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Old 04-18-2008, 08:32 AM
 
Location: 'Burbs of Manhattan
470 posts, read 1,392,684 times
Reputation: 134

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor'Eastah View Post
High-end retailers do have their place - if only because so many 'high-end' customers like the status of shopping there, of wearing/carrying around brand names that are not available at Wal-Mart. However, these retailers fail to appreciate that they are "good-time Charlie's" in that they make decent profits when times are fat, and will perish when living large is no longer affordable to enough people to keep them going. In my long lost youth, I worked in 2 of those type of stores, only to see both of them disappear, within a year or so of each other. Kaput, out of business. Never heard from again.
In a nutshell, that is what Coach and Tiffany and Co. are doing.

Coach is going for the more upper middle class / upper class customers.
Where as Tiffany's is opening some stores on the west coast that will sell jewelry that middle class people can afford ($200 necklaces, etc).
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:59 AM
 
Location: At my computador
2,057 posts, read 3,171,723 times
Reputation: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
Walmart might have started off as "made in America" but it's turned into "made in China" and that hurt the US producers.
That's true about product source. However, a non-competitive work force is what hurt U.S. producers, not Walmart, IMO.

U.S. labor suffers the same indifference to the market that management does. If a manager is bad, they lose their job to the outlet down the street. If labor is bad, they lose it across the ocean.

You go to where the right product is. If Americans choose not to compete, they have nothing to cry about when they lose out. Between taxes, workers comp, and risk of lawsuit, Americans have a really exaggerated opinion of their value.

I say we've gotten what we deserve.
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,884 posts, read 5,362,252 times
Reputation: 2742
Here on the west coast, In-n-out Burger is extremely successful. They do phenomenal business. But no one seems to copy them.

Everytime I go to one, its packed. Long lines at the drive through. Their dining room area is always full. I think they pay the highest wage in fast food (or at least one of the highest). The employees are always happy and nice. The place is always spotless.

Right down the street from the one I go to, Burger King closed down. That chain has been in trouble. The other big chains, McDonalds, Carls Jr, none of them can compare in terms of traffic.

In total sales, they make more money, but I'm not sure about per store.

One of their keys is that they havent over expanded and crashed and burned (i.e. krispy kreme doughnuts). I think they only expand by 5 or 10 stores a year, they have maybe 200 locations in a few states.

And they keep their menu very simple...all you can buy are burgers, fries and shakes. Compared to 50 things at most fast food places. If they went into chicken nuggets or kids meals, they wouldnt be as successful, they'd dilute their main product. It seems so simple....but then you see so many people chasing fads (Carls Jr, Paris Hilton) and getting away from their core competencies (trying to be something their not). McDonalds trying to copy Starbucks?

It seems like one of the big problems is boredom. It's more exciting to overexpand or chase a celebrity endorser than to only focus on what you're good at. Or they get caught up in hot exciting concepts (themed restaurants, planet hollywood) vs delivering good burgers and meals.

Its funny how some people tell you their strategy (Sam Walton), but then everyone runs off in the opposite direction and does it the hard way.

If retailers were in the skii equipment rental business, and business depended on the snow or the road conditions leading to the ski liftings, I could understand why so many fail. Or something with alot of variance like that.

But with clothing, toys, furniture, restaurant chains, alot of them don't even last 5 or 10 years. But everyone wears clothes and everyone wants to eat. What would the chains do if people went clothing optional next year, or only decided to eat 2 meals out of 3 each day. Everyone is so far on the edge, I think they'd all go out of business (except for ones with alot of $$$ to withstand it, like Walmart).

I've read books by Malcolm Gladwell, I might have read Paco Underhill. Al Ries. I think Underhill's book talked about product placement in stores and colors, things like that.

They have alot of theories for retail, but it might be, we've gotten so saturated with products, and branding, all the "traditional strategies" don't work anymore, because everything has been so overretailed. Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, any of the chain clothing stores..Gap, Banana Republic, nothing seperates them.

And the amazing thing, is none of them excel in anything in particular. 300 million people in the country, they're all out spending money everyday, and they're going to places that excel in nothing (or have a very slim advantage).
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:50 PM
 
Location: At my computador
2,057 posts, read 3,171,723 times
Reputation: 510
...and I thought I was all alone in this world...

I agree. It's all basics. That's what Adam Smith in "The Wealth of Nations" was saying.

Yeah, Underhill talked about that stuff and a lot of common sense stuff.

You're my new hero!
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:43 PM
 
19,177 posts, read 58,277,360 times
Reputation: 34752
sean98125 hit the mark. The market is so competitive that many if not most retailers are extended to the edge of their ability to pay. The phrase "If you don't grow, you die" has become the mantra. In situations like this, closely held companies and privately held stores have a slight advantage. If a downturn is foreseen, they can make the appropriate changes without having to please stockholders.
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Old 04-18-2008, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,248 posts, read 22,252,879 times
Reputation: 3587
There are too many of them. There are malls, strip malls and Wal*Marts on every other corner. They all cannot survive.
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Old 04-18-2008, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,248 posts, read 22,252,879 times
Reputation: 3587
Quote:
Originally Posted by John23 View Post
Here on the west coast, In-n-out Burger is extremely successful. They do phenomenal business. But no one seems to copy them.

Everytime I go to one, its packed. Long lines at the drive through. Their dining room area is always full. I think they pay the highest wage in fast food (or at least one of the highest). The employees are always happy and nice. The place is always spotless.

Right down the street from the one I go to, Burger King closed down. That chain has been in trouble. The other big chains, McDonalds, Carls Jr, none of them can compare in terms of traffic.

In total sales, they make more money, but I'm not sure about per store.

One of their keys is that they havent over expanded and crashed and burned (i.e. krispy kreme doughnuts). I think they only expand by 5 or 10 stores a year, they have maybe 200 locations in a few states.

And they keep their menu very simple...all you can buy are burgers, fries and shakes. Compared to 50 things at most fast food places. If they went into chicken nuggets or kids meals, they wouldnt be as successful, they'd dilute their main product. It seems so simple....but then you see so many people chasing fads (Carls Jr, Paris Hilton) and getting away from their core competencies (trying to be something their not). McDonalds trying to copy Starbucks?

It seems like one of the big problems is boredom. It's more exciting to overexpand or chase a celebrity endorser than to only focus on what you're good at. Or they get caught up in hot exciting concepts (themed restaurants, planet hollywood) vs delivering good burgers and meals.

Its funny how some people tell you their strategy (Sam Walton), but then everyone runs off in the opposite direction and does it the hard way.

If retailers were in the skii equipment rental business, and business depended on the snow or the road conditions leading to the ski liftings, I could understand why so many fail. Or something with alot of variance like that.

But with clothing, toys, furniture, restaurant chains, alot of them don't even last 5 or 10 years. But everyone wears clothes and everyone wants to eat. What would the chains do if people went clothing optional next year, or only decided to eat 2 meals out of 3 each day. Everyone is so far on the edge, I think they'd all go out of business (except for ones with alot of $$$ to withstand it, like Walmart).

I've read books by Malcolm Gladwell, I might have read Paco Underhill. Al Ries. I think Underhill's book talked about product placement in stores and colors, things like that.

They have alot of theories for retail, but it might be, we've gotten so saturated with products, and branding, all the "traditional strategies" don't work anymore, because everything has been so overretailed. Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, any of the chain clothing stores..Gap, Banana Republic, nothing seperates them.

And the amazing thing, is none of them excel in anything in particular. 300 million people in the country, they're all out spending money everyday, and they're going to places that excel in nothing (or have a very slim advantage).
Do you ever eat at Carls Jr? I see them all over California but nowhere else.
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:57 PM
 
Location: 'Burbs of Manhattan
470 posts, read 1,392,684 times
Reputation: 134
Thinking about it.. How long is a retailer suppose to last?
It's only so long can they keep up with the latest trends, or get taken over by a better one down the road.

and, besides. 5-10 years is awesome. and a long time.
i'd cry if i had to own a store for longer than that. XD
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:24 PM
 
9,885 posts, read 8,374,530 times
Reputation: 8558
McDonald's seems to rely on picking the best locations for traffic through their restaurants. They're always at the busiest intersections. They're all in the convenience food business and location would be one of the keys along with price which is their strength.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:29 PM
 
19,741 posts, read 21,199,006 times
Reputation: 8870
Its almost impossible to "maintain" a business unless you have a lot of flexible capital... and that means IPO. That is what I have noticed, my mother used to own a store and did well during the first year but the problem is, customers have a LOT of choices and competition which put her out of business. Is this necessarily bad? Nope. It leads to lower prices or collusion to not lower prices. That's how small businesses fail.. competition (they just don't have the capital to compete)... Big businesses fail because they "try" to make more money for their stockholders... they do this by expanding globally and often at the detriment of their domestic stores... when their domestic stores starts to fail, they implode and make a bunch of bad decisions (usually by asking themselves how to make more profit and doing stupid things)... Eventually they defraud their investors with false "reports" until they owe too much and go bankrupt... then they think they can discharge their debts and make taxpayers pay for it... unfortunately the government agrees with this method and this has lead to companies behaving recklessly with their finances and severe damage to the society with eventual unemployment and other issues...
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