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Knocking on Department Store Doors

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Knocking on Department Store Doors

Old 31st Oct 2017, 06:27
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Knocking on Department Store Doors

Amazon buys Whole Foods.
Sears (the founder(?) of catalog shopping) Canada - bankrupt - going going gone.
HBC (founded May 2nd, 1670 (lots of beaver pelts)(known for blankets)) building - Granville & Georgia - likely now up for sale - figure around CDN 900 million -


Currently have 4 online purchases in play. Did get quite fed up traipsing around downtown for things that were not there, but used to be.


What will be left - shortly - will be small speciality stores and "come and check it out" viewing centres which will soon then disappear because if we don't like it, we send it back!


Want something of the consumer type stuff now?
Check it all out on puter, find preferred on-line seller, order, expect delivery, keep CCs flexible.


Remember supplemental exercise is a good thing but fingers will be getting enough.
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 08:07
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But wait ! There's More !

recently received a Junk Mail catalogue/leaflet in the mail box and noticed a small, battery operated, handheld compressor for inflating things, tyres, paddling pools, beach balls etc.

This seemed a not unattractive addition to the junk in my garage, and was priced at $129. plus p&p. 10 minutes later during a TV Commercial break, the self same gadget was on offer at $14. But Wait ! There's more ! Call this 0800 number within the next 10 minutes and will send it postage paid. But Wait ! There's more ! Call this 0800 number within the next 5 minutes and we'll send you two !

It's a jungle out there. ( and getting worse )

Santa Monica, California. No more Radio Shack Boo ! Hoo ! and no, I'm not inclined to go Online to source small items of minimal value. Too much effort.
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 08:39
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The department store concept has been on borrowed time for many years. Originally it sought to bring the High Street into one shop where everything could be obtained without having to go traipsing around. However the shopping mall concept of bring the individual High Street shops with familiar names and specialist knowledge into one air conditioned building took over.

Now the shopping mall is under threat from online retailers, from the comfort of home I can browse a far greater range of goods and compare prices instantly across the board. Across America, malls are closing down or being converted to other use. Driving to a retail facility could become as uncommon as going to a video rental shop, if they can’t adapt to the changing environment.
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 09:51
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This seemed a not unattractive addition to the junk in my garage, and was priced at $129.
Sears in Texas. Noticed a large vertical compressor with a label - SELL. Rosie the manager came over and said, Yes, we need it out of here.

Do the tools still come free?

Yes, everything as when it was ? (hundreds)

I used that lovely compressor for years. Tools junk? No, they were Chinese, but the best power tools I'd ever owned, 90degree 3/8 drive. 1/2" wheel nut wrench. A buzzy cutty thing. and a concrete breaker with a set of chisels. It went through the floor slab like butter.

Well, it was more than the above post price - by SIX DOLLARS.

After a couple of years they sent me a new motor cover that had better ventilation.


My 50" TV was a looooooooong story but one I persisted with. During that time Sears proved that while they honoured the extended warranty, they had not the slightest idea of how to run a TV company. When finally they agreed to take back the 50" Light Engine model - the best picture I'd ever seen - I went to the attic to get the box. As I staggered down with this vast container my UNMARKED TV was being pushed across the concrete on its back. All the BNC connectors being wiped flat.

They then made two attempts to supply me with 50" flat screens and in each case the type of staff involved must have been found asleep in their doorways in the morning. I spent ages describing the fault to one bloke - who then handed me his phone with someone that could speak English on the end.

Finally they cut me a check/cheque for enough to (by then) buy two 50" tellies from Best Buy.

All this time the manager would not answer my calls. I got onto HQ and in two minutes the manager was phoning my home. Did no good, that's why I went to BB. I knew when there was NO ONE AT ALL in the TV department, with 100 TVs all running that they'd got problems. Big problems. When I asked the white goods man to come over he looked distressed and said, please don't keep me too long, I don't get paid unless I sell (from my department.)

That fine store. The Wishing Book us English kids got our hands on. Do Americans live like that??!! Wow, I want to live there.

The dream has fizzled away, but then, so has the heart of Colchester, and . . .
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 11:58
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Old days people got catalogue, ordered and it eventually arrived.
These days people see catalogu on line, order and it eventually arrives.

Difference is speed of delivery................ not really much else.

Bricks and Mortar retail is dead or will be within 20 years.
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 12:15
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Methinks regular trade shows (or even a hybrid version of such e.g. factory outlets) will quickly replace bricks and mortar shops. This will drive the cost down for everyone by letting the consumer touch the merchandise yet still allow the retailer to do the upsell.

Also keeping an inventory of stock will become too prohibitive and illogical as the turn-around for manufacturing (or despatching) the goods decreases.
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 12:19
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Why bother going to stores anymore in any case?
My wife buys a ton of clothes online, it's all free shipping and then what she doesn't like I take back. No messing around with traffic/parking/lazy, disinterested staff.
I went to Best Buy the other day looking for an HDMI adapter. They didn't have any. Don't carry them, I was told. Even though they sell home theatre equipment as one of their largest sales departments.
Came home, ordered it on Amazon within 2 minutes and it arrived the next day. There's really no need to physically visit stores anymore.
Heck, you can even buy cars online now, they deliver it to the house and then you have a 7 day trial of it.
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 13:04
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ExSp33db1rd rues the disappearance of Radio Shack. Loose rivets recalls technical ignorance at Sears.

I likewise regret the loss of the UK's version of Radio Shack - Tandy. Mainly because it was a favourite place to visit en route from school, where knobs could be twiddled and free, albeit short-lived batteries could be had.

Tandy sales staff unfortunately shared the ignorance of their Sears counterparts. Any technical query was met with a vaguely flustered riffle through the catalogue, then a lame apology.

Their prices always seemed a bit...optimistic. Of course, you did get a nice blister pack with components. And those giant torches...

racedo:

Old days people got catalogue, ordered and it eventually arrived.
These days people see catalogu on line, order and it eventually arrives.

Difference is speed of delivery................ not really much else.
Ah yes. The delightfully detailed Maplin catalogue. The technical data in each copy made it useful beyond its 'expiry date'.

And the usual wait for the last few tiddly, commonplace parts in an order. Their 'just in time' logistics presumably weren't!
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 13:11
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Is Argos still in existence? I remember as a kid buying all sorts of stuff there....
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 13:26
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Not so much The Argo in Aberdeen centre has just folded and moved to the outskirts. They are, however, a delivery point for internet purchases from other companies.

The time that I was convinced by the internet was when I was installing a new shower. We selected the shower unit we wanted from Homebase. It was the top of the range at 199. The was an example on the display wall so I asked the assistant to give me a boxed one. They didn't have one in stock and the delivery time was up to six weeks!

I needed it then so I went on to the internet and found the same thing. I ordered it and two days later it arrived at the front door

For 79.
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 13:46
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Was it Proops that was the source of ex-WD equipment?
ISTR they had a store on Tottenham Court Road where I used to acquire 'instruments' to convert for use on my car dashboard.
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 13:54
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Originally Posted by vaqueroaero View Post
Is Argos still in existence? I remember as a kid buying all sorts of stuff there....
Yes, now owned by Sainsburys. They are in the middle of opening small units in a lot of Sainsburys stores. Although they do carry stock, the main use is as a pick up point for online orders I think. The one near us has deliveries from the depot twice a day, so if the depot has something in stock and you order by 1pm, you can collect it after 4pm same day. Sounds like a strategy that could work, at least until all deliveries are by drone!
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 14:00
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A neighbour works for Amazon 'same day' - I must ask him how much stock they keep.
As a local depot (based on Tyneside so that they can serve the Tyne and Wear area within the time limit) the presumably keep stocks of many items - though as a one time manager of a mail order facility the cost was in each part number as each needed a discrete storage location.
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 14:08
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I was in Radio Shack yesterday looking for a flash drive. I walked out without buying anything as it was literally twice the price of the same item in Walmart - I dont mind paying a little bit more for convenience but twice as much is just taking the piss.
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 17:57
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Brick-and-mortar stores have no one to blame for their demise but themselves.


My last purchase from the office supply place around the corner, at which I must have spent thousands over the years, was a pack of writing tablets. All was well until I declined to disclose my phone number and email, at which point the clerk did a Jekyll-and-Hyde transformation from a reasonably pleasant fellow to a angry, surly jerk whose valuable time I was wasting.


Same product available though Amazon at similar or better pricing. I shall be trading there in the future.
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 18:36
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There’s a newish verb ‘showrooming’.
It’s used to describe people who go to a store, check out the product, find out how it works etc, then go home and buy it on line.
It’s the reason, for example, why there are no camera shops now in the UK.
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 18:44
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Originally Posted by cattletruck View Post
Methinks regular trade shows (or even a hybrid version of such e.g. factory outlets) will quickly replace bricks and mortar shops.
There is still a function for bricks and mortar shops, which I made use of last weekend.

It's much less trouble, as well as cheaper, to return something bought online to their bricks and mortar branch than to faff around with posting it back
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 18:46
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Originally Posted by NRU74 View Post
There’s a newish verb ‘showrooming’.
It’s used to describe people who go to a store, check out the product, find out how it works etc, then go home and buy it on line.
It’s the reason, for example, why there are no camera shops now in the UK.
I bought a camera recently in a UK camera shop. There's no way I can tell by reading web sites what a camera is like, and asking questions of a shop person is much more practical than trying web site "live chat" or whatever, and you can't take an online camera out into the street and play with it for a few minutes.

I played with several before deciding which one to buy. That took me an hour or so: it would have taken weeks by mail order.
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 20:11
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We have in Cambridge a shop called H Gee. Its an old fashioned electronics store a little like Tandy used to be but much more cluttered. It was probably one of the first shops I went into when I first moved to the city to work for Pye (remember them?) nearly 40 years ago, and it was a bit of an anachronism even then.
The last time I had cause to go there, a couple of years ago, I needed a single small value capacitor in a hurry, and they didn't let me down. I wouldn't mind betting that they still have some germanium semiconductors tucked away in one of the numerous little storage racks.
Cambridge manages to support two Maplin stores but the last time I went in one to buy a small SPST switch they looked at me a bit odd and were more interested in trying to sell me something called an Alexa.
I am sure that they can't actually make any money and just continue to run the shop because its what they have always done. I for one will mourn their passing as they really are a fast disappearing link to the past.
I don't think the frontage of the shop has been decorated in all the years I have been in the city so it does look a little 'tired' now but I bet that the developers will be eyeing up the premises as real estate prices have gone completely mad in Cambridge.


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Old 31st Oct 2017, 20:33
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Originally Posted by topradio View Post
We have in Cambridge a shop called H Gee. Its an old fashioned electronics store a little like Tandy used to be but much more cluttered.
Usual visit: enter shop, little old lady asks what you want, you ask for something ancient and obscure. She fetches the step ladder, gets down a little brown cardboard box which is just below the ceiling and hasn't been touched for a decade or three, gets out the component you want, charges you 12p for it.
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