By  on December 11, 2008

Olive & Bette’s owner Stacey Pecor has a sign on her desk saying, “There’s only one boss, and that’s the customer.” The phrase, from Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, rings true for Pecor more than ever in a recession.

“One of my best customers, who has been shopping at my stores for 17 years, asked me why she should shop with me when my neighbors have everything marked down,” said Pecor, who has four stores in Manhattan. “And she’s right. We hardly ever had to put things on sale, but here we sit at between 50 and 70 percent off. We have to do anything she wants these days, anything to keep her shopping.”

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