Justin Calabrese Decides To Re-Open Big J Mart Stores, This Time With A New Approach
Submitted by: Big J Mart Stores Inc.
(OPENPRESS) August 20, 2012 -- Recent news has been released that Justin Calabrese and family have re-planned the opening of Big J Mart Stores, an online department store that sold everything from food, clothing, electronics, car parts, and more. In 2008, the internet retail giant reported a whopping 1.6 million active product inventory.
Big J Mart opened in 2009, when Justin became deeply involved in retail entrepreneurship from attending high school classes. After experimenting with other smaller internet based companies it wasn't long before Calabrese and family discussed the opening of a department store. "My mom and dad were both worried that I could fail and have nothing to show for my time and effort," said Justin Calabrese. "I showed them that I had the knowledge needed to take on such a huge operation," he commented. It took nearly a year to build, construct, and work with lawyers to prepare the business for opening day.
The business held strong with increasing profits and revenue over the years. In early 2010 Calabrese added to his business with textbook rentals, movie tickets, an online grocery store, and more. Connecticut newspapers reported on the story and Calabrese it wasn't long before local colleges, high schools, and private community organizations, asked Calabrese and family to speak about the business. Calabrese took every opportunity to speak, including local Boy Scout groups, Clark University in Massachusetts, NPR Morning News, UCONN, and more.
Calabrese does admit that with success comes failure. It has been reported that Calabrese has been involved in over 60 lawsuits including but not limited to; customer return fraud and not following policy, worker rights, international business laws, import regulations, copyright infringement, and more. Most of the lawsuits have spun from unsettled customer returns that were never completed. Most of the disputes were initiated by the credit card company. "When it comes to a lawsuit, it is what it is," Justin Calabrese said. "It is unsettling that small issues take up so much time, yet the customers won't settle for the compensation I offer. Eh, if they want to be that way, let them. At the end of the day it's all about a dollar."
In 2010 after Calabrese started credit card processing with a new outside company, the business operation started to wobble. "The credit card processing company, which I won't mention their name, took my money, ran with it and said because we were processing too much cash in such a short time, I wasn't allowed to touch it," Justin said. The money was held for a year, halting business operations for days on end. Immediately, lawyers were introduced to the issue, and after several threats, the credit card company released the disturbing large amount of cash.
It wasn't easy for Calabrese to get started. Justin started with only $100 from dog walking, invested his money, and grew over the years through smaller internet based websites, including JC Surveillance. In 2010 Calabrese had enough capital to rent a distribution center in Orem, UT. Located on North Technology Way in the heart of Orem, the distribution center housed the products for Big J Mart, as well as a full fleet of trucking service. This later became a subdivision of Big J Mart, known as Big J Mart Transportation Fleet. "I would say this took up most of my time. As I would oversee business operations, I had to maintain a safe environment for those moving the product. As soon as I was notified of a trucking issue such as an accident or a breakdown, I would alert the proper people. After all, without a truck I can't move product and without moving product I can't make a dollar. It's all a game and you just have to know how to put the pieces together."
In late 2010, right before Big J Mart was closed, Justin Calabrese and Co-Owner, Trevor M. Drysdale of Manchester, CT hit a large road block when one of their products was released onto the internet with false advertising. Calabrese and Drysdale at the time purchased products directly from china, bulk importing them into the United States on large ocean barges, one of them being an XBox 360 system with Connect. After advertising the system online, a few hundred dollars less than Walmart, every phone line owned to Big J Mart was in use. Businesses, organizations, and other retail stores called, attempting to get their hands on what should have been a great deal. After thorough investigation into the "great offer" Big J Mart Stores Co-Owner, Trevor Drysdale determined the system was for the XBox system only, and not the Connect adapter. Calabrese immediately pulled the item from the website and refunded anyone who purchased in error.
Today, Justin Calabrese plans on re-opening the business with a "no thrills" scheme. The website, which will not advertise at all on any shopping networks, will be a website that will offer extremely low prices, direct from China with little markup, comparable to Walmart and Kmart. The business will have the same design, color scheme, and products as the previous Big J Mart. Users will not have to purchase a membership to gain access to the shopping website.
Calabrese and family have searched high and low throughout unique channels to deliver low priced merchandise to the world. Justin Calabrese has confirmed that Big J Mart Stores will have an online grocery store as well as general retail merchandise. The internet based company will carry its original slogan, "Shop More. Smile More."
With a "no thrill" website, the Calabrese family state that they can focus more of their time finding low priced items. "I don't literally search for products on the internet," Calabrese stated. "I connect in with corporate offices themselves and get a wholesale price, allowing me to make a small profit, while still beating out other online stores."
While the business grows over the next few years, Justin Calabrese plans on finishing up school at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, CT. Calabrese plans to continue on for a MBA but has not decided on which school he will be attending. In addition to school, Justin will continue to host school visits, motivating students to learn about business. Calabrese is a firm believer that everyone is created equal and can do anything you put your mind to.
It wasn't long before Justin started to gain public attention for his community involvement. Just a few years back Justin Calabrese received a letter from a student at Westbridge Academy in New Jersey. The facility is a safe home for students grades K-12 who suffer from emotional and behavioral problems. The letter received was from a student who was doing a project on letter writing. "Out of everyone on the internet to choose, the student decided to write to me. His letter was so touching, it made me cry. The boy stated that someday he wanted to be just like me, living a life and doing things that I enjoy. I immediately wrote back a letter to the student, and wished him the best of luck in life. I added in that by keeping your eyes on the stars at night, anything is possible. It doesn't matter if you're in special education or an AP student. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it." Calabrese admits that he was a special education student himself until his senior year in high school. "I can't wait to revisit that child in the future and see his progress," said Justin.
Big J Mart plans on offering free shipping within the United States via UPS Ground. Overnight services will be offered but for a small charge.
More information will be available soon for more information on the update and status of Big J Mart Stores.
Justin Calabrese and family currently reside in South Windsor, CT and had expected income of $1.8 million dollars in the 2010 year just off Big J Mart, just before the business closed.