Sam Moon site
of the Shaman
Moon (’89) is a true believer in the power of shopping.
He’s made his fortune from it, and his Korean father built
his American dream with it. Since the Moon family opened up for
business nearly 20 years ago, they have helped transform a decaying
Dallas neighborhood into a booming and trendy shopping district.
“It’s amazing how much has happened in just 10 years,”
Sam says, referring to the changes in the family business since
he took over from his father, David. “And we’re still
The Sam Moon Trading Co., a huge discount accessories store on Harry
Hines Boulevard, has become the home of the serious discount shopper.
Every day, and especially Saturdays, swarms of shoppers come to
the outlet for the latest in expensive-looking jewelry and handbags
minus the designer labels and high-dollar costs.
Customers aren’t just coming from the Dallas-Fort Worth area;
many regularly make the pilgrimage from Oklahoma, Louisiana and
“People make day trips or take weekend holidays to come shop,”
Moon says. “We’ve even had a few actors like Florence
Henderson or Kim Fields fly in to get a deal.”
to the store’s success is that Moon cuts out the middleman.
Originally, David Moon opened the store in 1984 as a wholesaler
to local retailers. Sam took over the business five years later
after graduating from North Texas with a bachelor’s degree
in marketing and soon realized there was a huge market for selling
directly to the public.
“Typically, store owners buy from us and mark up the price,”
Moon says. “For instance, a retailer might charge three times
more for earrings than we charge.”
Acting as a wholesaler to retailers, the store makes a profit through
the large size of the orders. It still serves retailers, but it
opened to the general public in 1992, and the results have been
phenomenal — as the parking lot shows, says Moon.
“It’s almost impossible to park near the store, especially
on the weekends,” he says. “Customers usually have to
make a little bit of a hike.”
The company draws some of the same class of customers who typically
shop at Neiman Marcus with a name that many say is becoming just
Veering from their traditionally stylish regalia for the mall, these
customers come dressed in sweats and sneakers, ready to wrestle
over retail products at Sam Moon prices.
'A lot of loot'
is like a bizarre bazaar.
The store has an army of employees, but no one’s pressuring
customers to buy the products. Instead, workers are steadily restocking
shelves and ringing up purchases.
The store is filled with a maze of tables and shelves stocked with
women’s accessories: imported handbags, crystal jewelry, hair
accessories, scarves, belts, wallets, shawls, earrings, necklaces,
chains and rings. Sam has been known to call his store the “Home
Depot of women’s accessories.”
A $30 minimum purchase is required, but at Moon’s prices that
is “a lot of loot,” he says. Customers often pool their
“It can get kind of crazy,” Moon says. “A lot
of the time women come looking for something unique so they can
appear to be the first to find the new hot item.”
Because of the store’s huge influx of customers, other retailers
have moved into the neighborhood, forming a thriving shopping district
with more than 100 wholesale and retail shops.
And these new retailers have crowded out many of the adult industry
stores that once dominated the area.
The retailers and shoppers are also attracting more police and safety
patrols to the area.
“Our success showed others that they could succeed here, and
we’ve attracted not just retailers, but restaurants and grocery
stores,” Moon says.
the store may have far-reaching impact, it was always intended to
be just about family.
In high school and during his days at UNT, Moon stayed close to
home to work for his dad.
“I’d always go home on the weekends to work or go by
after class — always putting in at least 30 hours each week,”
he says. “But everybody in the family worked to keep the store
Moon now shares the business with his younger brother, and his sister
and parents are still active as well.
He says the best part of all this success is that the business keeps
growing. Next to the women’s accessories store is a luggage
store, carrying name-brand luggage such as Samsonite, Atlantic and
There are also plans to open a store in Frisco next year.
And all of this came from the power of shopping.