, how are you? robyn: how are you, marcus? lemonis: stuff's starting to move. robyn: [ groans ] lemonis: hello, roger. roger: good morning, sir. lemonis: i wanted to get you and howard together to talk about the pos and the product that we're gonna order. so let's grab howard and have a chat. robyn: i don't think he's here yet. lemonis: okay. we've got to lay out the design, and we have merchandise to order. and howard doesn't show up. fine. no problem. robyn's in charge. robyn: if a chef comes here, he should see a robot coupe on our wall. lemonis: what is a robot coupe? robyn: it's like a really high-end food processor. lemonis: made in america section. robyn: yeah, i definitely -- lemonis: love that. robyn: during the holidays, i'd like to have a gift-wrap station. lemonis: very smart. robyn: kids' cooking section 'cause everybody likes to cook with their kids. like, little aprons, little hats. lemonis: love that idea. and you have all the vendors for this? robyn: yes, yes, yes, yes. lemonis: no problem. hey. howard: hey. lemonis: how are you, buddy? howard: i wasn't feeling too well this morning,
yeah, so... lemonis: okay. so let me give you a little summary. howard: okay. lemonis: what we were talking about is building robyn's dream store. i think some of the ideas, quite frankly, are phenomenal. like, an electronics wall with the most basic to the most elaborate. howard: yeah, we need people that know about electronics, and we don't have enough people on the floor that know about electronics. lemonis: do you like electronics? robyn: like i said i don't think -- howard: where we before and coming to this new store, are we gonna be able to fit all those pos in here? lemonis: robyn, i thought you and i could go take a walk outside away from here. robyn: okay. lemonis: after watching howard dismiss everything robyn is saying, i thought it would be a good idea to take robyn outside and maybe have a chat without howard. i think my biggest concern is i don't know that howard necessarily can appreciate what it is that you do. robyn: i'm just so used to it. i'm just, like... lemonis: exhausted. i want you to get more comfortable with forcing him to respect your voice. if you have an opinion, he has to listen to it.
it's not okay that you want to put the glasses up front and because he decides he doesn't want them there, he gets to take them down. 'cause that's not what an equal partnership looks like. that business will eat itself alive if the two of you can't work together. it will die. my money will be gone. our deal will be gone. everything will be gone. you can tell that robyn's almost convinced herself that howard's opinion matters more than hers. but she has the respect of the staff, and her ideas are really good. so she's gonna have to put her foot down. robyn: now, this was just off my head, but i broke it up by department and started thinking, "what are the things that i would like?" howard: you can't keep doing that. i think it should be online, not in your notebook. that's all i'm saying. okay? robyn: i'm just thinking. this is just my ideas. howard: yes, but you can look through the list to get an idea. i don't think in your head, you remember 397 vendors. robyn: no, but you know what, i remember the most important ones.
and i think we need to start fresh. why shouldn't we be able to, like, sprinkle the higher-end item? we want professional chefs to be like, "they're real deal." howard: bowery kitchen's not about high-end stuff. robyn: i'm not talking high-end fufu, okay? i mean, high end, like having one... howard: "fufu." robyn: having one robot coupe so that it represents -- howard: what's the use of having one robot coupe? robyn: just to [bleep] have it! howard: how much is that robot coupe gonna sell for? are we gonna be able to price it? robyn: it doesn't matter. we have one [bleep] robot coupe. we're not stocking 20,000 -- howard: so then somebody's gonna ask you for the robot coupe and then you're gonna have to re-order the robot coupe. robyn: so what?! lemonis: i was like, "how can these people be asking for money?" robyn: i didn't ask you for money. howard: i need money to pay the vendors. i had no idea if we were gonna be able to make payroll. lemonis: why is that? you generated $300,000.
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♪ robyn: having one robot coupe represents -- howard: what's the use of having one robot coupe? robyn: just to [bleep] have it! howard: it eats up resources and shelf space. robyn: i'm talking about a tiny, little wall. it's like a show piece, like your [bleep] deer hoof. that represents bowery?! who in the [bleep] bowery has deer hoof? howard: that knife section came a long way from where it is. robyn: yeah, but it's a [bleep] mess! it's a mess right now. lemonis: look, i'm glad that robyn is standing up to howard and now allowing him to just roll all over her. but we have a time issue here, and we need these pos
so the inventory can come or this store is never gonna get open. so you guys need to work together, come up with an agreed-upon list between the two of you of what in the hell we're gonna carry here. howard: all right. ♪ lemonis: as we think about creating departments and categories, we want to find what i would call anchor tenants in each one of our categories. jenny: this is our wall-o-aprons over here, basically. lemonis: as you build out the departments, you want to have good anchors. so i brought robyn, howard, and roger to tilit. they're a premium textile manufacturer of aprons, chef coats, shirts, and it really will help establish this entire textile department. robyn: these are beautiful. lemonis: what i remember seeing is $57,000 was the total textile sales. can you sell 10 aprons a day at an average price of $70? howard: absolutely. roger: i hope so. lemonis: so $250,000 a year. i think if you dedicate some space,
i think you could do $250,000 to $300,000. howard: i think so. ♪ lori: we stock probably 90% of the libbey catalog, which is over 1,000 items. lemonis: wow. we also need to build out robyn's glassware department. we're at balter sales, one of america's largest distributors of libbey glassware, the number-one glass company in the americas. howard: the look of glass, you know -- that didn't work for me. lori: can i just tell you what my wall does? robyn: yeah. lemonis: yes. lori: $5 million. lemonis: i'm sorry, howie, can you come on back? this is important. your wall does how much? lori: just this wall. lemonis: $5 million. howard: she has longtime customers, as well. lemonis: and you have a lot of traffic. howard: we have a lot of traffic. ♪ robyn: tomorrow, they're coming to clear out more. lemonis: we finally shut the doors at bowery after liquidating over $300,000 worth of merchandise, and i'm swinging by to go over the plans for the renovation.
wow. but i also wanted to talk to howard about a few e-mails he sent me. does anybody know where howard is? roger: eternal question. lemonis: robyn, do you know where howard is? laurie, is howard here? laurie: um...no. lemonis: look, i'm not happy that i have to postpone my conversation with howard, but i can't wait to get this renovation started. that's a great section for gift-wrapping. we've got to generate some revenue and get this store back open. we're sorting and donating the old fixtures. man: watch your step. roger: yes. lemonis: we need to clear them out so the contractors can get to work. ♪ we're adding elements like wood paneling to give it a home-and-kitchen feel. and we're changing the lighting, utilizing things like pots and strainers for fixtures. overall, it'll make for a more enjoyable shopping experience. ♪
robyn: good morning, marcus. lemonis: i've been geting those nasty e-mails from howard for over a week now. quite frankly, they're getting worse, and i'm back to have it out with him. howie, i don't know how to combat some of the e-mails and texts that i've seen. howard: that's just because i've been left in the dark, and i'm just worried about -- lemonis: they were pretty harsh. "if i don't hear something today, i'm gonna chalk this up to bust and a bunch of bull[bleep]" howard: yes, i felt that it was bull[bleep] lemonis: "i cannot wait around and initiate all this work. i'm coming into work every day. this is crazy." "how am i gonna make payroll this week? this is bull[bleep]" howard: yes, the vendors -- i had no idea if we were gonna be able to make payroll. lemonis: why is that? you generated $300,000. howard: i came to laurie. i said, "look, i need money to do this to pay the vendors." she says, "we don't have it." lemonis: i know the inventory that was in this building -- over $300,000 -- was sold. so where's the money? $300,785 has come in. that's cash.
and i know it doesn't cost $300,000 to operate the place a month. when i got this, i was like... "how can these people be asking for money?" robyn: i didn't ask you for money one time. lemonis: howard asked for money. robyn: because i knew that we had reserves for a couple of weeks. lemonis: so, when you asked for money -- howard: they were afraid i was gonna spend it. lemonis: do you guys hide money from howard? robyn: laurie and i did hide money from him because i was afraid. lemonis: to protect you from yourself. robyn: i was protecting him from himself. howard: i was under the impression that we had no money! lemonis: you got to get the facts before you light the world on fire. howard: sure. lemonis: look, i don't love the fact that robyn didn't feel comfortable to tell me that she was hiding money from howard, but in an odd sort of way, i'm grateful that she did that because she was ultimately protecting the business. but what i think is more important is that she looks like she's getting comfortable asserting herself as a leader. robyn: i just feel that in your head, in your mind, in your body, you're the boss,
and you can do whatever you want. howard: i don't do all that -- everything that i want. she has some control over me. i mean, i don't just do what i want all the time, but we're here because of me. ♪ robyn: this is still his baby, no matter if i'm 50%, whatever. it's still his. lemonis: howard, if you can reverse time, what would you do differently? howard: i don't think i would have... gone into business with her. who makes their wife 50%? i mean, technically, it's not 50% until you get divorced, right? ♪
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howard: who makes their wife 50%? i mean, technically, it's not 50% until you get divorced, right? robyn: so the "wife" became 50%, and i haven't done [bleep] here. howard: if you want to take it that way, you want to put it that way... lemonis: is it the first time you had ever heard him regret ever giving you equity? robyn: no, no, no. lemonis: would you talk to your business partner that way? howard: i wouldn't be in business with her. lemonis: but i mean, she -- look, you guys have your personal relationship, and that's none of my business, but she spends more time here than you do. that's because she cares. she does own 50% of it. and i do think it's important that you respect her decisions. and so you have to be talking to her as your business partner. howard: there's a lot of history. robyn: he's the boss, and he's gonna do whatever he wants to do the way he wants to do it.
lemonis: you got to stop. i can't continue to fund payroll and rent and not have the revenue coming in. so you guys need to make sure this gets done, especially you, howard. ♪ hey despite all the headaches that howard's been causing, we're still making progress with the renovation. the rest of the fixtures are being loaded in, and as soon as we receive the new product, we'll be ready for merchandising. bowery is gonna be new and improved. ♪ hey ♪ so i'm back at bowery after my contractor called me and told me that everything was finished. fixtures are done. the renovation's done. now i'm just hoping that the product's on the shelf. hi. jenny: hi. lemonis: how are you? jenny: good, how are you? lemonis: good. whoa! it looks cool. jenny: yeah. yeah. it's actually really nice. i love it. lemonis: it looks like most of the areas are somewhat done.
it looks like the knife department has zero done. robyn: i know we have a lot of work to do. lemonis: where is howard? robyn: i don't know where he is! i don't know! laurie: i left a text, and i left a message. lemonis: i actually have nothing to say right now because howard knows he's supposed to be here. and he knows that everybody's working their butts off. and he knows that i'm tired of this behavior. and yet once again, he's missing in action. ♪ hey, howard, it's marcus. it's 1:00, and i'm not sure where you are or why you're not showing up. everybody's here working hard, and there's literally a wall empty of knives. so it would be nice of you to at least call back and tell us if you're alive because i may kill you when you get here. thanks. this is a very different glass presentation than what you used to have. robyn: yeah, i picked things that i thought were interesting. there's a mix of price points. i got all these beakers with, like, high-end...
lemonis: you did a really nice job. here's howie! howard: hey, marcus. how are you? lemonis: nice of you to show up. howard: yeah. lemonis: the report that i'm getting is that everybody and robyn are working their ass off, but you sort of roll in whenever it's convenient. howard: it's august. i always go away in august. i went to see my mother, and i went to see my girlfriend. which i always do in august. the slowest part of the year. lemonis: yeah. howard: nothing else for me to do here in those two weeks. lemonis: i've put in over $400,000 between building this place out and giving you cash and paying rent. $400,000 -- more than what we originally agreed to, just to be clear. howard: yes, i'm clear. lemonis: okay, where the [bleep] are the knives? if your business is in trouble and you need my help, log on to theprofitcasting.com.
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lemonimore than what we originally agreed to, just to be clear. howard: yes, i'm clear. lemonis: okay, it just feels like you don't give a [bleep] howard: that's not true. that's coming off the wrong way, maybe. lemonis: i've even said to myself, "does howard even want to be here anymore?" howard: yes, i want to be a part of this business. yes, i like it. but me and robyn don't see on the same page. it's constant fighting about this and that and that and that. lemonis: this place would not exist, would not be open if it wasn't for her. all of these shelves that are stocked, all of this glass would not have happened. ♪ howard: i agree. you know, i don't want to see her hurting because, you know, i have been an [bleep] ♪ i'm sorry. [ speaks foreign language ]
we're good. lemonis: i don't want to speak too soon here, but it appears that we may have made a breakthrough. howard's finally starting to show remorse, and he's acknowledging that robyn actually adds value to the business. and it gives me a glimmer of hope that we can actually make this work. howard: i do give a [bleep] and i want to make sure that you get to see that this is gonna be working and making the money that it needs to be so you can feel comfortable opening another one. lemonis: we really need to have that grand opening next friday. it's my expectation that you're here in the morning, the afternoon, and the night until this place gets done. howard: okay. lemonis: and that robyn's not by herself. howard: okay, you got it. ♪ lemonis: it's been one heck of a journey, but the new bowery kitchen supplies is officially open for business. that's the boss right there! good to see you. hey, buddy. howard: good to see you. lemonis: it looks spectacular.
robyn: you know, all the store merchandising is me. lemonis: i think it looks great. robyn: [ laughs ] lemonis: when i first saw the store, it looked like a warehouse jammed with products all over the place with no rhyme or reason. now the store looks organized, with strategic displays, clear departments. i love the gadgets. robyn: all this beautiful, fun display is all me. lemonis: and we used the area by the window to merchandise high-margin coffee and accessories. and the goal is to appeal to anybody that walks by the store. everything has its place, and everything that's in here looks like it has purpose. the knife wall is still front and center, but it's no longer overwhelming. it's organized with reduced skus -- the ones that sell -- with a much better presentation. howard: right now we have like five major brands up there. lemonis: really nice. and this is where all the tilit stuff is? roger: yeah, all across the side here.
lemonis: before, the textile department consisted of aprons cramped in a very small space. now with tilit as the anchor, we have a chefware department that offers variety and quality. and the new glassware department really shines. last year, the glassware department in total did about $130,000. but with speciality things picked directly from libbey, that revenue should at least double. so can you pull on the system now exactly what you have and how much in each department? howard: yes. lemonis: before, the bowery team guessed at their inventory, but now with the new pos system, we'll never lose track of what we have in stock. howard: you'll never find the same print. this is a micarta handle. it's indestructible. lemonis: howard and i don't have the same approach to business at all, and i don't expect that to magically just change overnight. but at least for now, he's showing up, he's got a good attitude, and most importantly, he's showing robyn the respect that she deserves.
it's better between the two of you? robyn: yeah. howard: i think so. i'm not nitpicking her about little things here and there. "why'd you order this?" and, "why'd you order that?" lemonis: is that true? robyn: yeah. howard: i do have more trust in her knowledge about the different departments that i just didn't give her credit for before. lemonis: i'm cautiously optimistic because as long as howard steps aside and allows robyn to be the fantastic merchandiser that i know she is, this store has a ton of potential. i would chalk this up as one of the biggest challenges i've ever had. with bowery being much healthier financially and new processes in place, the bowery kitchen supply store may just open up across the country. should we take a group photo? robyn: yeah! howard: yeah, let's do it on three.
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