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Old 04-11-19, 08:58 PM
livedarklions's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 4,691

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
The talk about economy of scale is nice and may fit your preconceptions but doesn't address what I wrote about at all. It has nothing to do with not following up on a customer request for a product or about shipping local product to and from local locations as described in post 206. It is neither folly or a lack of understanding when I simply relate my experience that for those who fail in my books it has more to do with how they treat the customer than the bottom line price of a product and I provided some examples. I have also in the past related very good experiences I have had with LBS's too.

Here's a snippet from the local delivery problem I related: ...items may take longer due to inventory and/or availability or if items are being transferred between stores. Store transfers occur several times a week, so if we are transferring an item for you, it may take 6-14 days.
FWIW, all the stores are within 100km of each other and I still have to pick up in store.

I said this was for their convenience, not the customers. That is true. They do it so they can cluster more items and not make as many trips which suits them well enough but they seem to ignore the fact that they are competing against sellers who will get the same product out the door on the way to the customers door in one day. In this case there is no economy of scale when comparing one local delivery to what a UK shipper contends with: two shippers - one on each end, international flight and customs.

I said some stores are good and others not so much and that price was not the most important aspect to me and that I was willing to pay more in consideration of the additional costs of bricks and mortar business. That is a pretty balanced and moderate position to take in today's marketplace. So, despite all that, if I feel some stores have a lousy customer service model - how many other silent consumers who talk with their dollars probably feel the same way. If online sales figures mean anything probably a lot. To suggest they must be doing ok that way if they are still in business is like whistling past the graveyard. LBS's may not be able to compete directly with price but they can always work towards exceptional customer service - especially when it is the one area that may sway consumers in their favour. Telling me I have to pick up in store, it may take 6-14 days to move between local stores and it costs $47 more is just a bridge too far in comparison.

I have participated in three major hobbies in my life that are supplied by shops (and have operated a small business as a service provider for one): Aquarium fish keeping, Scuba/Freediving, and Cycling. The shops even have similar acronyms in online forums LFS, LDS and LBS respectively. On forums for each of these hobbies there is the same talk about the demise of those shops for the same reasons so this discussion is nothing new or unique.
This will be my last head-pound against this brick wall of delusion. They're telling you it's going to take a long time, they know their price is higher. Guess what? They're not expecting to sell much of that. It's pretty obvious if you know anything about this business that most if not all of these alleged store transfers are actually orders to a supplier, or if they're not, it just isn't economical to warehouse much inventory at the stores, and they don't sell enough of it to justify paying someone to drive stuff between stores on anything better than a weekly basis.

Ten to one they're making money selling bikes in store and servicing bikes.

I ask the same question of everyone of you "they are dying" guys, and I have yet to get an answer. Can you name one single sector of retail where small independent retailers are doing better?
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