By Ingrid Howard
John Cassimus, the man behind several of Birmingham’s successful startups, soon will open his next “crazy” concept.
Crazy Cazboy’s will be a discount retail store with a twist. The store operates on a descending price structure: On Fridays, the store is stocked with the newest merchandise, and everything will sell for $6. On Saturdays, everything sells for $5; Sundays’ price is $4; Mondays’ is $2; Tuesdays’ is $1; and Wednesdays’ is $0.25.
The store’s opening date is May 10, and Cassimus is buzzing with excitement.
“Anytime you do a startup, it’s just anxiety, and it’s great anticipation,” he said.
The store’s slogan is, “Like Black Friday, Every Friday,” and Cassimus expects 500 or 600 people to show up on opening day and line up down the sidewalk.
When a customer walks in, they will be greeted with a colorful store and an upbeat environment. Boxes filled to the brim with miscellaneous items will be spaced evenly throughout the store.
“There’s no rhyme or reason, and that’s the simplicity of it,” he said. “We put it in there, and … you’re going to have to kind of look for the products.”
Nothing is junk, though. Almost everything that Crazy Cazboy’s sells will be brand new, taking items from stores that overstock, items that have box damage or items that are pulled from the shelf.
On the surface, it’s easy to spot items such as books, baby products, hair styling products, iPhone cases, Apple Watch bands, nutritional supplements and toys.
But customers with a good eye can find some valuable treasures. On opening day, one of the bins will contain a refurbished Apple iPad. Other merchandise from brands such as Canon, FitBit, Garmin, Samsung and more also will be in stock for the customers who hit the store at the right time.
The store is closed on Thursdays to give employees a chance to throw out the unwanted products and restock the store, but new merchandise will be coming in all week.
“The only way we’re going to be successful is if we’re going to continually have products,” he said. “So if somebody doesn’t get here ‘till 6:00 on Friday, there’s still going to be lots of stuff.”
Because of the Black Friday-style environment, Cassimus said, customers won’t be allowed to bring in large bags or large coats.
“There’s just going to be a lot of people in here, a lot of things going on at once, we’re not going to have sales associates everywhere,” he said. “Stuff would get stolen for sure because it’s small.”
Cassimus said that check out lines might be long, but they will move more quickly than at most traditional retailers. There will be eight checkout counters, and the employees won’t need to scan each item for the price. They will simply count the products and multiply that number by the price of the day.
When Cassimus opens a new startup, he always makes sure he does better than his competitors.
For example, when he was building up Zoës Kitchen, he looked at other fast-casual restaurants and took note of a few things he would do differently.
“I felt like the companies that were out there doing it … I felt like I could do it way better than they could do it,” he said. “I wanted everything fresh, made on site. I wanted my stores to look better. I wanted to have better customers. I wanted to have better employees.”
His plan was successful; there are more than 300 Zoës restaurants across the country.
Cassimus said he did the same when he opened a franchise of Mike’s Merchandise, a retail bargain store that sells products 50% to 60% off retail price, in Pelham.
“I was like, OK, I can see what these other guys are doing … but I think that we can do it way better,” he said. “We could have way more merchandise in the store, it can look better, and the experience can be better. And that really worked out.”
Cassimus assisted in the growth of Maki Fresh and Jinsei Sushi, two fast-casual sushi restaurants in the Birmingham area. He opened Miss Dots, a Southern-inspired fast-casual restaurant, in 2015 with Tyre Stuckey. He also founded a full-service hunting lodge in 2007 and owns a liquidation company.
Like so many of his other adventures, Cassimus has high hopes for Crazy Cazboys. He plans to open five to seven more locations in Alabama and neighboring states by the end of 2019.
“We expect this concept to take the city of Birmingham by storm,” he said in a statement.
Crazy Cazboy’s will open its doors to the public at 10 a.m., May 10 at 136 Wildwood Parkway in Homewood. Because this will be a Friday, everything in the store will be priced at $6.
To learn more and receive updates, follow Crazy Cazboy’s on Facebook.