Will 'showrooming' kill businesses?

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by Gavin, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. Gavin

    Gavin Senior member

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    I saw this posted on another board and it started some good discussion. I'm curious to know SF'ers thoughts on it.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/17/opinion/greene-showrooming/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012


  2. cyc wid it

    cyc wid it Senior member

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    If the price is competitive, people will buy from a B&M. It doesn't have to be the lowest price if you have good customer service. I really don't understand why so many stores in several industries (such as fashunz, firearms, etc) refuse to make competent websites. You don't have to have a webshop with real time inventory etc., but a website with logical navigation and decent pictures isn't asking for much. They wear their bad websites with some sort of perverse badge of honor ("doing business the old fashioned way" or "forming relationships with their customers"), yet they wonder why their business suffers.

    Somehow Opening Ceremony still exists. I have no idea how.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012


  3. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    This is why if you go to any trade show today, small retailers first questions are "do you sell to online discounters"

    Plenty of businesses are doing a few million in sales by not selling to mass or online discounters to protect the independent retailer.
     


  4. London

    London Senior member

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    Interesting read. I now that I do this myself as probably most people in this forum do. Over the last few years I've totally changed by shopping habits due to technology and the freedom of choice/price that exists online. A couple of weeks ago I went back in to Stuart and Wright just to buy a couple of items and support the local retailer with my dollars, because they really are good, friendly merchants, and an anchor in the neighborhood. Shopping at physical retail is becoming rarer and rarer though, as I know what brands I like and have a general sense of the fit. Online retailers like Mr. Porter are making it easier than ever to shop with them as well, with huge selections of brands, same day delivery, easy returns and great service. Brick and Mortars are going to have to taken into account the creative destruction of technology and use it to their advantage by blowing up their models and creating some type of online/offline hybrid that empowers the consumer and their evolving behavior.
     


  5. hendrix

    hendrix Ill-proportioned

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    Maybe we will see more store collabs and local merchandise and production as a means of countering this?

    I mean, it seems a little weird that I walk down the road to a retailer in Auckland, New Zealand and I buy the same brands that are selling in shops in the US, Canada, Germany, France, the UK etc etc.

    Perhaps more exclusive stock will help stores counter trawling for the discount stores online.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012


  6. wogbog

    wogbog Senior member

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    I'm glad I'm not the only person who has thought this.

    I'd feel guilty about showrooming. It seems like a lame thing to do... although I can understand why people do it since lots of stuff you can easily find for 30%+ cheaper on the internet.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012


  7. London

    London Senior member

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    I do like supporting local retailers, but at the same time cash rules. The less the better.
     


  8. Meis

    Meis Senior member

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    I feel the same way. The more rare/unique your stock is the less "showrooming" is an issue. Stores that stock brands that cannot be found elsewhere or that are their own brand (such as Epaulet) will be fine. On the other hand, if you stock item(s) that are pretty common and easy to find pretty much everywhere (ex - levis) "showrooming" will be much more of an issue, and you can't really blame the customer in that case.
     


  9. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    It only gets worse from here though, especially in countries where people don't really have the Judeo-Christian consciences - there's people who just sit in fancy bookstores with DSLRs and photo the books, and then go home. haha. I watched that for years in Korea and I think only now is it becoming frowned upon. I mean, the workers making $4/hr in there aren't exactly pushing sales in a mega-bookstore owned by a conglomerate...

    The retail model is broken. Too many old practices and too many hands in the pot in the retail model that are contributing to its death very quickly. Pre-internet days, people were only held back by not having any other choices, and that is no longer an issue. Less efficient businesses will always give way to more efficient businesses, always been that way.
     


  10. hoozah

    hoozah Senior member

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    create a website and have competitive prices. problem solved. many online retailers who are very successful have walkin stores.
     


  11. Rincon

    Rincon Senior member

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    This is the future of retail.

    Unless your store offers unique merchandise or offers a unique, engaging experience you will steadily lose business.

    We will end up with far fewer but higher quality retail shops.

    If you own a secondary mall or retail center... ouch.
     


  12. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    At the same time, a brick and mortar store that can engage well online (even without a webstore - sometimes an attractive blog, Styleforum thread, Facebook page, will suffice, depending on the business model) offer exemplary customer service, and build loyalty both online and off, can flourish because of the internet. Many examples of these businesses abound. It's an exciting time to have a business of any sort, but I think that it takes a lot more emotional and intellectual effort to become successful, and the disparities between the good stores and the bad or mediocre stores is getting bigger and bigger.
     


  13. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    ^ agree with that as well.
     


  14. Gavin

    Gavin Senior member

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    How would you guys suggest B&M stores compete in the online market? Prices are generally set based not only on the cost of goods, but other considerations like local rent, utilities, staff salaries, maintenance, etc... all of which varies widely based on where the store is located...but a store that has to set their prices higher to operate in, say, NYC has to compete against other retailers online, whether they're in smaller cities that helps keep costs down or just online-only.
     


  15. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The Armoury, Epaulet, Selfedge all seem to be good at this.
     


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