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Buff City Soap in Charleston, WV

Buff City Soap headshot
Episode #: 118
Buff City Soap in Charleston, WV

Guest: Rick Kueber
Topics: Buff City Soap, leasing


Chris Ressa 0:02
This is retail retold the story of how that store ended up in your neighborhood. I’m your host, Chris dresser, and I invite you to join my conversations with some of the retail industry’s biggest influencers. This podcast is brought to you by DLC management.

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Welcome to retail retold everyone. I’m excited to be joined by Rick keeper. Rick is the CEO of suntan City is a franchisee of buff city soaps. He’s also a Planet Fitness franchisee he has his prongs into many different businesses. He’s a serial entrepreneur, and innovator. I’m excited for him to share his insights today. Welcome to the show, Rick.

Rick Kueber 1:20
Thanks for having me.

Ressa 1:21
So Rick, you own suntan city or the franchise or your your CEO of suntan city of 300 locations. You are a Planet Fitness franchisee Europe, Bluff City, so franchisee give us you know a little bit about how all this began and a little bit more insights into Rick.

Kueber 1:40
Yeah, you know, it’s a really fascinating story. You know, I grew up on a small farm here in Kentucky and I always joke that farming calm a couple of things that taught me the most valuable lesson to working hard as a young kid, Zoey boy on the farm and had to work hard. And it taught me the value of money. I mean, farming is a business. So I grew up around a business. But the most important thing it taught me was I didn’t want to be a farmer because it’s really impossible work. And it’s, you know, 24/7 365 and that’s not a lot of fun. It’s hard to go on vacation when you have a herd of sheep or cattle. So I figured out better, you know, figured out the business side of things. My dad was a bit of an entrepreneur and had some various businesses other than the farm and you know, he had moderate success, nothing. Nothing crazy successful, but it was it was a lot of fun growing up going to work with dad and, and try to figure things out over time. So

Ressa 2:36
you decide that farming is not for you. And then what?

Kueber 2:41
Then after college, I went, I went to Marquette University from 88 to 93. When I got down there, it came back and got back involved with family business and it grew from there. And you know, planning was was obviously not in the cards early on, but my father had some video rental stores, some large video stores and in central Kentucky and the tanning vendor sort of showing up a trade shows and we’ve got this perfect piece of equipment to help offset seasonality and video stores. video stores were historically painfully slow and spring when spring spring fever hit and everybody wanted to be outside in the yard or in the park. So we started putting tanning beds. In the back of video stores were people waiting two, three weeks to get into a tanning bed and and then one day my brother and I were sitting around I said hey, what if we open a tanning salon? We’ve got people waiting so long to get into the back of video sort of tan there’s obviously enough demand. And so we opened our first tanning salon in 1999 called a semi fancy because it’s so big that like a city with 31 rooms and we’re tanning 1000 people a day and the first day we opened we had no clue what we’re doing. We worked really hard.

Ressa 3:54
Wow. 1000 people that holy cow. Yeah. Yeah, it was crazy. 100 locations?

Kueber 4:00
Yeah, you know, we went from one, it took me a while to figure it out. I did a lot of networking. If there’s one thing I learned early on was, you know, the power of networking. I have basically had every vendor in the industry connect me with who they thought were the best chain operators. There weren’t a lot of them there, you know, people with 10 or 20 or 30 locations. I’d call them and say hey, I’m coming through town, I’m sitting in a roundtable of hedge fund owners to share ideas and would you like to be a part of it? And and I travel the country for a couple years and you know, every three, four months, I would try to put a roundtable together and to share in ideas and and you know, I was I wasn’t trying to reinvent the wheel. I was trying to make a better wheel and certainly had some success doing that.

Ressa 4:42
That’s fantastic. That’s a good jumping off point to go to our section called Clear the air because we’ll get to Planet Fitness and buff city soaps later on. But I have three questions for you. Are you ready? Ready?

Kueber 4:55
I’m ready. All right.

Ressa 4:56
So question one. When’s the last time you You did something for the first time a

Kueber 5:02
couple months ago, I tried intermittent fasting. I don’t know if you tried it. It is painful, not eating for 16 hours a day. It’s not a lot of fun and not eating someday, and it’s pretty painful and you’re pretty darn hungry. Bedtime noon rolls around.

Ressa 5:18
So you’re on the 16 hour intermittent fasting, some people do 12 Some people do 18 You landed on 16?

Kueber 5:27
Yeah, 16 and trying to eat three meals and eight hour period. I mean, it was, it was a good challenge. I made it a few weeks. But after that, I figured out I needed some protein a little bit earlier in the day.

Ressa 5:39
Understood. Okay. Question two, what is one thing most people agree with? But you do not,

Kueber 5:45
you know, this is a, I get a really interesting answer to this. And it is it’s the fact that, you know, I don’t know what has happened in America, but you know, it used to be okay for us all to have an opinion. And be okay with another person, your friends be okay with that opinion, and just just just your opinion, but now it seems like we’re, we’re in a place where, you know, it doesn’t, you know, we’re talking about politics, for instance, you know, if you voted for some one candidate, I voted for another and so we hate each other. And it’s no longer do you know, oh, that’s Oh, that’s cool. Why don’t you vote for him? Or and it’s just it’s kind of a strange phenomenon where it seems it like I really don’t care who you voted for what you believe in socially or politically. And but people seem to seems like the universe has gone in a different direction where there’s just so much divisiveness between opposite beliefs. And, and I believe that, you know, I mean, one of the great things about America is We’re all entitled to our own beliefs and opinions and whether it’s religion, power, politics, or social norms.

Ressa 6:50
I hear you, I hear you there, there is definitely a divide. So I hear you there. Hopefully, we can all come together soon. So Question three, what is one skill you don’t possess? But wish you did.

Kueber 7:03
I wish I could play golf. I get invited to go to some great golf courses all over the world. And I cannot play like a golf. My theory is that if your dad didn’t play golf, you stand no chance. And my dad was not a golfer.

Ressa 7:17
That was farmer. So it’s an interesting theory. I hadn’t heard that theory, if your dad didn’t play golf, you don’t stand a chance. So it wasn’t part of my upbringing, either. And I actually just started playing and trying to be serviceable, so I can go to those golf courses because I to get invited in and I want to be the person hold enough everything and have to bring 300 balls to play one golf.

Kueber 7:43
Exactly. Exactly the same way I feel. So I if I can. And plus, you know about as an entrepreneur, I think, you know, I’ve got, you know, serious problem with competitiveness. And if I can’t win, I had no interest in playing you preaching to the choir, and I’m not sure I’m ever going to win that game. So I’m with you.

Ressa 7:59
I’ll tell you. It’s not at all the people who played off the plates on top that and I’m like, it’s always about winning. Now, but

Kueber 8:05
Oh, yeah. That’s why they’re betting every All right. I mean, it’s kind of win money.

Ressa 8:10
Okay, well, I appreciate that little pitstop down memory lane and you sharing a little bit more about who you are. So I want to go back to your story, your just business story. So you end up snowballing this suntan city, it’s a concept that works. You’re networking all over the country. What made you want to be a franchisee of other brands? Most franchisors don’t do that. So, ended up franchising. suntan city, most people either like they continue to grow that or they sell it, but you typically don’t see a franchisor also being a franchisee of other brands. So and that’ll happen.

Kueber 8:49
Yeah, you know, so So I was in Raleigh, North Carolina with one of my son’s hands to be franchisees. He’s also one of my closest friends. And we’re visiting with Planet Fitness, all the flags waving, you know, balloons flying, and we happen to go in, and we just happened to run into the right manager that spilled the beans. And we introduced ourselves kind of buttered her up a little bit. And she’s like, oh, you know, we had 6000 We have 6000 members. We just opened with 1000 chickens yesterday on day two. And yeah, she’s really excited and I came out of there. I texted all my buddies. It was home and business in great communities made it their CEO. I think this you know, they’re onto something here is a pretty compelling business model. It’s first to market and to recurring revenue, things. All things are alike. And I texted Lisa, Rick, call me call them and he says, I just bought the rights of Kansas City. He said you should buy the rise of Louisville, Kentucky. So and then he then goes on to say that these guys are printing money. They’re all driving Ferraris, and Lamborghinis and they don’t have a liquid Isn’t sense. And that’s like you and me would do great with this. I ended up I ended up getting introduced to the CEO that next week, flew up to New Hampshire where they’re based and ended up buying the rights from a gentleman that owned the rights who’s actually having to be in New Hampshire. And so I bought the rights to the local from him a couple weeks later.

Ressa 10:20
And how many locations do you have today?

Kueber 10:23
At 40 locations, we had more we had 26 more we sold 26 prior to COVID and June of 2019. We’re located in Memphis in Arkansas, we still have 40 units in around Louisville, Kentucky.

Ressa 10:36
And I imagine you have like a separate group of individuals running that then run your suntans. Yeah,

Kueber 10:41
no, we do. You know, one of the one of the great things, we do have a lot of shared services, the one thing we don’t share is operations. Everything operations is entirely brand focused. But really from anywhere from, you know, we will have store managers or club managers who call them district managers, regional managers will have a brand president, everything above that is shared cmo coo myself, the CEO of finance, marketing, I mean, every department ships and from on on all the brands outside of that area.

Ressa 11:16
Yeah. And then you’re also above city soaps, franchisee

Kueber 11:20
Yeah, both cities. So this is a really exciting brand, you might have seen the press release last week where we took our corporate or which we do on a part of took on money from general Atlantic private equity firm up in your neck of the woods. And we’re really excited about that. It’s a really fast growing brand. We were I think we just opened our 100 location, which was one mile from one of my locations in Chesterfield, Missouri. A couple of weeks ago, we opened in one of your centers last week in Fayetteville, Arkansas, which is really exciting. It’s a great market for us. But you know, the brand has gone from 30 locations to over 100 of last year. And we continue to grow. I think it would go on to 200 later this year. I mean, there’s a lot of sores in the pipeline. And you know, one of the you know, as a as an investor in the corporate entity. One of the things I’ve been able to do is reach out to my network, buff city franchise or a Planet Fitness franchisees and enhance at franchisees and here locally, we have a lot of law, I have a lot of friends who are in the Papa John’s franchise business. So between those three brands, we pretty much sold out the entire country.

Ressa 12:34
Wow, that is totally incredible. And so how many locations do you have?

Kueber 12:39
I have it right around 40 Right now, I think it’s 39 Yeah, I have open. Now I’ve got another 25 to open this year, we’ve been open one to three stores a week, I wouldn’t refer store ground up in May last year, so about a year ago, and I’ve open you know 38 Or about 35 acquirer and went back and bought a few from existing franchisees but we’ve opened that 35 organically since then, and we’ll probably do somewhere around 100 In the next 1218 months.

Ressa 13:15
So the company has 100 Year 40% of the market share.

Kueber 13:21
I am I own 40% of market which is kind of interesting and you know, but they’ve been great partners about some private equity partners other than general Atlantic two groups and Dallas got both capital and crushed capital that put together this limited partnership and you know afforded us the ability to co invest in the deal with him as a partner and then as a franchisee. So it’s, it’s a really exciting brand, you know, saying it first and market might be a bit of a stretch but it’s pretty close it is all natural soaps and other products bath bombs shower fizzies you name it body but you know other lotions and body butters. It’s a really fun brand that has this weird viral component to it. And you know, essentially a video of your your center in Fayetteville where you know, 100 plus people are lined up opening day I think the first person got there at 4am for 10am at 10am opening and we do this fun soap giveaway for four days we’re open and you know generally we’ll get people out there you know, even sooner than that. But it’s really really fun brand. It’s all natural. Everything is made in the store by the employees at your local store. So it’s really this unique thing you know where we get you walk in and super fragrant, you’ve got all kinds of smells customers are truly happy. And they’re delighted by all the fragrances they smell and no customer ever leaves empty handed.

Ressa 14:50
Yeah, I think it’s really on trend right because it’s naturals which seems to be synonymous with healthy in the marketplace. It’s It’s an experiential type of environment. And one of the unique things is you have this customizable feature in the store. I’ve never even thought about customizable soap. So it’s pretty cool. I’m curious, you’ve gone all in on this one and you’re a serial entrepreneur. Clearly it’s soap, you’re making it on site, vertically integrated. I’m sure the margins are pretty good. What is an average unit volume? What is the AU v one of these projected to do as you guys mature,

Kueber 15:31
you know, that number is moving rapidly. Not sure my partners want me to to talk about EVs right now I’m a private equity guys, but you know, it’s moving AVS, since I’ve been involved in the last 18 months is up about 80% will continue to grow really, really fast. I mean, we think that the sky’s the limit, we know, we know the volumes of our competitors, or closest competitors. And, you know, we’re confident we can close that gap dramatically. Quickly, competitor Bath and Body. Yeah, Bath and Body Works Lush are probably the two nearest competitors. And then you know, from $1 standpoint, maybe older and so forth, you know, when you’re looking at female spending dollars,

Ressa 16:15
you know, Ulta, Sephora, those are large stores compared to yours. So I mentioned, I think it’d be hard to get to their UV,

Kueber 16:23
we’re not going to get to their a UV, but you know, I think we can get close, you know, we can get closer to the EVS of a blush and Bath and Body. Obviously, both of those brands are, are long cemented into the minds of consumers. And both have been around a long time and had great success. And, you know, we’re really excited about the opportunity, I think we have a really unique product that while we’re in the same category, we don’t necessarily compete, we’re like you said, we’re more experiential, I don’t think when you go into one of our competitors, and pick a product off the shelf, it doesn’t really have the same experience, we have a really unlimited amount of fragrances and when we stock anywhere between 50 and 60 different fragrances and you start blending them together. And the opportunities are limited on what you can create and above city.

Ressa 17:15
Totally Well, I’m excited you are our tenant, I’m excited to see the growth of this store. Congratulations on, you know, accelerating this brand kudos, you know, to the buff city team for bringing you on, and kudos to you for getting it moving.

Kueber 17:31
Thank you. It’s fun, it’s gonna be a fun ride. And you know, we’ve saralyn geared up for growth. And you know, during the height of both tanning and fitness, you know, we were opening 50 Plus units a year in tanning. And, you know, I think one year with with Planet Fitness, we we opened almost 20 locations, and five they were states. So, you know, we’re certainly geared up for growth. And you know, I’m blessed to have a great team of people that can go accomplish it.

Ressa 17:57
Well, you have a story in Charleston, West Virginia, I want to get there. But before we do, you have a big business, Rick and a business that some might think was pretty impacted by the pandemic, walk us through what that felt like and what it was like navigating those waters, you got a lot of employees, and you got a lot of business units that you know, had really challenging times navigating the waters of a pandemic.

Kueber 18:25
Yeah, you know, it was, it was a pretty scary time. And I can honestly say I’ve been, you know, I just turned 50 last year, and, you know, I’ve been in retail a long time growing up in it, you know, in my early 20s owning businesses, and that was really the first time I faced that level of adversity. And, you know, in quite frankly, it was it was scary. It was concerning, I probably drank a lot more bourbon than I should have, during those few weeks. late middle middle March. But you know, I think like everyone else, but you know, it was I mean, it’s the uncertainty was a bit frightening at times. And you know, especially in the tanning business, you know, we do the majority of our revenue in March, April, May. And you know, we knew that, hey, we’re going to miss an entire season, which is going to be equivalent of all retail being shut down in the fourth quarter. And malls being closed power centers being closed, all your tenants being gone, or locked up for Christmas, and no online ordering. You know, it was Aquila that we we went from, you know, some pretty big revenues to zero. And there was nothing we could do, we had no control. And no matter how much we argued with the states, as you know, we had private rooms where you know, tried to argue 100 different ways on why we should be open and we had no control. So scary and in the same with the gym, the gym business the one fortunate thing was, you know, we sell a lot of our memberships and in January February so we already kind of it through and, and picked out those locations. Obviously, it hurts being closed and not being able to draft retrain members. But you know that that we’re a little more comfortable with that business and in the bus, city business, you know, there’s no better time. It’s also pinned during the pandemic. So, you know, we were blessed, but we had just gotten started, we just acquired a store. So we only had a handful locations, but they did very, very well during the pandemic.

Ressa 20:27
what a what a good point, I didn’t think about what a good time to sell soap during the pandemic. Yeah. Spot on. That’s, that was clearly on trend. If you go back into, you know, March, April, and even may you start talking to your team? What was the focus for you guys, all these, you know, business units closed? What was your focus? And what was your message to the team?

Kueber 20:50
You know, the message was, hey, we’re gonna get through this, we’ll figure it out. There’s a lot of smart people in this room. When Fortunately, you know, at the store levels, you know, we were laid off pretty much everybody, I mean, 1000s of employees, like most, obviously kept our, our senior team together, and probably 30 or 40, others, to make sure everything was safe and secure. But, you know, it was, hey, we’re gonna figure this out, you know, we’ll see what if there’s any bailout whatsoever, and figure out what’s going on and figure out a plan. I mean, really, the big message was, hey, let’s do everything we can to conserve cash, you know, I immediately put my salary on hold. And I’m like, Hey, I’m not gonna take any money, I’m gonna lead here, I don’t need the money, it’s more important for the company to hold on to cash. And, you know, I pretty much everybody on the executive team did the same thing. And, you know, that’s where we were, I mean, it was just a lot of uncertainty. And, you know, we had a lot of moving pieces. And we also have a lot of, we have some restaurants, some just local restaurants that are very successful. And, you know, obviously, those were impacted greatly as well. And so, you know, you know, there’s just a lot of moving pieces during that time, and on all fronts, and a lot of a lot of time talking and meeting and, and trying to figure things out. But you know, here we are today, I think we’re strong, we came out stronger than ever. Oh, so business has been great. The gym business is almost back. I mean, it’s, I think, by the end of this month, or or by, you know, middle of July, we’ll be back to 2019 numbers and tanning businesses already over the indoor tanning businesses already. Up over 2019. So, you know, we’re really excited about the future. I mean, it looks like everything’s back, it’d be interesting to see what happens with inflation, if you know when that occurs, or if is going to occur, just when is it going to occur? And what is the impact? And, you know, if there was any blessing about you know, the all the money that was handed out was, you know, the people went out spend it, you know, Americans aren’t great and save in mind. So, you know, our retail sales numbers are really good right now. So we’ve been really happy about that.

Ressa 23:01
That’s great to hear, man. Well, kudos to you. keep growing, keep grinding through. Not an easy time, but I’m glad you came out the other side and they’re back in full force.

Kueber 23:13
And we’re excited about the future. We’re very fortunate.

Ressa 23:17
Terrific. Okay. Let’s pivot you have an interesting story that buff city, Charleston, West Virginia. Take us there Rick floors, yours.

Kueber 23:26
Alright. So So you know, we we’ve obviously done a lot of soap deals this year, I think, almost 45 Soap deals on our retail spaces. And, you know, one of the things people keep asking me, Hey, are you you get in better deals on retail space? And, you know, answers always the same. I don’t think we’re getting better deals. I think maybe there’s a few more ti dollars out there in the marketplace. But we’re getting better spaces. We’re getting spaces that we you know, have never been available before. Long standing tentative. And finally gone away and maybe you know, COVID was the final straw. You know, a lot a lot of apparel shops or clothing companies. The Payless shoes. Lane Brian justice. You know, Katherine’s list goes on, I think in phase le, we backfill the Katherine’s if I remember correctly. That’s right. And so, you know, we’re, we’re excited about, you know, looking at those and anyway, we’ve my team and I were flew up one morning to Charleston, West Virginia said, Hey, let’s go look at space up there. We had engaged a broker and they met on the ground in Charleston North pick us up at the airport, and we sort of tour and locations. And we drive it to Charleston and and there’s a great trade area in South Charleston, Walmart, there is number one of 63 in the state of West Virginia, it’s number 48 in the nation and the 99th percentile for how For 2.8 5 million visitors a year at this Walmart 431 People 6.6 times is the frequency. So great Walmart I mean, it’s anytime you see a Walmart with more than 2 million visits, you probably want to be in a trade here. Anyway, we’re driving down the street and and MyOperator my brand president Tim Schafer and out of the corner of the corner, Johnny, Payless shoes, who’s taking that what’s in brokers like? Oh, that’s already there’s a leak out on that. I said, Hold on. Come on. There’s a lease out. Is it signed? He’s like, No, it’s not signed yet. Okay, call call the call the landowner right now, the shopping center owner will pay plus 10% and do a 10 year deal if we get that space. And the short story is we got the space. And the moral of the story here is, you know, and we’ve seen this multiple times, I saw another location where, you know, just because there’s paper out there doesn’t mean even if a lease is in hand, if that ink is not dry, there’s an opportunity to get that space that you’ve covered. And, you know, when you look at a tray like this, where, you know, in this location, we were sharing a wall with a Kohl’s. I mean, not only was a Walmart across the street to test with a Kohl’s is in the 95th percentile of the top schools in the state of West Virginia, and we’re able to share a wall with them. And then that is our shopper, you have a lot of retail about dollars in this trade area. And which is a location, I wouldn’t say it’s once in a lifetime location. But it’s pretty darn close. And it’s obviously performed opened a couple of weeks ago. And it’s performed at a really, really high level that we expected to win. When you see a lot of success in a trade area like this, it makes a lot of sense to be there. And sometimes it will cost and I think a lot of times and hopefully you found this with my team, I’m sure my guys negotiate a little bit harder than I do is, you know, we’d like to space, we’re gonna take the space, we’re not going to haggle too much over it. I mean, a lot of people get caught up and, you know, details and want to renegotiate over and over and over and over again. And, you know, I’m really not I’m not like that if I like something I want to buy or taken and rent or lease MSK sublease space. So that’s really, it’s kind of a short story. But, you know, it really is, you know, it’s got some, you know, good takeaways, you know, knowing your trade area, and then also, you know, don’t take no for an answer. Yeah,

Ressa 27:23
it’s actually a fantastic story. Let me ask you a challenging question, Rick, you make a great point, which is, you know, I think all companies try to teach their people that are involved in transactions, there’s no deal until there’s a deal. And clearly, that’s in your ethos, but what do you think? Or how do you feel when you’re on the other side of that, I don’t know who the other potential tenant was.

Kueber 27:50
It happens all the time. It’s just, it’s just part of it. You know, sometimes you’re, yeah, just you’re gonna win some games and you lose some, I mean, I don’t, I don’t like to lose, and I rarely lose. But, you know, we tend to I mean, land landlords know that. We’re going to, we’re going to move quickly. We’re going to be very fair, and accommodating in a lot of cases. And most or most cases, and, you know, we’re gonna pay our bills. I mean, it’s, you know, I don’t I can’t think of a landlord that ever stiffed or did not pay. Obviously, you have to hold back sometimes to get work done or get roofs or a spec repaired. But you know, I don’t you know, if you if you have a good reputation and great references, and you know, I’ve been in retail a long time so I have a really good track record with a lot of great landlords. And, you know, a lot of landlords and a lot of you know, probably have the, I would say the you know, 40 plus deals we’ve done this year probably half of them were with landlords that we’ve done work with in the past and so they made it really easy and actually this one in Charleston, actually, we we’ve actually done a Planet Fitness deal in Columbia Missouri. With with this group, so they knew us and like this and, and definitely went a long way to getting a deal done.

Ressa 29:12
We were a suntan city, not you a franchisee landlord, and we knew you and you’re dead on you want to move fast. And the buff city deal that we did move fast. I guess my takeaway was, rather than squabble over a couple of bucks, the goal is to get the doors open as fast as possible. And that’s one of the things that I realized that you guys just you were moving and trying to get the doors open and the cash register ringing. And that’s the end goal not to have an endless negotiation.

Kueber 29:42
Yeah, yeah. Sometimes. I mean, people want to stay on negotiations for three, four or five months and you have attorneys, I’ve got attorneys and they’ve got other clients and things can drag on for a long, long time. And that’s not that’s no fun. We want to get these things open where we’re moving And at a lightning pace, and we’re going to open. And now certainly it’s, you know, COVID is slowed things down dramatically. I’m sure you still. I mean, I, under normal circumstances hack and get these things open and you know, two and a half or three months right now everything’s taken five months. Yeah. So, I mean, it’s certainly slowing down because of COVID. And constraints, you know, from a labor and permitting and everything, everything. So

Ressa 30:27
that brings me you had to lay off some people has the rehiring gone. It’s a challenge.

Kueber 30:33
It’s a little challenging, I never thought I would compete be competing with the federal government for employees. But here we are today. And you know, I think that’s all coming to an end soon. Hopefully, in September, we see that and locally here in Kentucky. Other states, like Indiana, Tennessee, have already ended the madness. So, you know, where can people come back to work? I mean, we’re still short, I mean, staffed everywhere, which is kind of interesting. It’s a really interesting way to operate your business, you know, you need, you know, three or four employees. And you might have one or two, if you’re lucky. And, you know, it’s really challenging, and especially restaurants, I think restaurants have a much harder time. And then some of the traditional retail, you can open up, we know the city, we operate with one or two people we have to, we certainly don’t want to, but it is the restaurants can’t do it. One more challenging question,

Ressa 31:25
because you hear this a lot in the business world, not unique to our business. So I want to bring you back to Charleston, West Virginia, let’s say you were the other potential prospect. And the landlord said, Sorry, I’m going with these guys. And these guys being buff city, you are on the other side. This is just business to you, when there’s an opportunity in the future with that person, it’s all good. Or do you have a long memory? And you’re gonna remember that moment?

Kueber 31:53
You know, I think that depends on the person. You know, it’s yeah, it’s been, it’s not personal. I mean, they I’m sure, you know, if they were really wanted the space, and they were willing to pay up, they probably could have kept the deal. But you know, I don’t know, there could be a long memory. But yeah, it doesn’t matter. I have a, I have a whole list of long memories of people. I’d like to make sure they never share space with a shopping center.

Ressa 32:19
Understand, okay. Well, Rick, that was a great story. I appreciate all the insights about your personal story, navigating the largest adversity you’ve ever faced. And I want to bring us to the last part of the show. I got three questions for you. Are you ready?

Kueber 32:35
I’m ready. All right.

Ressa 32:37
It’s called retail wisdom. Question one. What extinct retailer? Do you wish would come back from the dead?

Kueber 32:43
It’s an easy answer Blockbuster Video. I wish my kids my children can experience the painstaking process of renting a video and then having to return it.

Ressa 32:52
You can’t please want. Absolutely. All right. Question two. What is the last item over $20 that you bought in store?

Kueber 33:02
I bought a laser cartridge at Office Depot last week for eating. And here’s why. It’s it’s kind of funny. I tried to order it on Amazon is why would you ever go to the store to get that? So pick it up cartridge. Amazon, they couldn’t deliver it for like two weeks. But then I go to the store. And you gotta take the box up to the counter, which I guess people feel cartridges. Well, I’ll be damned if the guy didn’t give me the wrong color. So now I gotta make a second trip back to the store. So I haven’t gone back to the store. But now I gotta make a signature back.

Ressa 33:38
Ah, those seem like the easy things that when businesses nail it, they leave a positive impression. But when they mess it up, they leave a real negative one. So yes, absolutely. Okay, last question, Rick. Maybe one day this will happen or maybe will end up on the golf course to bad golfers but that’ll be fun to compete. So maybe you and I did a golf dating soon. But let’s pretend you and I were shopping at Target and I lost you. What aisle would I find you in?

Kueber 34:11
You get me in the bourbon aisle. I’m a connoisseur of fine bourbon. I have a huge multimillion dollar collection of bourbon that I love. I love drinking great bourbon. So you will find me in the bourbon aisle searching for some random bottles that they might have just put on the shelf.

Ressa 34:27
Wow, multimillion dollar bourbon collection. Are you going to a lot of bourbon tastings and you’re going all over doing things around bourbon?

Kueber 34:35
You know, so I live in Louisville, Kentucky, which you know, is the, you know, comparable to always compare to Las Vegas. You know, I had that one friend that lived in Vegas. And you go to Vegas and hey, I’m coming to town. go great. You know I’ve had three other visitors this week. And that’s kind of way I feel with bourbon. People from all over the world come to Louisville, Kentucky bourbon. I mean, Kentucky bourbon is Kentucky and instead of coming here multiple times a week from all over the world, so generally people end up at my house, because they know I have some of the best bourbon in the universe and they want to drink it. But generally, I do limit it to pretty much one visit a week because I can drink bourbon three or four nights and still continue to work and never goes. Well. I do that.

Ressa 35:19
I understand. I understand. Well, that was a real cool anecdote you left us with. Thank you for sharing. This was terrific. I’m looking forward to doing more deals and hopefully, we connect offline and as this pandemic unwinds, we meet in person. I’m looking forward to that.

Kueber 35:36
Absolutely. Thanks for having me. I enjoyed it.

Ressa 35:40
Thank you for listening to retail retold. If you want to share a story about a retail real estate deal that you were a part of on our show. Please reach out to us at retail retold at DLC This show highlights the stories behind the deals from all perspectives. So it doesn’t matter if you are a retailer, broker, entrepreneur, architect or an attorney. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to retail retold so you don’t miss out on next Thursday’s episode

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