Carter’s Clothing & Footwear vs Nike: Big Bully Business

Carter’s Clothing & Footwear: 55 William Street, New Bedford (508-993-8221) and 288 Plymouth Avenue, Fall River (508-678-5333)

By Jenny Lee Paiva

I’m willing to bet that more than half of our readers felt the peril of the Market Basket saga. You may have had to drive out of the way and pay a heck of a lot more at big chain stores rather than getting “more for your dollar,” as the family -owned supermarket boasts. We’ve certainly seen the consequences as consumers, with bare shelves and a legal battle lasting more than a month.

So what does this possibly have to do with Carters Clothing & Footwear vs Nike?

Well, it’s about small business and big corporate bullies. It’s about families and communities. Whether a consumer or a producer, it’s about appreciating those who have invested time and money into your product or cause. It’s about a sense of localism; communities coming together in support of small business. Most importantly, it’s about honoring the loyalty of those who have helped build a brand from the start.

By now, you may have heard that Carter’s Clothing & Footwear, a longtime staple of South Coast economy, lost their account with the billion-dollar bully, Nike.

In March of 2013, Nike sent a letter stating they would no longer distribute their product to Carters as of June 30th, 2013, giving the Carter family just three months’ notice. Nike demanded that Carters pay the full balance in advance, a stark contrast to a line of credit that the Carters were accustomed to and had always paid on time.

Carters has been serving the urban communities of Fall River and New Bedford, MA since 1947, with three generations of family owners.

The Carters contacted Nike immediately requesting a balance due but Nike would not respond or confirm a balance for future orders, and within a couple of weeks, Nike locked the Carters out of their online account. Heeding Nike’s warning, the Carters took the initiative of printing up and sifting through all Nike invoices, and in just ten days had the burden of advancing $160,000 to Nike to ensure all orders were paid in full through September 30th.

Nike’s actions were painfully shocking since the mom-and-pop clothing and footwear store maintained a good standing business account for over 30 years with Nike. Nike merchandise accounted for a sizable amount of Carters Clothing & Footwear business revenue.

Carters has been serving the urban communities of Fall River and New Bedford, MA since 1947, with three generations of family owners. Loyal customers appreciate shopping one of the largest sneaker selections in the area and praise Carter’s staff for friendly customer service. Nike’s drastic policy change has put this family-owned company in a financially tenuous spot, and thus, with respect to their reputation and promise to their customers, the Carter family demands answers.

I had the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with Kevin Carter, third generation store owner and manager, who shared with me details and family thoughts on their current legal battle with Nike. “We want answers, and our day in court,” he said.

The Carter family wants to know Nike’s motive behind terminating their account with no warning, after 30 loyal years. “At first, we thought it was a mistake. We immediately sent over emails and made phone calls, but no response.” Kevin explained that Carters Clothing has evolved right along with Nike, before the big brand lost their loyalty to the small businesses roots that built its brand from the start.

Interestingly enough, Carters Clothing was not the only mom and pops shop that received a termination letter from Nike.

Carter’s isn’t just a clothing store!

According to Carter’s attorney, Adrienne Catherine Beauregard-Rheaume, news reports out of New Jersey and Philadelphia have revealed that Nike sent several identical letters to numerous small businesses across the eastern seaboard of the United States. Reportedly, several mom and pop stores were facing closure due to their dropped Nike accounts.

“Though we haven’t heard of any stores in the Midwest or West Coast having been effected, according to news reports overseas, Nike is now refusing to sell to small sports shops in the United Kingdom, limiting its distribution to the chain stores,” said Beauregard.

Nike is arguing that these stores have to bring their fight to Oregon if they want to challenge Nike’s actions and it is certainly concerning that Nike seems to have only focused their efforts thus far on retailers on the opposite side of the country and overseas.

But Nike claims it’s all under contract, stating in their March 15th, 2013 termination letter, “By this letter, NIKE provides you with formal notice, effective June 30th, 2013 (the “Termination Date”) that it is exercising the right to terminate your account(s).”

Since many mom and pop stores also built their business around the Nike brand, naturally, the insufficient amount of warning time Nike gave to find another product to replace their merchandise was baffling.

CBS Eyewitness News conducted a closer investigation of Nike’s actions, reporting the same unexpected termination letter was sent to small business owner Keith Sherman, manager of Real McCoy Sports in Olney Philadelphia. Sherman argues that Nike has forgotten its roots; “I mean, us, the hood…We built that, we built Nike. We helped that brand get up there and this is what we get in return?”

Is Nike targeting small businesses? On what legal terms?

Carter’s doesn’t have a chain feel and retains its “mom & pop” feel!

“We weren’t the only small business being targeted. There are so many other businesses that we found out about right away,” said Kevin Carter.

The Carter family’s legal quest revealed at least ten more small businesses with dropped Nike accounts, including 23- year- old Shoe Plus Athletic Footwear of Princeton, Philadelphia, 44- year- old Index #1 of Queens, New York, and 50- year -old Alpha & Omega Shoe of Roxbury, MA.

As a result of this move by Nike, many long standing community stores were closed down for good. Family owners were forced to forfeit their hard earned businesses after years of loyalty to the Nike brand. In the event that Nike is targeting small businesses in favor of big retailers like Footlocker, the question remains whether they can legally discontinue Carters account without proper warning.

“The legal fight is about whether Nike can pull the rug out from under the Carters after a 30 year relationship that gave rise to a contract through their course of dealing, among others,” said Beauregard.

Still in search of answers, and now under the legal guidance of attorney Philip N. Beauregard and Adrienne Beauregard, of the law firm Beauregard, Burke & Franco, the Carters filed a lawsuit against Nike on June 7th, just three months after receiving the original termination letter.

The lawsuit accused Nike of a breach in contract and unfair and deceptive trade practices, and asked that the Carter account be reinstated so that they can continue selling Nike products to their customers.

“The Carters have a very strong, local customer base that didn’t make that trek out to the big box stores on Route 6 for their sneakers, they came to downtown New Bedford and gave their business to this small family business that has been operating here for more than a half century,” said Beauregard.

When I asked Beauregard what she thought Nike’s motive was, she said her firm’s attempts to get a court to force Nike to reveal their motive have been stymied by a so called “contract clause” printed in 8 point font on the back of a merchandise purchase invoice.

Carter’s has been serving the community for decades.

Since Nike was such a big part of the Carters’ business and they built their stores around the product, the question of Nike’s motive to terminate their account still remains a perplexing mystery. “There is no way to know at this point what Nike’s motive was, because it refuses to answer that question,” she said.

Nike immediately responded to Carters lawsuit filing a motion to dismiss, claiming that according to this “implied contract clause,” the case can only be heard in Oregon, where Nike’s headquarters are located.

“It seems Nike is writing their own rules,” said owner Kevin Carter. “We want to see the proof. Where’s the agreement they claim that we signed and agreed to?”

Given the amount of small businesses terminated, along with alleged statements Nike made to stores in the United Kingdom, there’s reason to believe that perhaps Nike has decided to only sell to big box stores.

“That kind of discrimination is not right, and it’s not legal,” said Beauregard.

News of the Carter vs Nike lawsuit made local headlines suggesting the Carter’s legal battle with a major corporate brand like Nike was another case of David & Goliath, causing many loyal customer concerns.

For example, a Sport-Law online article written by Benjamin Haynes, proposed, “It’s hard to imagine this small family operated store surviving without such a brand. It’s safe to assume that Carters main reason for wanting to exercise its notice right is to allow the small business adequate time to pursue another contract.”

However, Nike merchandise only accounts for a portion of sales—not nearly enough for the hard working family to close up shop. Although many fellow small business owners seemed hopeless in pursuing a legal battle with the heavy weight Nike brand, the Carter family is fighting for fair business practices, demanding answers on behalf of all mom and pop stores.

Small businesses are the heart of their communities.

Carters Clothing & Footwear is a very well-known and respected store, contributing to the economic development of the Fall River and New Bedford communities, employing roughly 20 workers, from part time college students to long term friendly faces. Loyal customers appreciate the welcoming feeling of the mom-and-pop shop. Carter’s sells award winning Townwear apparel, donating a portion of all sales to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford, aimed at helping keep kids off the streets and in healthy peer groups.

In a 2014 letter from the US Small Business Administration, Seth A Goddall, New England Regional Administrator wrote; “Small businesses are the backbone of the Massachusetts economy. The Commonwealth’s 607,000 small businesses employ more than 1.4 million workers and are the pulse of the state’s downtowns and communities. Many of these businesses are owned and operated by your neighbors, friends, and families.”

Nike’s motive to terminate their long term, good standing account is still unknown. According to attorney Beauregard, if Nike can get away with cutting out the mom and pops shops, it won’t just be the Carters that are affected, but consumers and all small business owners will suffer as well.

“All small businesses will become vulnerable to the distributors who decide it’s better for their bottom line to only sell to big retailers. The landscape of business in America could, in our lifetime, be limited to the Wal-Marts and Targets of the world. I’m concerned for the consumer, and I’m concerned for the small business owners who will be totally shut out of competition,” she said.

Despite the legal fees and unanswered questions, the Carter family remains optimistic.


“For now, it’s just a waiting game,” Carter said.

It’s no wonder the Carter family wants their voice to be heard. They deserve their day in court to defend the rights of fair business practices in the name of all mom-and-pop businesses who were bullied by Nike.

“Nike’s insistence that the Carters bring suit in Oregon – while Nike itself has no problem using the courts of Massachusetts to sue retailers here when it feels it has been legally wronged – may very well rob the Carters of their day in court. Nike should have to answer for this behavior,” said Beauregard.

Nike is a corporate giant, silently severing ties with the little guys who helped build their brand from the start. These are billion dollar businesses- bullies forcing families to forfeit their companies- crushing their family legacy.

What can be done to put an end to similar Carters Clothing and Market Basket cases?
Let’s take a look at the positive side of the Market Basket mayhem; employees and customers protested and refused to work, despite taking a chance on losing their primary income. They were holding onto hope for fair and just business practices. The demonstration proved one thing; we are better in numbers.

While there’s a current trend of Cash Mobs, small business activists organizing community protests and boycotting big brands, there’s something a little less drastic that you can do to help.

Keep on supporting your local businesses who support your community.

Shop local and get to know your neighbors and their families who live to provide goods and services that help stimulate the local economy.

Know that Carters Clothing won’t be closing their doors. In fact, they’ve already refreshed current brands like Reebok, Fila, Champion, Timberland, Supra, New Balance and many more quality clothing and footwear merchandise. Both Fall River and New Bedford locations will continue to stay stocked with Carter’s promise, “Clothes that fit your lifestyle.”

“We are going to keep doing what we’ve done since 1947, focusing on customer service,” said Carter.

In the meantime, Beauregard says her firm has been contacted directly by attorneys for four other retailers and lawmakers in Oregon have also reached out, concerned about what Nike is doing in their own back yard.

“I do hope that the other retailers who have been wronged here have the strength and resilience that the Carters have to fight to stay in business,” she said.

There is no set court date for the appeal yet; briefs are due this fall and a hearing will be scheduled after the briefs are filed.

Carter’s Clothing & Footwear

55 William Street New Bedford, MA 02740
288 Plymouth Avenue Fall River, MA 02721
Call For In-Store Pick Up:
New Bedford: 508-993-8221
Fall River: 508-678-5333
Facebook: facebook.com/CartersMA

Búzi Salon & Spa: Summertime Styling & Sweet Serenity

Búzí Salon, located at 341 Acushnet Ave will get you glowing for the summer!

Let’s face it–we all could use a little pampering thanks to our modern multi-tasking, often on-the-go lifestyles. Warmer weather creeping in warrants the perfect time to invest in your summertime style.

Besides, who doesn’t want to kick off the season with confidence? I’m sure some of us could use a bit of grooming before the swimsuit and skin shedding season starts. And I’ve got just the spot to share with you.

Invest in Looking & Feeling Your Best

Head over to Búzí Salon, located at 341 Acushnet Ave in Downtown New Bedford, and get glowing just in time for summer. Búzí is a full service salon and spa offering hair, nail and skin services for men and woman.

Salon owner Rosa Figueiredo opened her slice of serendipity four years ago and left no luxury out when it came to designing and decorating her little oasis. The beautiful brick building adds a hint of history while the serene décor creates an atmosphere of pure peace.

Get treated like a queen….or a king, at Búzí!

Búzí’s clean and private rooms help you relax and escape during massage and skincare treatments. Candlelit spa services are also available, adding ambiance to the already calming environment that will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized. I have to start by saying my favorite find at Búzí Salon–The shampoo chair.

It really is epic. You know that awkward, uncomfortable feeling you get while you’re trying to enjoy someone scrubbing your scalp clean while you lean your head back in the salon sink? How about an automatic, reclining shampoo chair rather than struggling to extend your neck and save yourself from a back bath? Do yourself a favor and try it out. You will thank me later.

Spring into Summer

In the mood for a new dew? Why not brighten up with some highlights? Feeling frumpy? Rejuvenate your skin with a coconut margarita facial. Refresh your existing style or tame your mane with a Keratin treatment. Say goodbye to stress with a deep tissue massage. Whether you need an eyebrow wax, manscaping, or a smooth and clean bikini area, Búzí offers a salon service for you. Ladies, you should know that Búzí is the only spot in downtown New Bedford where you can get a Brazilian wax. (You’re Welcome)

Take it from me… I’ve had my Cosmo license for ten years now. So I’m no stranger to the beauty industry. But now that most of my time is spent in mommy mode, studying and writing, I was a bit out of touch with self-care. After a long New England winter, I decided to get primped and pampered at Buzi.

I appreciate a stylist who takes time with my locks. There really is nothing like the soft patting of a color brush on my scalp and someone else blow-drying and styling my hair while I struggle to stay awake in the chair. It’s honestly one of the most relaxing things I do for myself every six weeks. (Confession) Got me some killer highlights and a sexy stylish haircut to match. Like I said, I know the industry; my hair is very healthy and I didn’t even make it to my car before I received a compliment on my new dew. The proof is in picture gallery below.

Massage Skincare & Wax Services

Búzí’s clean and private rooms help you relax and escape during massage and skincare treatments.

When it came time for my 90-minute facial including a 30-minute neck, shoulder and foot massage…let’s just say I felt like I was on vacation as soon as I smelled the warm coconut oil that Rosa gets from a local woman in St. Maarten who grinds the coconuts herself! My esthetician, Marta (skilled skin expert) seriously serenaded me with soft music, deep breathing exercises to relax pre -eyebrow wax and a fabulous facial experience. Star shaped soft lights, spa music and the warm massage bed was just what I needed to drift away from daily routine into sweet serenity.

Marta shared with me all the benefits and techniques of a facial; relaxation, smooth and radiant skin, deep cleansing and exfoliation, extractions (optional), even complexion, increased circulation, releases toxins, hydrates and protects skin from free radicals and sun damage, and brightens and tones skin for soft glowing results.

Protection from the sun is a major factor to consider now that I’m in my 30’s; it’s time to toss the straight baby oil and opt for some serious sunblock. I walked out of Buzi feeling like a boss. My skin is glowing and I couldn’t have asked for a better massage. Marta and Linda are excellent estheticians that can even set you up with a skincare regime.

Check out just some of the services awaiting you at Búzí:

  • Hot Stone
  • Sports
  • Reflexology
  • Bamboo Fusion
  • Hot Stone
  • Chair Massage
  • Ear Coning
  • Deep Tissue
  • Spa Parties


  • Brows
  • Manicure
  • Pedicure
  • Facials

Búzí Salon Services (prices are based on hair length & thickness)

  • Haircut & Style
  • Root Touchup
  • Color
  • Gloss
  • Full/Partial Highlights
  • Face Frame Foils
  • Perms
  • Keratin Treatment

Búzí’s Favorite Summer Services:

Keratin-Express Blow Out: Cut down on the hot blow dry time, reduce volume and frizz for smoother shinier hair this summer.
Beach Wave Perm: Perfect summer style with little maintenance for hassle free beach wave.
Hair Feathers: Fun feathers make expressing your creative style easy and temporary.

****Spring Into Summer Specials****

$65—90 Minute Custom Facial: includes a sixty minute margarita, coconut facial and half hour massage hand and foot massage.
$59—Brazilian Wax: Experience a gentle hair removal service with a new cirepil wax.
10 % off Men’s Special: Includes an hour facial, back or chest wax

Why not look as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside? Make a hair appointment with stylist Shakira, indulge in a pregnancy massage by Kerri (she has chiropractic experience), see skin specialists Marta and Linda, or set up your nail and/or facial appointment with Jane.

Búzí also offers gift certificates, free consultations and a premium selection of products to help you stay salon stylin’. Make time to unwind and stop in Búzí today. You will leave looking and feeling like new-I definitely did!

BUZI BEAUTY BONUS: The first five readers to mention this article will receive $10 off any regular priced service. (Sorry, not valid on products or any other merchandise)

Don’t forget to “Like” Buzi on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter for updates on sales and services that change like the seasons in New England.

Facebook: facebook.com/BuziSalon
Twitter: twitter.com/BuziSalon

Walk-Ins Welcome —-Appointments Preferred.

**Now Hiring Experienced Massage Therapist & Hairstylist**


Fabulous Foundations: Look and Feel 10 Pounds Thinner in One Hour

FF Front Area Coffee
Fabulous Foundations is now located in the Dartmouth Towne Center on 398 State Road.

Ladies, let me introduce you to some pretty cool facts about…well, your ladies! Listen up, because you might just be among the 80% of women who are wearing the wrong size bra.  Guys, feel free to read along.  Go ahead.  There’s no doubt your lady love will appreciate a little something fabulous.  I’d even suggest taking notes.

Turns out, there’s a lot more than I thought to find the perfect bra size; I’ve certainly had it all wrong for years.  If your straps are falling and the girls are sneaking out, then it’s likely you are among the 80%. So do yourself a favor and learn a few tips from the trade that I picked up from the lovely, Nancy Espindola, owner of Fabulous Foundations, 398 State Road in Dartmouth, who has found her passion in empowering women with the right tips and tools of the trade to make the best purchase for their money when it comes to quality bras, panties, and swimwear!

The Foundations

Nancy’s vision began one day, when she blinked, and realized that her kids blossomed beyond the nest and her stay-at-home Mom schedule was suddenly free.  If you’re a mom, you know how it goes; the many robes a woman wears throughout the day really do require the proper foundation.  So let’s just say as a wife and mom, Nancy’s cups were always overflowing. She figured out fast how to find the bras to fit her lifestyle.  And when she realized it was time to pass that knowledge onto her niece, she went to her favorite local bra shop Lady Grace, in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

When it came to finding a bra to fit her niece, she realized, a lot of it had to do with age group. Nancy wanted something that was “youthful, pretty, and appropriate” for every woman to remember her first time shopping for the everyday wardrobe essential.  She realized that so many women are often misled by department stores that display a size 34 B bra as if every age, shape and size can expect to find the same cute little cup in her size.  Often store clerks are not trained on how to properly size and custom fit and as a result women are discouraged when they only find a plain nude or black boring bra in their size.

 On A Mission

FF Owner Nancy Espindola
Nancy Espindola, owner of Fabulous Foundations.

Nancy found her niche and pursued her passion to open a shop where EVERY woman can come and feel comfortable and confident in finding at least 8-15 different selections for any bust size, body type, age group, and lifestyle.  Yes- that sweet and sexy size 34 B is now available in the size that’s fit for you.  And by fit I mean, a custom private fitting consultation by Nancy or one of her savvy staff members who are trained and educated to ensure that every Fabulous Foundation customer leaves feeling fulfilled in their cups.

Fabulous Foundations has a pretty sweet mission that is something we can all take some notes on.  Nancy shared with me some of her self-taught secrets and trained tips of the trade, and why she chooses to purchase from European companies rather than American manufactures.

The Fit Factor

The European method of sizing is “Find the band-add the cup” approach opposed to the American method of “find the cup-add the band” Notice how when the cup coverage is just not cutting it, we by default opt for a bigger size band?  The difference with European sizing is the range in cup sizes from A-K (and now even O cup!), while American sizes stop at DDD cup, forcing woman to sacrifice the band fit for proper cup size.  Which is exactly why 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra.  That’s really all we had available to us until Nancy started on a mission to keep her customers covered with merchandise hand chosen according to their needs.

Customer Service Journey

Nancy also believes that every woman deserves a proper one-on-one private consultation in one of her chic fitting rooms as part of her promise to ensure that every purchase becomes an empowering experience.  Another added bonus is that she keeps an updated customer record of fittings and purchases, so you don’t have to.

The Bra Wardrobe: Let’s face it, women are multitasking superheroes.  In a single day we can go from washing floors, to working out, to the supermarket, to the soccer field, to a business dinner, to a night out on the town, and back home for bedtime stories.  A girl’s got to have enough bras in her wardrobe to keep up with her…or keep her up, I should say. Another part of Nancy’s mission is to educate women to make more informed purchases.  So lucky for us, she gave us this awesome guide to keep us covered-literally.

Five Must-Have Bras: The Bra Wardrobe

1. Sports Bra: “Everyday Tasks & Tending Bra

Fit- Sporty, Shapely
Body Type: All
Support-Maximum, Firm
Features- Cuts 80% Bounce, Breathable Band, Vents, Multifunctional

FF Sport Bra & Panty


2. Balconette: “Tee & Turtlenecks Bra

Fit- Rounded Effect
Body Type: Fit, Fake, Firm (FFF)
Features-Sweetheart Cut, Polka Dot Pattern. Comfy

FF Polka Dot Balconette Bra


3. Plunge:  “Summer Tanks & Tee Bra

Fit: Crisscross, Tee Back, Halter, Regular
Body Type: Fit, Fake, Firm (That’s a must here, ladies)
Features: Multifunctional Straps for a more optional wear

Cream Plunge



4. Strapless:  “Everything Evening Bra

Fit: Must Be Snug, Crisscross, Halter
Support: Maximum
Features: Comfort, Silicone Band for a controlled fit

FF Nude Strapless


5. Full Cup: Soft & Professional Bra

Fit: Regular
Support: Controlled
Coverage: Full
Body Type: Full Busted
Features: Modest fit, Soft, Comfortable

Nude Full Cup


* Bonus: Just Because I’m Beautiful  Bra”

Coverage- His credit card (wink wink, guys)
Fit– Perfect to your unique and beautiful body
Support- Empowering in every way, shape, and form
Features- Everything that you need to look and feel as beautiful as you are on the inside.

Cream Plunge


Bra Love & Care: The last part of Nancy’s bra crash course 101 stressed the importance of giving your bras the same TLC that you received during your purchase.  Think of it like this:  You sweat all day and oil and perspiration from your body leak out onto your bra causing the band to wear out faster.  (eww-but true) If you are going to make an investment in yourself, you might as well make it a lasting investment.

Nancy’s Nifty Tips: Extend the Life of Your Bra

  • Rotate Your Bra Wardrobe
  • Always Air Dry
  • Use a Gentle Biodegradable Solution Wash.  SOAK is available in store, in five different fragrances, travel and regular size bottles.  It’s a simple way to increase the longevity of all your delicate clothing.  (I even use it to wash my makeup brushes!)  Just Soak, Squeeze, Hang Dry-NO RINSE

Feel even more fabulous that 90% of all bras have panties to match! Fabulous Foundations also carries a unique selection of premium women’s swimwear with control top built in bras.  So if you’re heading out on a vacation in January, rest assured Nancy has a fresh selection of bathing suits year round starting at size C cup.   Pregnant or Nursing?   I wish I had known that there were quality and pretty nursing bras that would last before, during, and after my son was born.

Feel free to make an appointment with Nancy or any other Fabulous Foundations staff member.  They can even special order items that are not in stock. Just be sure to bring your garments with you, and they will take care of finding you the perfect foundations to fit.

Fabulous Foundations also offers free alterations, free holiday gift wrapping, and gift cards.  With a new location comes a new commitment to make sure your Fabulous Foundations experience helped you achieve the comfort, fit, and lift that every woman needs to be the amazing superhero that we all are!  I can say for sure that I’m more than happy with my experience and I learned a ton of valuable information to share with you.  Mention this article when you visit Fabulous Foundations for a little something special, just because you deserve it!

Monday-Friday: 10:00am-7:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am-5:00pm
Sunday: Closed

Call for an Appointment or Walk-in Consultations Welcome

We’ve moved to the Dartmouth Towne Center, 398 State Road. Between Barnes & Noble, and Game Stop.

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