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Thread: This is Progress?

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  1. #1
    Yoda AngliaGT's Avatar
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    This is Progress?

    Saw in the local paper that two local Ace Hardware stores
    are going out of business.
    I at least try them,when looking for something,& hate to see
    them gone.
    Just Remember.......
    NOBODY ever says "COOL PRIUS!"

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    Yoda TOC's Avatar
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    Re: This is Progress?

    same around here. Home Despot and Lowlife kicking them to the curb.

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    Great Pumpkin NutmegCT's Avatar
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    Re: This is Progress?

    hmmm - I wonder if folks felt the same when local family-owned hardware stores were taken over by Ace, TrueValue, Do It Best, etc.

    Ruppert Hardware.jpg

    Is progress a line? or a circle?

    (only the Shadow knows ...)
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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: This is Progress?

    We still have our ACE stores and a family owned store. I think the family store has managed to find and fill a nitch by caring the oddball stuff and has a knowledgeable staff. They have bee keeping equipment, feed and seed, plants. cast iron cook ware and on and on. When I needed Hog rings for my TR seat work guess where I found them along with the tool to insert them.
    ACE has some of that stuff and the big box stores have very little of what they have.

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    Moderator Mickey Richaud's Avatar
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    Re: This is Progress?

    Each format has its place. Small towns which can't support a big box store can work for mom-'n-pop and stores like Ace. Local Ace here in Townsend (pop. 450 or so) is doing well. So is the little old "general" store down the road. Lowe's and Home Depot are 25 minutes away, for the items these guys don't carry. My problem with Ace is their limited quantity of a particular item - maybe one or two in inventory at a time. Example: I needed some various sized clamps for the wiring on the Victor TF. Ace store had two packs of two in some of the sizes; problem was that I needed many more than that. So it was either wait for them to order more or drive to Maryville. Wanted to work on the project that day, so off to the big box.
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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: This is Progress?

    Yeah, we lost a family run hardware shop a couple years back, they had about everything we would go in to get. They just couldn't overcome the big box mentality most folks have. On the third hand there's a plumbing supply store locally that seems to be doing fine. It may be the difference between the DIY'er and the pro trades-folk, no idea. Also an independently owned "feed store" doing well in spite of there being a Tractor Supply store in the same area.

    We will support the family run, local businesses over big box stores, until they no longer exist. Home Depot et al are second choices. Mits goes to the local Ace Hardware franchisee for most stuff, knows the owners and they've a good, knowledgeable staff.
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    Re: This is Progress?

    I'm in an incorporated suburb of OKC. We have fairly limited retail space for sales tax income but one tenant is an Ace Hardware store that has been here as long as I can remember. We try to get everything we can there and only go to the big box stores when Ace doesn't have it.
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    Yoda waltesefalcon's Avatar
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    Re: This is Progress?

    We have nothing except for a Gas station, a funeral home, a bank, a convenience store, a lumber yard, and now a dollar general in Fletcher. Nearby in Lawton though there is a very good family owned hardware store that has been open since the 40s, a couple of Aces, as well as a Home Depot and a Lowe's. Elgin, which is between Fletcher and Lawton also has an Ace.
    Last edited by waltesefalcon; 09-11-2018 at 08:50 AM.
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    Re: This is Progress?

    Progress marches in a line, methinks - only the line keeps repeating itself.

    For me it is a question of value, and I am a sucker for service. I gladly pay a premium for a hardware store where I can ask for "the funny looking brass thingamajig" on the bottom of my boiler - to watch the clerk go to the back and magically produce exactly the right part to fix my heat. Unfortunately those stores are going the way of the dodo bird.

    Perhaps it is on-line data; I can google my boiler, find a relevant YouTube video, and order the part faster than I can back my car out of the driveway. Perhaps it is that it simply does not pay to run a store - due to immense competition from the big boxes, as well as the plethora of new things out there. Home Depot literally sells more than 1000 models of refrigerators*, not to mention dishwashers and water heaters. It is impossible for a small hardware store to keep inventory, much less knowledge, to service this level of complexity.

    Contrast that, for example, to car parts stores, where the local NAPA, etc., are doing quite well. There are a lot fewer choices of cars than home appliances.

    Having said this, I am a sucker for service. For example, I gladly support my local shoe store. They are consistently 10% more expensive than Zappo's. But they give great service and it is fun to shop there - kids get stickers, I get some good-natured grief for my age, etc.


    * This comes from an article in Harvard Business Review, "Strategies to Reduce Product Proliferation", which I read a while ago - but unfortunately do not have anymore. Great read, for those interested; it compares, for example Costco strategy to Home Depot.
    Mike
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    Yoda PAUL161's Avatar
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    Re: This is Progress?

    In Locust Grove, we have one family owned hardware/lumberyard store, one family owned NAPA/Farm equipment business, 2 gas stations, 2 banks, one was here when the streets were dirt and horses and buggies was the main mode of transportation, a couple eating places and a new Walmart B store. But in the past couple of years a Sonic was built and a Holiday Inn by the turnpike exit. Most everything else we have to run to Tahlequah, 20 miles or Tulsa and Muskogee both are 60 miles away in different directions. You get used to it!

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    Great Pumpkin NutmegCT's Avatar
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    Re: This is Progress?

    Progress - from a different angle:

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  12. #12
    Yoda waltesefalcon's Avatar
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    Re: This is Progress?

    Paul, why don't you just brag about how much more metropolitan than Fletcher.
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    Yoda PAUL161's Avatar
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    Re: This is Progress?

    Walter, possibly in the next 20 years, we'll have 3 gas stations and a Lowes! Power co. is already installing fiber optic around the area, I can't stand this progress!

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  14. #14
    Yoda waltesefalcon's Avatar
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    Re: This is Progress?

    In the next twenty years Fletcher will probably not have any businesses.
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    Jedi Knight
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    Re: This is Progress?

    Even in small towns where the competition isn't right across town small family owned business is drying up. Where I grew up the nearest big box is a 30 minute drive one way away. Yet most of the downtown area has dried up and stands empty. The bigger question might be, will small town America still exist in 20, 30, 50 years. And really will even big box stores exist as physical shopping destinations or will companies like Amazon who re moving to same day delivery push people to be in closer contact to the cities where that will more easily realized with giant warehouses and few shopping destinations.

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    Yoda waltesefalcon's Avatar
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    Re: This is Progress?

    Wow Mike, way to be a downer.
    Cheers,
    Walter
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    Jedi Knight
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    Re: This is Progress?

    Sorry, just seems from what I see with the younger generations the physical shopping and interaction experience isn't that important to many of them. My eldest niece and her boyfriend would rather text than turn their heads to talk directly to each other. Sedentary convenience and speed of shopping seem to be the important considerations.

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    Obi Wan PC's Avatar
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    Cool Re: This is Progress?

    Conversely, it may be the rise of internet business that brings people back to small towns in the coming years.

    The Wallymart model, big box stores and shopping malls are just modern examples of what's been driving people to cities for thousands of years, improved access to jobs, goods and services. In some instances the bigger is better system works.

    But we all know bigger doesn't intrinsically mean better. Cities get overcrowded, congestion overpowers the benefits of proximity. They'll never sell enough Airbus A380's to make back the money they spent building them because people don't want to have to travel through centralized hubs anymore. Shopping malls are turning into ghost towns.

    People in cities have long complained of the lack of feeling of community, of place, of belonging, that small towns have naturally.

    With internet business, you have access to most of the same same commodity goods as everybody in the city but you don't have to deal with the crowds. It may take an extra day or two for delivery, but that's a small price to pay for open space and belonging to a community. Since much of the stuff that used to motivate people to move closer to big retail spaces can be delivered, fewer people will feel the need to be in the city.

    Local businesses can concentrate on what's best kept local, services, locally specific goods, perishables, products you need to see and sort though up close and personal.

    People once flocked to the suburbs to escape the city life but keep the city jobs. Anyone working in an online profession can live anywhere they want.

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    Great Pumpkin NutmegCT's Avatar
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    Re: This is Progress?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikephillips View Post
    Sorry, just seems from what I see with the younger generations the physical shopping and interaction experience isn't that important to many of them. My eldest niece and her boyfriend would rather text than turn their heads to talk directly to each other. Sedentary convenience and speed of shopping seem to be the important considerations.
    You mean - gasp - being overweight, doing no physical exercise, staring at screens, texting instead of talking, and drinking sugary drinks shouldn't be our Ultimate Goal?

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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: This is Progress?

    I've likely posted this before but...

    My mother predicted back in the mid-sixties that humans would devolve into piles of protoplasm with one digit, to push the "feed me" button on a computer.
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