Young entrepreneur Dimitri Pankov from Squirrel Hill knew from his earliest years that his dream was to one day own his own chain of highly lucrative bookstores.
“When I was twelve and still in St. Petersburg, my mother said stop reading silly books and accept the position at the Technical Institute. But I was in love with the written word. And being cool.”
Dmitri learned about life in the United States by watching the TV show ‘Saved By The Bell’, which he believed was contemporary. Once his family moved to Pittsburgh and he started high school, there was less pressure to pursue the superlative mathematical gift that was his curse, and he happily settled into being a run-of-the-mill American teenager.
“You know what they say – math sucks, dude.”
Later, in his twenties and happily Americanized, Dimitri set about his goal of founding a bookstore chain, unperturbed by the near total dominance of Amazon.
“I knew it was possible, because Half Price Books were already doing it. For realsies.”
Dimitri’s plan was simple – do exactly what Half Price Books were doing, only cheaper. The savvy graduate of the Joseph M. Katz School of Business figured out all the missed savings in the Dallas-based company’s business plan, and “Forty-Five Ninety-Sixths Price Books” was born.
“They had overlooked some minor inefficiencies in their distribution model, the dipturds.”
He also changed the color from Half Price Books’ familiar shade of red, based on his deep appreciation of how to grab people’s attention, and what is supercool.
“Everyone knows candy apple red kicks alizarin crimson’s asshole – that’s straight out of Glengarry Glen Ross, or something just as hip hop.”
Half Price Books said they consulted a trademark lawyer regarding Dimitri’s logo and store name. The opinion was that it might be an infringement, but it was mainly just sad. Unfortunately his store closed shortly thereafter.
“It just doesn’t add up. Not that I do arithmetic or anything. That was just an expression.”
Ironically, Half Price Books offered to hire Dimitri as vice-president for logistics, but the self-professed Taylor Allderdice ex-jock says he has no head for numbers.
“That stuff’s for nerds. Want to meet some chickitas at a bar with me?”
Undeterred, Dimitri will soon be embarking on his next venture, a discount store where all the prices are displayed in base four.
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