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Old 04-11-19, 01:23 PM
livedarklions's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
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Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Motobecane Fantom CX; Giant OCR A1

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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post

It's 2019. The computer is here to stay for the foreseeable future. More and more sales occur through it. Shops can accept that and adapt or not, at their own peril. Gone are the days when bricks and mortars operated on the model that it was the customers privilege to shop there due to geographic dominance. The ones that survive will be those who understand it is their privilege to have customers.
And focus on niches where online competition can't undercut them. Selling parts and accessories online is not ever going to be that niche if they want to stay a LBS.

Seriously, you really don't get the concept of an economy of scale. Online retailers take orders from basically everywhere, which allows them to aggregate enough of the demand for a niche product so they can sell it at a volume where they can cover the overhead of carrying the product without charging a lot of money per order. In turn, they can do things like get faster delivery because the costs of infrastructure and labor needed to maintain that is spread out over a larger number of sales This isn't even taking into account the bargaining power this gives them with the suppliers to lower their wholesale costs. SO basically, aggregating orders from pretty much everywhere allows them to buy the goods cheaper, process them cheaper, and deliver them faster and still make a profit. The LBS can't ever hope to compete on this basis without completely transforming their operations, and giving up their "local" character.

If they're taking two weeks to get you something you can buy online for $60 cheaper and get in three days, and they're still staying in business, they're obviously making their money doing something else.

I buy most of my parts and accessories online, and I buy bikes from stores and have them serviced there.
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