Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A letter to our customers...

Dear Loyal Swoozie’s Customers Everywhere,

For the past 9 years, you have supported Swoozie’s and have been the livelihood of each of our 43 neighborhood locations. Therefore, I feel a responsibility to reach out to you and include you in what is about to happen to our company. Some of you I know personally, and others, I feel as if I do. But each of you are important to me and to Swoozie’s. And unfortunately we are at a crossroads.
Many of you are already aware that Swoozie’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. While I kept a positive outlook throughout this process with respect to finding a way to emerge as a reorganized company, it doesn’t appear we are going to be offered that chance. I am now facing the somber reality that Swoozie’s is swiftly approaching a path to complete liquidation barring some unforeseen miracle at the auction which is scheduled for Thursday, March 25.
This isn’t just a business for me, this is my life, my family and my passion. My late husband, David Dworkin who passed away 3 years ago, and I built this company from the ground up based on our knowledge of the industry, my experience as a woman and mother of three and our love of retail. It was built for women just like you. And, because I found so much joy in being on the floor and meeting customers, I have had the pleasure of experiencing countless moments that I will cherish.
I have watched the joy on the faces of so many brides-to-be. I have seen the spark when we find that special gift for a precious new baby. I have experienced hundreds of first birthdays. I have heard and lived the story of so many graduating students from all grades and colleges across the nation. I have seen the perfect gift through the eyes of a proud grandmother. I understand what it takes to be a ‘favorite teacher’ and the special gift that accompanies that title. I understand how it feels when you get the news that a close friend or a loved one has cancer. And, I have shared in your determination to find the one gift that will make it better at least for a moment. All of these stories and experiences will resonate with me.
These stories and the people involved are why I was committed to Swoozie’s even after the pain that came with the death of my husband. It was for you, for our employees, for our countless vendors. After all you have become my family. And, although I am so sincerely sorry for any pain or hardship this situation is causing, I will always appreciate and hold dear the people and the experiences that Swoozie’s has introduced along the way. I am a woman of faith, I am confident that this has a larger purpose that will one day make sense.
Thank you for your support over the past nine years. I can only hope that we have met all your expectations. My husband had this vision for our company of impeccable customer service for each and every customer each and every time they visited a Swoozie’s. I want to personally apologize to any customer who did not receive that perfect service experience. And, I particularly want to say that I’m sorry to any customer who was affected or will be affected during this unfortunate period.

Swoozie’s foundation is the important events in life that make it special, the celebrations. Although I still believe in this brand and remain hopeful, we are looking at what could very well be the end of this celebration, and I want to thank you for joining the party. It wouldn’t have been the same without you. I wish you all bright days, much laughter and the level of joy that I have gained from this company.

Respectfully, Kelly Plank Dworkin
Co-founder, President and CEO