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A NOTE TO OUR CUSTOMERS Regarding Prismacolor pencils Dear South City customers, You may notice that our Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencil display is looking bare. We’re sorry to inform you that we won’t be restocking these pencils, despite the fact that many of you use them. We didn’t want to do this. Prismacolor pencils were one of our very first purchases when we opened the store two years ago. They are one of the only brands that offers such a wide array of color choices, and their universal name recognition makes them a no-hassle choice for customers who need good student-grade colored pencils. What many artists don’t know about Prismacolor is that it is owned by the same conglomerate that produces Rubbermaid, Mr. Coffee, and Yankee Candle products, among others. They behave like a giant housewares company, not a dedicated art materials manufacturer like Gamblin, Golden, Faber-Castell, or Holbein. They give rock-bottom prices to Dick Blick and Walmart while offering the worst discounts in the industry for small stores like us. Then, chain stores sell Prismacolor products at a fraction of list price, creating a dilemma for independent retailers. Do we try to compete with their price, thereby cutting our margins drastically? Or do we charge something close to list price and lose customers? For the last two years, we have mainly chosen the former approach, charging $1.50 per pencil to compete with Blick’s $1.29 web price. (Prismacolor lists these pencils at $2.10 each.) As a result, they are probably our single least-profitable item. We were fine with that for a while, because we wanted to provide this product to our customers at an affordable price and we figured we’d make it up elsewhere. But we’re seeing lower and lower prices on Amazon and Dick Blick for Prismacolor products, all while our cost per pencil has actually risen. Frankly, we’re tired of lining the pockets of a huge corporation at the expense of our own profits. There are other good reasons to say goodbye to Prismacolor pencils. They are made in Mexico, where child labor is still common and labor protections in general are weak. As our customers know, we strongly prefer to buy items made in the USA, Germany, Japan, France, and other countries with decent labor protections. And the quality control on these pencils is just not as good as we wish it were—we get far too many warped and split pencils from Prismacolor. Please keep your eyes open for our replacement for this product: Derwent’s Coloursoft line, a more vibrant, softer, less waxy, and better-constructed colored pencil that’s made in England. For all that improvement, the price increase will be slight: only $1.85 each. We’re confident this change will be a better deal for all of us. (And look out for more replacements of Prismacolor products in the future: it’ll be slow, but our plan is to get rid of all of them.) Sincerely, Carson and Xena, owners

Profile for Carson Monetti

SCAS Prismacolor letter  

SCAS Prismacolor letter