Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Wednesday, 1 November 2006


A second order of glass has arrived from the U.S. in as many months, with regret, as we try to keep up with demand and overcome a continuing (and seemingly worsening) Canadian supplier problem. Yes folks, the rumours are true- as of July 1, 2006 stained glass is now being served solely by one distributor. Is that a good thing? Well, given the number of items that have been out of stock and continue to be so, coupled with some recent and substantial price increases, we’re getting a little concerned. How about this- if you were dependant upon this one supplier you would have been without many essential items- Toyo glass cutters (TAP) and 7/32” Edco foil come to mind- in September just as new classes were starting and our industry starts to get busy. The stained glass retailer’s busiest time of the year happens during a very short period. To not have items such as grinders, glass, flux, books, the list goes on, at that time is madness. Not only has it been detrimental personally to our business as well as our customers, but possibly fatal for some of our competitors. And this damage will be far-reaching- if we are unable to service new customers and students our industry will fail to grow and prosper (hey, remember, even Mikey was a student hobbiest once).
At this moment, we are out of stock on the following- flux brushes(!), Gryphon Omni-saws, Glastar All-Star grinders, several bevel sizes, many Spectrum and Youghiogheny Glass colours among others, lead, Spectrum Rat Paks (although we still have over 10,000 sale squares in stock, we prefer an inventory level closer to 15,000), 2050 flux, numerous books, the list goes on…
While we are hopeful that this supply problem is a temporary one (albeit now going on 5 months with the merger of two companies with their combined expertise and knowledge of this industry stretching back more than a quarter century still unable to rectify these problems), it has taught us an invaluable lesson. We will never allow ourselves to be at the mercy of someone else.
We will source out alternative suppliers and will do that at an ever increasing and aggressive pace. We will try our best to hold down prices and will increase our inventory levels to minimize out-of-stocks from occurring. In other words, we will do our best to protect and grow this industry of ours as best we can in spite of adversity.
That is all…

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