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Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

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Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

Old 12-03-2008, 09:26 AM
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Default Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

Along the same lines as the vast majority of us that had such distaste for American Cars, and quite possibly for good reason, and much the same way about all of us now rely on the grocery stores for our food, is our now overwhelming and constantly growing reliance on the Big Box Stores, as opposed to the Mom and Pop stores, going to doom us in all the ways it can/eventually will? On a related note, is also our common quest to get "the best deal" by going online only contributing to it all? Please, let's discuss;

I can recall when the first Home Depot's came around, and all the local hardware stores and lumberyards, much to my chagrin, were closing/closed up and all I could do was go to HD and get what I needed. I still visit the local places I know as much as I can, however, I've also now been programmed to think 'Wow, $1 more than HD/Lowe's, what a rip-off', but then I realize that I'd rather pay a little more to try and help my local places stick around or get stuck by the only one left sometime down the road, much like many tried to do with buying from the Big/Broke 3. I also thought back then, 'Now once these big box stores establish themselves, and wipe out all the small/medium sized competitors, they can then charge what they want.' and slowly but surely, I think it is happening and it can't be good.

Now with the reports of this past Cyber Monday having exceeded sales expectations, in the name of saving some money, could we all be dooming the local places that we seemed to rely on, dare I say the West-M's and such? I won't throw stones because I know I shop online, however, in time, could all the possible negatives outweigh the savings we are experiencing now?, and will it even matter?
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:49 AM
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Default RE: Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

It is the natural evolution of markets. If the "Big Box" stores fail the consumer, either through poor service, bad pricing, or both; then the "Small Box" stores will reopen to fill the gap that the market demands be filled.

Successful businesses identify markets, adapt thier products to fit the market, and then they keep updating thier model to ensure that their vision is accurate. If they fail to do that (i.e. - poor service and bad pricing), then someone else will steal their cheese. Mom & Pop hardware stores failed to adapt; many simply couldn't. It is the natural evolution of markets.


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Old 12-03-2008, 10:05 AM
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Default RE: Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

Prior to the Big Box stores here we had a self-made giant of an electronics/appliance store that was started by two brothers. The "technical" brother was our "in house"(go figure)TV repairman in the early 60's. The other brother was the the business brain. The store has done extremely well even in the face of the bigger box boys. Their business model was copied by another pair of brothers and they're both doing fine. I try to spend as much of my money as possible at the mom & pop stores because places like HD give me sensory overload, and while gas prices were high it made economic sense too. Why chase across town to save a buck or two.[img]../images/emoticons/frown.gif[/img]
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

cyber-Monday?

Did some one get trampled at the computer?

What I have found is the big box stores will put some of the locals out, but the good locals will always have a business.
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:43 PM
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Default Re: Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

I don't understand how Radio Shack stays in business.
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:47 PM
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Default Re: Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

Don't forget, while your saving that buck your also probably losing quality. I'll give you an example. My local tool guy sells a grinder for $95, HD sells a look alike for $90. You saved $5, right? What did you get for your money? They look the same, but if you look on the inside you find plastic gears and bronze bushings in the HD version. The local guy sells one that has metal gears and ball bearings. The local guy's will last many times what the HD model will so what did you save?
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Old 12-03-2008, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

Joe - 12/3/2008 12:43 PM

I don't understand how Radio Shack stays in business.
Because those of us that go to Radio Shack love the store and know exactly what we want. And I can't say I'ver ever walked into a Radio Shack and NOT had someone come over to help me... On the flip side, Best Buy wouldn't take my 3 Grand that I offered them a few weeks ago on a TV... I walked out Mother F'ing the staff and went to Circuit City where I was treated like gold and dropped 3048....


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Old 12-03-2008, 04:22 PM
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Default Re: Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

I am a big fan of local hardware stores and only buy from Lowes and Home depot when the small family businesses don't have it. I pay a little more but the service is the best. In Raleigh Burke Brother's hardware is first class and it is rare they don't have what I need. In Morehead City (my home away from home) Ace marine and rigging gets my business although Williams is a close second. Yeah the prices are slightly better at the big box but the small stores have excellent service and someone always available to help. Both stores mentioned also have free popcorn on Saturdays
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

Mark,

I too go to the local Ace and Williams frequently and they are thriving.. Our local Williams is always packed and they have a ton of staff on the floor...

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Old 12-04-2008, 05:50 AM
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Default Re: Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

I think Al hit the nail on the head; consumers go where their needs are met. Not everyone buys based on price or service alone, Starbucks comes to mind. A lot of mom and pop stores have gone out of business simply because they sucked. How many times have you gone into a local store only to have the owner or some lazy employee not even get up out of a chair behind the counter, or the products were outdated and covered with dust?

I run a manufacturing company that generates 80% of our sales from our online store. Our order volume was slightly up over Thanksgiving and "Black Monday", but our average ticket price was down 25% from 2007. We make a toy/novelty product and by all conventional wisdom should not be in business, since my competitors import knock-offs that cost 20-30% less. We post double digit growth every year.

I try to support local business as much as possible, but I refuse to support a business that does not meet my needs and refuses to try. There will always be brick and mortar stores, as some things just aren't cost effective to ship, 50 lb. bags of dog food for instance.

The beauty of our system is that it works. Whether you are 126 year old Lehman brothers or the local music store, if you make poor decisions and fail to evolve, you die, and someone will take your place.
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Old 12-04-2008, 06:21 AM
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Default Re: Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

markm - 12/3/2008 7:22 PM

I am a big fan of local hardware stores and only buy from Lowes and Home depot when the small family businesses don't have it. I pay a little more but the service is the best. In Raleigh Burke Brother's hardware is first class and it is rare they don't have what I need. In Morehead City (my home away from home) Ace marine and rigging gets my business although Williams is a close second. Yeah the prices are slightly better at the big box but the small stores have excellent service and someone always available to help. Both stores mentioned also have free popcorn on Saturdays
The Burke family is first class. I also really like Williams in MHC.


My family and I have a small business here in Raleigh. When HD and Lowes built their first stores three miles down the road, it made us a little nervous. They actually tried to recruit some of our employees. Our thoughts have always been this:

-We can merchandise much better than a box store
-We can provide much better service and expertise
-We can provide an "experience"
-Our inventory is much more diverse (within reason)
-We can talk about our family history/homegrown theme
-We can, and are willing to, diversify our business model when we need to
-Our marketing is focused on a much more specific tagret customer
-As our business has changed over the last fifteen years we have realized that box stores are not our primary competition. Other stores where people spend their discretionary dollars are.


We just try to be what we are, and try to do our job well. The box stores do not worry us as much as they used to.




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Old 12-04-2008, 07:33 AM
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Default Re: Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

Free enterprise and survival of the fittest. It's difficult to say why a business fails - is it the big box store across the street or the internet? Probably a combo of the two.

Tweeter shut their doors this week and in Salem NH they had a big new store directly across from Best Buy. Tweeter's prices were typically 5-20% higher than best buy and their sales people had a major attitude. On line places are 5-10% lower than Best Buy. I'd often go into Tweeter (before BB opened Magnolia in Salem) and get a good look at the TV and then buy it on line, in some instances saving thousands of dollars.

If I raised my prices 20% higher than my competition and offered the same product/service I too would be out of business.
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:37 AM
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Default RE: Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

Snapper Head - 12/3/2008 12:49 PM

It is the natural evolution of markets. If the "Big Box" stores fail the consumer, either through poor service, bad pricing, or both; then the "Small Box" stores will reopen to fill the gap that the market demands be filled.

Successful businesses identify markets, adapt thier products to fit the market, and then they keep updating thier model to ensure that their vision is accurate. If they fail to do that (i.e. - poor service and bad pricing), then someone else will steal their cheese. Mom & Pop hardware stores failed to adapt; many simply couldn't. It is the natural evolution of markets.


Big Al
Whatever happened to the local miller and wheelwright?

What are we going to do now that there is no one to grind our wheat or respoke our wagon wheels? Commerce will stop and starvation will commence.

Congress needs to bail out the millers and wheelwrights before it is too late!
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:50 AM
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Default Re: Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

I saw "Walley" last night!!! Watch out for the "B & L " !!!!!!!
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:03 AM
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Default Re: Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

markm - 12/3/2008 4:22 PM

I am a big fan of local hardware stores and only buy from Lowes and Home depot when the small family businesses don't have it.
+1

Our local Hector's Hardware has more stainless fasteners than the boat US store, and other high grade fasteners as well. I won't go near the big box quys for fasteners, quality there in my experience is junk.
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

StingerII - 12/3/2008 6:22 PM
Joe - 12/3/2008 12:43 PM I don't understand how Radio Shack stays in business.
Because those of us that go to Radio Shack love the store and know exactly what we want. And I can't say I'ver ever walked into a Radio Shack and NOT had someone come over to help me... On the flip side, Best Buy wouldn't take my 3 Grand that I offered them a few weeks ago on a TV... I walked out Mother F'ing the staff and went to Circuit City where I was treated like gold and dropped 3048....

If you know exactly what yu want...what purpose is the service? Why not just buy it on line and get whatever it is for half RS's price?
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Old 12-04-2008, 10:38 AM
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Default Re: Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?


My family and I have a small business here in Raleigh. When HD and Lowes built their first stores three miles down the road, it made us a little nervous. They actually tried to recruit some of our employees. Our thoughts have always been this:

-We can merchandise much better than a box store
-We can provide much better service and expertise
-We can provide an "experience"
-Our inventory is much more diverse (within reason)
-We can talk about our family history/homegrown theme
-We can, and are willing to, diversify our business model when we need to
-Our marketing is focused on a much more specific tagret customer
-As our business has changed over the last fifteen years we have realized that box stores are not our primary competition. Other stores where people spend their discretionary dollars are.

We just try to be what we are, and try to do our job well. The box stores do not worry us as much as they used to.
You obviously have it right because that is exactlywhy I go to the small stores. I also agree with one of the previous posters fastners must be bought at a family run hardware store for quality alone but selection is always better than the big boxes.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:25 PM
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Default Re: Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

Each business must find its niche. Many small Mom & Pop stores have cut their service to try to compete with the big box stores. If I am not going to get any service at either place, I might as well go for the cheaper price. Personally I think the big box stores will be gone in a few years. On-line shopping will be the rule. Why go to a big store, park on a crowded lot, fight a huge crowd, be abused by rude un-knowledgeable clerks, when I can order on-line and have it delivered to my home? All of my Christmas shopping has been done on-line and price was NOT the major reason.
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Old 12-04-2008, 03:01 PM
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Default RE: Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

Seacat FL - 12/4/2008 6:37 AM

Snapper Head - 12/3/2008 12:49 PM

It is the natural evolution of markets. If the "Big Box" stores fail the consumer, either through poor service, bad pricing, or both; then the "Small Box" stores will reopen to fill the gap that the market demands be filled.

Successful businesses identify markets, adapt thier products to fit the market, and then they keep updating thier model to ensure that their vision is accurate. If they fail to do that (i.e. - poor service and bad pricing), then someone else will steal their cheese. Mom & Pop hardware stores failed to adapt; many simply couldn't. It is the natural evolution of markets.


Big Al
Whatever happened to the local miller and wheelwright?

What are we going to do now that there is no one to grind our wheat or respoke our wagon wheels? Commerce will stop and starvation will commence.

Congress needs to bail out the millers and wheelwrights before it is too late!
Say, is yer name Miller Wheelwright?


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Old 12-04-2008, 03:22 PM
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Default RE: Have we doomed ourselves with "Cyber-Monday" and using the Big Box Stores?

Snapper Head - 12/3/2008 12:49 PM

It is the natural evolution of markets. If the "Big Box" stores fail the consumer, either through poor service, bad pricing, or both; then the "Small Box" stores will reopen to fill the gap that the market demands be filled.

Successful businesses identify markets, adapt thier products to fit the market, and then they keep updating thier model to ensure that their vision is accurate. If they fail to do that (i.e. - poor service and bad pricing), then someone else will steal their cheese. Mom & Pop hardware stores failed to adapt; many simply couldn't. It is the natural evolution of markets.


Big Al
Well this is the way its supposed to work. The financial markets likewise were supposed to self regulate into the most efficient system. No markets are truly free. And to me it seems the system has been stacked in favor of the big guys in terms of government policies, especially taxation and selective regulation - anti-trust laws enforcement. I also don't know if there was anything most Mom and Pop hardware for example could do. Some seem to be able to survive in wealthy surburban or rural areas by stressing service and convenience. In most areas they just were SOL pricewise.

I don't see a return to the small stores no matter how bad the big retailers get service wise - price and variety and availability are the most important factors for most.

Finally I think there are many contributers to the current "crises". Big Box stores per se are IMHO not big contributers. All other things being equal, the prevalance of Chinese and foreign products would occur with or without them. Spending more than we are taking in is happening at all business, government and individual levels. You gotta wonder if the current "cures" - more spending than we can afford is going to be a solution

Pass me one of those tall drinks please...

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