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  1. #101

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    Yup - seems that the big box stores want ALL the market - not just their share! Do you think if they actually put all the others out of business they'd still have such low prices?
    "Why is there always a better way?"

  2. #102

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    Some time ago I wandered into the Ritz in the mall near here and asked about some black and white chemicals. The kid said "we don't carry any of that stuff but our Riverside store has lots of darkroom stuff".
    Riverside is about 25 miles (or somewhere between half an hour or 45 minutes as we reckon distance here in Socal) so I jumped in the car and hurried on down. Found a few bags of chems and picked up some to purchase.
    I asked the manager about neg pages and film clips. They were out and would'nt be getting more because "film is dead, you really should switch to digital"
    Good riddance is all I can say.

    Larry

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobNewYork View Post
    Yup - seems that the big box stores want ALL the market - not just their share! Do you think if they actually put all the others out of business they'd still have such low prices?
    Yes they will.

    They research the best price point and then strong arm vendors to build to the price point. The world economy now means that if you can't get it for 9.99 from one company/country, another will be happy to oblige. The resulting product may be crap (as most are now), but they have yet to reach the point where the consumer revolts. As options disappear a revolt will not be feasible. When and if we want our widgets to last, the price disparity of the super giants buying power and the small vender willing to produce a good product will be too vast. If it isn't already.

    The big boxes need to continue on this trajectory even if they become the only players. As they need growth (the share holders need to be fed), and to do this whilst real spending power drops means that products must also drop in price.

    Stagnant wages, such as we've had for the last 10 years, are masked by the charade that we can buy more with our dollar.

    *

  4. #104

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    Preaching to the choir here JD. The stagnant wages were also masked, particularly here and in the U.K., by easy credit and consequent massive individual debt growth.
    "Why is there always a better way?"

  5. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by largely View Post
    Some time ago I wandered into the Ritz in the mall near here and asked about some black and white chemicals. The kid said "we don't carry any of that stuff but our Riverside store has lots of darkroom stuff".
    Riverside is about 25 miles (or somewhere between half an hour or 45 minutes as we reckon distance here in Socal) so I jumped in the car and hurried on down. Found a few bags of chems and picked up some to purchase.
    I asked the manager about neg pages and film clips. They were out and would'nt be getting more because "film is dead, you really should switch to digital"
    Good riddance is all I can say.

    Larry
    fwiw, we got darkroom stuff in at a smaller store i was at....we almost got shut down by the mall we were located in.

  6. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob100684 View Post
    fwiw, we got darkroom stuff in at a smaller store i was at....we almost got shut down by the mall we were located in.
    What, for having bagged chemicals and enlargers? Hardly "hazardous" in the form they are distributed. MAYBE, I could see them having a problem with liquid chemicals.

  7. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by FilmIs4Ever View Post
    What, for having bagged chemicals and enlargers? Hardly "hazardous" in the form they are distributed. MAYBE, I could see them having a problem with liquid chemicals.
    it was some hc-110, some tmax developer, some stop and some fixer. The unfortunate fact is the corporation running the mall that our store was located in forbade us from selling any sort of chemistry. Now why we were allowed to run around with literally gallons of various c-41 and ra-4 chems, but not sell black and white is beyond me. Maybe the mall is in some way liable as well as the store if a kid buys and drinks it? Maybe they don't want people running around their mall with various chemicals? Who knows, but it wasn't up to us to decide.

  8. #108

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    A couple of other things that contributed to Chapter 11: One was the constant push to sell things to the customer. When a camera or other piece of hardware was purchased the clerk (I mean "sales associate") was pressured verbally and with bonuses to sell extended warranties with the camera. Most customers didn't want it, but were asked to sign a statement saying that the clerk did his/her job and did in fact offer the extended warranty to them. The clerk and manager would make a percentage of the sale. Lots of customers said, "Look, I don't want it!"

    Customers were asked to join the film developing club. This club cost $15.00. The customer then got "free" double prints or a free roll of film. Most customers took their film somewhere else where they not only received really free double prints/film, but didn't have to join a club.

    If a customer was paying by check, Ritz required a drivers license, no problem there, but they also required the expiration date from a credit card. This use to bother a lot of people. Some folks don't have credit cards and they were not allowed to write a check to Ritz Camera even with a valid license.

    Managment often dropped the ball. Ads were not put in local newspapers, items not received in shipments, etc.

    Like I said before, Ritz did have good qualites as well and many things have contributed to Chapter 11.

  9. #109

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    Blame the "B Schools". They perpetrated a belief that you do a deal and you have to make sure you leave nothing on the table. and maximize each and every deal as if it was the last time you'd see these people. I was, for many years, a foreign exchange trader. I was taught you always made sure a deal was fair because unless it was a good deal for the other party because you wanted them around for the next deal.

    A dictatorial management created the need for the associates to have customers sign refusals of extended warranties. The commission that sales associates were up for was presumed the incentive. They made the sale or they didn't. The only reason that they instituted customer refusal statements was that the lack of such a sale resulted in disciplinary repercussions for the associate by store management and for store management by corporate management. In the end the customer was less important than the sale. That was not true in the past.

    It's not just retail that went this way - seems to be the way of this "brave new world." Served us soooo well hasn't it?
    "Why is there always a better way?"

  10. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobNewYork View Post
    Blame the "B Schools". ...

    To be honest, the "screw the customer into the ground" approach is more typical of self-made entrepreneurs. Most business schools I have heard of preach that
    a) acquisition costs mean that sales to first-time customers are seldom particularly profitable, and repeat business is essential
    b) a sale which leads to a complaint is almost always unprofitable, and the complaint should as far as possible be resolved quickly and from the customer's point of view generously in order to avoid wasting staff time and to salvage goodwill in hopes that the customer will return for a profitable transaction.



 

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