Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Taurus 3 Saw- The Continuation of the Start

Tired of seeing stuff on sale in the States at price a Canadian retailer can only dream of? Especially now with the Canadian dollar better than (or at least at) par with the American dollar when it shouldn't be. I know- the old story, a favourite- 'we bought all this inventory when the dollar was low'- it hasn't been low for months, one wonders how they stay in business with such a slow stock turnover rate. Wait, that can't be true- they're bragging about how business is booming, after all, that's the reason why they're out of inventory all the time. But wait, if they're out of inventory they're now going to buy with a high Canadian dollar. But wait...

I see Toyo Pistol Cutters for $25, Edco 7/32" foil on sale at $3.88, Morton Portable Glass Shop at $67.99, all retail prices and all at less than our wholesale cost here in Canada (something that our Canadian supplier doesn't want you to know). Oh yeah- how about this one- a GST Polar Bear cluster- a Canadian originated product distributed and owned by a Canadian, selling for $33.11- again, remember, less than what I pay at our Canadian wholesaler! These prices by the way are from legitimate retailers (not ebay, etc).

We're seeing the slow but consistent erosion of our customer base to cross border shopping. Saturdays are now like Tuesdays with people no longer coming to us from any distance. We don't do as much mail order like we used to. Heck, things used to be so busy we were even thinking of opening a store in Calgary because of all the orders we got. Not any more. And big ticket item sales like grinders and irons and kilns? Not happening. While going to the States does not always offer an economic advantage when you consider time and effort to do so, it nevertheless is occurring, rightly or wrongly, at an ever increasing rate.

And hey, what about shopping on-line? I found those better than Canadian prices in about eight seconds of surfing... sitting in my underwear (I know, I didn't need to go there). Losing sales to the web shopper is something our supplier doesn't want to acknowledge. Buying on-line means no drive or wait at the border, no border inspection. No gas to buy. No time lost. And usually no duty...

Now, I know that we've been quite vocal about the sad state of affairs in the Canadian market- you know the drill- a monopolistic environment, an ever increasing and continuing supply problem, prices that don't reflect the realities of the current economics, yadda yadda. And yes, I'm likely going to pi#$% off the wholesaler again and he's likely to call me again about my rant. But, hey, it's the small independent Canadian retailer that is the one most being affected here- not him. And the long term situation seems less rosy- smaller retailers are going out of business and the larger retailers are turning to the American wholesale supply chain, possibly never to return or at least not to the extent of the old days. Heck, if not for the better pricing, at least to secure inventory- it's becoming increasingly frustrating to have to make excuses because we don't have bevels in stock in October when everyone needs them, or how the kitchen cabinet guys were told to consider artglass and then we can't get the textures they want.

So, we will continue to do our best to secure inventory that we can't get here and to get better pricing that allows us to remain competitive and encourage you to come back to us. We will buy elsewhere, and in ever increasing quantities, to allow us to offer goods and prices comparable to the U.S.

A good example is the current sale we have on the Diamond Lase XL Bandsaw (2 blades included)- we put them on sale at $208.88 and sold out almost immediately (I think I feel a rant coming on, only this time from our American competitors talking about us!). So we brought in a couple of skidloads of saws immediately, and with the strong Canadian dollar, was able to lower our sale price even further- down to $188.88 (by the way, only seven left).

And that long rant now brings us to our Taurus 3 headline. We've bought a quantity of Taurus 3 ringsaws, and are able to put them on sale at $388.88 (cash/debit, while supplies last)!

And yes, that is at a price that is less than our current Canadian supplier's wholesale (and on sale!) price to us (oh, boy- here comes another phonecall...).

Any of our fellow Canadian competitors care to comment and/or relate their own experiences, please post a comment (anonymously of course, which you can do here)


Anonymous said...

Wow, way to go Mikey! Your balls must scrape the ground when you walk. Just be careful the big bad Canadian Monopoly Guy doesn't try to hurt you for being so vocal (and truthful)!
Keep up the fight. I too am in the business and have to laugh every month when they send out their newsletter, and ACTUALLY HAVE THE NERVE TO TRY TO GIVE ME ADVICE! I think it best they get their own house in order before they start telling us how to run ours

Anonymous said...

Loved your comment about the kitchen cabinet guys. I remember the special marketing the wholesaler did to these people to encourage them to use their product. They even sent me samples and a special pricing list. Then didn't have the stock when I wanted to order

Anonymous said...

Holy cow- two comments within minutes of a new Fantasy posting by Mike! Some people have no life. Hey wait a minute. That means me to- never mind,

Anonymous said...

I saw the Tarus saw in the states for 338.00 in New Jersey and figured I could get it to my place in Barrie with shipping and everything included for about 370.00 Canadian money.388.00 is close enough- hold one for me, i'll be down on friday,
Rob Capel

Anonymous said...

Coming in to work this morning, read your latest blog entry. Went to my files and pulled out a letter from April. 2006 about the new single supplier and how this is a good thing for the business. While there are several points said, I quote two that are pertinent to your comments today. Points about why this monopoly is a good thing;
' improved inventory management. Maintaining increased inventory levels to meet the new volumes of sales, will decrease stock-outs'
' Better pricing. The savings resulting from merging under one roof will allow for more competitive pricing to be offered to you'
And to think that letter was written with a straight face.
I have nothing more to say.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mike

Anonymous said...

Where are the other retailers that feel like you do? Why have they not voiced their opinions --are you a lone Don Quichotte? It's too bad that you are not receiving the acolades you deserve as you seem to be battling an uphill battle BY YOPURSELF...retailers speak up because when fantasy closes its doors it is death to the stained glass retail industry - smarten up people and show support....