Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Another Open Letter From Mikey In The First Person

‘It has been a very ‘interesting’ time these past few weeks.

Upon my return I find myself reflecting on many of the ‘cornerstones’ of our business and reviewing the status of all our inventory, the importance of our suppliers and our product mix- all relevant and important to our continuing success.

Manufacturers have disappointed us.

So has our supplier.’

That’s the start of a post I wrote on July 28, 2009.

Rereading my thoughts from that post, and reflecting on these interesting times, I find myself reconsidering and deciding on our dealership of Bullseye Glass…

Oh, the horror you say.

But Mikey, you’ve been one of their biggest boosters, I hear. Carried the entire line for years. The only one in Canada with a full line inventory. Told us how they have five times the selection of Sys96. That they actually make solid reds and pinks. They even make Aventurine Green in two shades. All their glass amazingly is even available in two thicknesses.

Yes, it’s true, they are great, but sadly, and frustratingly, things have changed significantly in Canada over the past four years.

Let me explain…

Fantasy In Glass is the only retailer in Canada that carries the full Bullseye sheet glass line. We also carry a substantial amount of their curious fusible glass, their frits and powders, confetti, Hot Rodz rods for torchwork (even though my sales rep seems unaware that we do), chemicals and their great fusing paper (2500 sheets and rolls due in September 1). Heck, we even bring in their great Tekta Clear by the case.

Why then, if Bullseye is such an amazing product, does no one else carry it?

Well, as most retailers can’t bring in Bullseye themselves their only option then is to get it from the nearest Bullseye distributor- that’s right, in Canada, there’s only one. That means then you’d be dependant upon our sole Canadian distributor to supply the entire line for you.

You guessed it- he doesn’t carry the entire line. Not even close.

And if that supplier doesn’t carry an acceptable selection of inventory, what would you do as a retailer?

Of course. You just wouldn’t bother with Bullseye. Only carry the Spectrum Sys96 line.

So since Spectrum 96 is available more consistently than Bullseye and there is no alternate source for Bullseye in Canada, retailers choose not to even consider Bullseye, and invest only in Spectrum.

So, how does this affect us you ask? Wouldn’t that mean that we’d have a lock on Bullseye in Canada?

Yes and no.

Because other stores don’t carry Bullseye, and we seem to be the only one carrying the torch at the retail level, this greatly limits our ability to grow Bullseye.

Why?

Well, as while we attract customers from elsewhere, they won't consider our Bullseye because they've 'already started with Spectrum' and when they return to their regular retailer that’s all he carries.

So, Bullseye, by not assuring that their distributor is doing his job, has hurt our and their potential for growth. And frankly, we’re getting a little frustrated trying to grow Bullseye here alone, without much support.

So are we dropping Bullseye?

No we’re not. The product is way too good.

But we are dropping our dealership at this time, and hope our distributor can fulfill our needs.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow Mikey, that must have been a tough decision given you probably have the Bullseye Logo tattooed on your ass!
J.D.

Anonymous said...

Just think we can now all buy Bulseye from their sales stealing website.Their biggest mistake was going online with retail selling, no doubt hurting your sales. Maybe it's all part of a big evil plan of theirs to push everyone to their retail store!
XXX

Mikey Figgy said...

ouch!

Anonymous said...

I run a stained glass shop within driving distance of Bullseye. A previous manager of my shop was contacted a while back by a Bullseye Rep. and was asked where he normally get his Bullseye glass from. He told them who his supplier was and they came back and said that they could sell Bullseye directly to us at 30% less than we were paying at our supplier. We would have to carry ONLY Bullseye fusible. No Spectrum, no Uroborus nothing. I think that it is pretty bad business to shoot your distributors like that. My shop is also within driving distance to Bullseye. Now Bullseye will sell directly to the public at amazing discounts. How are retailers supposed to compete with that? My shop still carries Bullseye but it's not a priority. On the other hand, I do my best to stock all of the system 96. Spectrum has as many distributors as they will ever have in the different regions and they do not sell directly to the public. I like Bullseye glass but Spectrum cuts a lot nicer and there are some great options in opals, cathedral, wispy and confetti. As a company, I have no respect for Bullseye.
In case you haven't heard, Wissmach has begun producing a line of System 90 compatible. I have tested it and it is really nice. And it considerably less expensive than Bullseye.