A Story of Two Stores
In today's marketplace you either have to adapt or you will not survive. Here is the story of two appliance stores from Spokane, Washington and how they reacted when big box electronic stores first moved into the city in 1996-1997.
Store Number One:
Both stores are located in the northwest area of Spokane. When Future Shop (a store similar to Best Buy but with commissioned salespeople) first opened thier two stores, the owner of store 1 was quoted in the paper as saying they didn't need to do anything different, that they where a great store and would survive.
None of the big box stores located in the same area as either of these retailers where located. However this retailers store was small and dingy. It actually reminded you of a used appliance store instead of a store selling all new appliances.
But like they said in the article they did nothing to adapt to the change with the arrival of the big box stores.
Store Number Two:
Contrast store number one with store number two. Store number two is located not too far south of store number 1.
When the big box stores arrived they saw that they could no longer do business the same way they had been doing business for many years.
What this store did was look at how the big box stores did business and did everything better than the big boxes. They had better customer service, they had free delivery and set up, and they cleaned up there store to make it look better and more inviting than the big box stores.
They also saw that the big box stores did not have the higher end appliances that are actually more profitable than the lower end ones. Also they created areas where customers could try out appliances which most big box stores don't have the ability to do.
Three months after the first big boxes opened their doors, store number 1 was the first of the independent appliance stores to close. However, store number 2 continues on with business that is improving every year.
To compete in this market place you must:
1. Adapt to change.
2. Find out what your competitors do good and bad and make your store better than theirs.
3. Find out what products you can carry that your competitors do not and exploit a market.
4. Have a clean inviting store.
While doing this things do not guarantee success, doing nothing guarantees you will fail.