The General Store, which built its reputation by selling name brand clothing at low prices in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood, will move to expanded quarters in 7th Street NW in late November.
The move is a sign of the success owner Sidney Lewis has had since he first opened the store in January 1973.
"For many years I worked to develop an assortment of good quality clothing at reasonable prices. When I thought I had it, Iadvertised more. People came and saw we had what we advertised," Lewis said.
So many people came, in fact, that Lewis felt he had to find a larger store. Lewis wanted a store in which customers could shop in "an easy going atmosphere. We can't do than in our current premisses. It is too crowded for employees and too crowded for customers," he said.
The new location on 7th Street between H and I Sts. will have three times as much space for merchandise as Lewis now has at 2424 18th St. NW, and it will have 80 dressing rooms instead of the 28 in the current store. Long lines people waiting for a dressing room was one of the factors that damaged the "easy going atmosphere" Lewis wants.
In addition, the new store will have eight times more office space than the 18th Street store has.
Lewis expects to see his bsiness grow with the extra room hw will have. In fact, he said he expects to see a 500 to 600 per cent growth in his volume of business over last.
Last year, Lewis estimated that he made about $38.000 profit, of which he kept $10.000 to live on an put the rest back into the business.
Lewis selected the 7th Street locations simply because "I looked around the city and could only find one building to suit my purposes."
Lewis, who taught economics for two years at Masachusetts Institute of Technology uses a simple formula for success. He buys his clothing in huge quantities, which encourages some manufacturers to sell to him at low prices. Lewis was selling blue jeans at rock bottom prices long before the local price was began.
Prices are even lower right now, while the General Store's moving sale goes on. The sale, according to the sign in the window, is in its final week.
As his business grows, Lewis plans to concentrate on the finance and merchandise espects of the operation.
In addition to the approximately 30 new employees Lewis will be hiring after the Nov. 28 move, Gabriel Bobrow will join the store as executive director. He will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the store.
Lewis also will continue to operate a small store in Adams-Morgan after the move.