Not entirely true. This same guy is building a $200 million (may be more
now) aquarium in Atlanta and is turning it over to run non-profit. So your
$30 is being turned into fish and education ; and you can see it if you
Now to add to your theory, however, you could say that he is trying to stomp
his nearest competition....The Tennessee Aquarium. (TA was only about
$40million when it was built just over 10 years ago)
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
216.661.6500 ext 4485
From: owner-nanfa_at_aquaria.net On Behalf
Of Joshua L Wiegert
Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2003 4:14 PM
Subject: Re: NANFA-- P**co Sucks (really really long)
Well, I just want to put in my two cents about the Box Store vs. Little
Guy arguement. Its as true for PetCo/Petsmart/Walmart vs. Joe's Aquarium
Store as it is for Super MegloMart versus Chuck the Butcher, or Home Depot
versus your local Ace supplier. These stores have a profound effect on
the local economy. THey pay less and sell things cheaper. So, more money
goes in and less comes out. It gets funnelled to boards of directors and
so forth, usually not locally. The guy who owns Home Depot, for instance,
recently bought something like six gazillion dollar homes in the Outer
Banks, tore them down, and built a single house in their spot. Great if
you happen to be a contractor in the Outer Banks, I suppose ... but, no
way I'm ever going to see the 30$ I plopped down for some tools last week.
WHat you, as aconsumer, get from a box store is exactly what you'd expect.
. . . bigger selection -- in some cases (see later) and better prices.
WHat you lose out on is what you got from the old store -- service. "Hi,
Mrs. Smith -- how were those steaks last week?" "Huh, that's weird. . .
I've never had that problem with baby sword tails, let me ask someone and
see if they know what's going on." "Oh, let me help you out to the car
with that kitty litter." "Jewel Cichlids and Guppies? Yea, you can put
them together no problem, as long as you're only feeding the Jewels."
You lose out in that experienced staff person who knows what they're
talking about, is in this because its a hobby. Ask any kid at Box Store
why he's working there. "Uh.. they were hiring, man." Ask any person why
they're working at the Aquarium Store. "Oh, it seemed like a fun job, and
the pay's not too bad."
One of hte things that's always pissed me off is the flow of customers
between the two. The customers who come into a store, "Hi, I want to get
a tank, what should I get?" "Oh, this is the best way to filter it?"
"Ok, let me think about it." and head over to Box Store. Or, "I have a
sick swordtail, what should I treat him with?" The ones that amaze me are
the oens that have the audacity to ask questions like, "Can I buy this
over at Box Store?" or "Do you think it'd be cheaper over at Box Store?"
Half of them truly do not realise how wrong what they're doing is, and
that they're stealing.
Good employees who can answer questions like that cost something. They
won't work at Box Store for 6$ an hour. They may have taken time to
train. They're costing the store their pay, less whatever they could make
at Box Store... You pay for this. You pay for it when you buy a can of
fish food that's a few cents more, or a filter that's a few dollars more.
ALl these pyaments go to make up the employees salary, and in exchange for
his salary, he preforms as more than a net-monkey and provides advice.
So, when you take advice without buying anything, you're taking something
without paying for it -- something that you were expected to pay for. The
employee expected you to buy the medicine, the set up, the better fish
food. You're also stealing the money that went to pay for the labor to
help keep the tanks nice looking and the fish in good health -- something
you may not find at Box Store.
Oen of the things we see in the industry is something called the PetCo
Effect. This is the only time in this mail I've used PetCo instead of Box
Store, since it is very often reffered to as the PetCo Effect. It has two
prongs. First, stores located outside of a particular radius, depending
on the area, expereince a drastic drop in sales immediately, declining as
you go outward. Stores on the fringes of this may expereince no immediate
effect, but will eventually do to Wholesale Harm (see later.) Ones within
this radius, however -- which usually only number one -- experience a
boost in sales, although they experience a higher than usual number of
people who steal advice (above.)
The reason is simple -- customers realise, after a while, that they're not
getting the same thing. Sometimes, employees at Box Store will even
reffer customers to the Small Store. "You know, we don't have anything
called a blue wag platy... why don't you try such and such?" or "I don't
know how to treat that, ask them at ..." This boosts the sales.
How does it hurt the farther store, though? THis is the WholeSale Harm
Effect. What happens is that the stores within the area see a decrease in
sales. So, they cut back. They order 20 instead of 25 swords, tehy don't
order any Ctenepoma, or Anableps. This goes on for a few weeks, and the
wholesaler says, "Well, maybe I should stop carrying Ctenepoma and
Anableps, and cut back on my swords... I should probably raise the price
of them, too... its getting harder to make ends meet."
So, the retailer who has no clue that a Box Store has opened suddenly
can't get Ctenepoma and Anableps. The expereinced aquarist who liked
them, well, they start shopping elsewhere. His sales and profits drop as
prices change, and ... well, eventually he feels the pinch, too.
This effect eventually reaches even the lucky store who is nearby.
An end result is more people shopping at the box store.
The last point I wanted to touch on was better variety and prices at Box
Stores. Box stores very often carry a greater variety of dry goods at
better prices. They can do this because they are getting greater
discounts from wholesalers (they're buying in bigger lots) and often have
deals with distributors, cutting out wholesalers all together. PetCo, for
instance, has a private distributor for most of its fish -- although they
do use some others. They pass these savings on to the customers, and ..
who can blaim a customer for it? If I can save a dollar on a can of fish
food, that's an extra dollar I can put in my gas tank, or combine with
other saved dollars to buy a new pair of shoes. Sounds good to me. I
don't care that some guy at some fish store just got laid off, since the
fish store can't make ends meet -- maybe they need to lower their prices
(I don't know and don't care that they can't.) What it comes down to is
teaching customers -- which, unfortunately, means society as a whole --
that the 3.95$ price tag on the side of a can of fish food means $3.95
for this can of fish food, the clean tanks, the lack of an odour, the
pleasant employee who recommended it, and the fact that he'll still be
here next year. Until that happens... look forward to more box stores.
Joshua L. Wiegert
NFC Lists Administrator JLW_at_dune.net
AIM UID: JoshuaWiegert ICQ UIN: 276060292
Feel free to contact me by any of the above means for any reason.
Love: the delusion that one woman differs from another. - H.L. Mencken
"The Creation of the Universe" was made possible by a grant from
Texas Instruments. - PBS
I'm an apatheist. The question is no longer interesting, and the answer no
... Had this been an actual emergency, we would have fled in terror, and
you would not have been informed.
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On Thu, 10 Jul 2003, Ty Hall wrote:
> Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2003 12:49:59 -0500
> From: Ty Hall <tyhall_at_mia.net>
> Reply-To: nanfa_at_aquaria.net
> To: nanfa_at_aquaria.net
> Subject: Re: NANFA-- P**co Sucks
> Oh yeah. I knew that. I also would mention that I agree with the other
> said that not all mass merchandisers are bad. You have to be careful where
> shop. For me it has become more of an Independent vs Big-Boxer, argument.
> to support the little guy. I know I'll usually get good advice, quality
> and my money stays in the community and isn't sent out to shareholders
> care about me or my community.
> I also changed the name of the thread to avoid "legal complications."
> gotta love the world we have created.
> Todd Crail wrote:
> > I'm sure you caught this Ty and I appreciated your comments, but I
> > be clear... I was only discussing the chain stores. I wasn't talking
> > private individuals who own pet shops. Usually, in those cases (private
> > individuals), you either have one of two types...
> /"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
> / reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
> / Association"
> / This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes
> / nanfa_at_aquaria.net. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
> / subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
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> / For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,
-- /"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily / reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes / Association" / This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association / nanfa_at_aquaria.net. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word / subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to / nanfa-request_at_aquaria.net. For a digest version, send the command to / nanfa-digest-request_at_aquaria.net instead. / For more information about NANFA, visit our web page, http://www.nanfa.org /----------------------------------------------------------------------------- /"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily / reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes / Association" / This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association / nanfa_at_aquaria.net. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word / subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to / nanfa-request_at_aquaria.net. For a digest version, send the command to / nanfa-digest-request_at_aquaria.net instead. / For more information about NANFA, visit our web page, http://www.nanfa.org