In tough economic times, countless businesses have shut down across the US. But, some entrepreneurs are trying to think outside the box to stay afloat.
Jill Anne, a store owner in New York City pole dances in her store and claims business is better than ever.
In a small room in lower Manhattan, the boots come off, the pole is prepared, the music comes on, and the show begins.
The place is far from a strip club or porn shop. Anne is a greeting card store owner.
While countless businesses in the US have been dying off and shutting down in a dire economy, some places prove that it could take something a little bit more eye-catching to stay afloat.
“Some people would call it gorilla marketing. You do what it takes, and if it works – it works. Great. More power to you,” she said.
For the store owner, what had initially started as a more original way to take breaks than coffee, has recently turned into something she never expected.
“This is a great advertising thing. That certainly wasn’t in my business plan, but I am embracing it now” Anne said.
One of the exclusive offers in the store is a private pole dance – when a customer purchases merchandise worth $50 dollars or more.
As hard as it may seem to lure men into buying greeting cards, the strategy has proven genius.
“They end up buying my greeting cards, my calendars, sometimes they buy some of the pole attire that I have for their girlfriends,” she commented.
Some New Yorkers have been appalled by the use of sexuality to boost sales.
“It’s just a self-respect thing,” said a woman.
“I have owned a store and I wouldn’t attract customers that way,” echoed another.
But in times of an unpredictable economy, just how far will business owners be willing to go to stay in the game?