It’s not a merger, exactly. But 2 of the area’s most famous — and successful — business families are entering into a “strategic partnership.”
The agreement — “I guess ‘alliance’ is the best thing to call it,” Bill Mitchell says — is intended to cross-promote the 2 brands. It will allow for innovative marketing techniques too, Mitchell explains.
It is not intended primarily to save money, though there may be some cost savings, Mitchell notes.
“We’ve known each other for years,” says Stew Leonard, Jr. — like Mitchell, the son of his company’s founder.
“We admire the way Mitchells has evolved and grown, while remaining true to its family and community roots,” Leonard adds. “It became clear through casual conversations over the years that they feel the same way about us.”
Mitchell points to some of the possible cross-branding opportunities: “We’ll have Stew’s bagels available every morning in our store, along with plenty of other treats from their bakery.
“Over there, although they already sell things like cashmere sweaters, we think we can provide a higher quality item.”
Certain details of the partnership remain to be worked out. For example, whose shopping bags will be used?
Though plastic bags are illegal in Westport, Stew’s provides paper bags upon request. Mitchells bags are fancier — but more expensive.
As for logos, Mitchell and Leonard batted around several taglines — “Silk with milk,” “Socks and lox” and “A suit plus fruit” — but in the end opted for a simple redesign of the stores’ names.
In a nod to their shared “community spirit,” they’d like “06880” readers to weigh in. The 2 new logo ideas are below; click here to register your vote — or comment on the exciting new partnership.