1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Rant Is it possible for small independent retailers to make a living?

Discussion in 'General' started by 13eightyfour, 2 Nov 2009.

  1. 13eightyfour

    13eightyfour Formerly Titanium Angel

    Joined:
    9 Sep 2003
    Posts:
    3,403
    Likes Received:
    111
    Basically where i live, there are very few options for buying computer parts. If i need anything other than a cable i have to make a 35+ mile round trip and even then thats to get to PC World!!

    We used to have a couple of small independent retailers, but they slowly closed down to the point that the only one left now only does ink cartridge refills and only stocks very basic items. Its so annoying not being able to just walk into town a grab any bits i need, Obviously there must be a reason why they cant make money.

    Would people rather make the 35+ mile round trip to nip to PC World even if its something as simple as a wireless card? Im aware that the majority of people are brainwashed into thinking they have to take their computer to PC World when something goes wrong, or calling the techguys when they have an issue.

    But surely theres still space for a independent to make a crust?
     
  2. Shepps

    Shepps Slacking off since 1986..

    Joined:
    5 May 2002
    Posts:
    1,492
    Likes Received:
    7
    I'd imagine it's e-tailers killing off local shops rather than the likes of PC World. It's pretty hard to beat online prices and there aren't too many occasions when waiting till tomorrow is an issue for me.

    It's the same in my local town though, used to be ~ 3 shops selling pc gear now the only one left is ink carts + mouse mats.
     
  3. eek

    eek CAMRA ***.

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2002
    Posts:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    14
    Shepherds bush has a fair number of little independent shops that are net cafes/mobile phone/computer repair shops. There are also big chains (Micro Anvika, Sony Centre, phone shops, PC World, Currys etc) nearby but the little independents still seem to be going strong.

    I don't use them personally as they look a little shady, but they must do a fair trade.
     
  4. Sir Digby

    Sir Digby The Supprising Adventures

    Joined:
    18 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    91
    There's a couple near me, but I'm pretty sure that they make most of their money from tech-support rather than selling products - they only stock really very outdated products.

    There's still a market in tech-support for business's I think, and I'm pretty sure that people still take their computers to the local shop when they need virus's removing.
     
  5. Xen0phobiak

    Xen0phobiak SMEGHEADS!

    Joined:
    8 Aug 2002
    Posts:
    3,847
    Likes Received:
    18
    I work in one such independant retailer, and we make our money from support/repairs. And in that, we make most of our money from corporate work rather than domestic. E-tailers and supermarkets have killed the profit margins for most retail products. If we got the latest GTX295/HD5850 graphics card in for the day of launch, by the time a customer wanted to buy one they would have halved in price. Many people would happily save £50 to buy a packard bell/advent machine online than buy a Toshiba/Sony/Acer/Compaq in store and have us readily available for walk-in support.

    The PC World/Techguys brainwashing is an issue, but we tend to get all of their unhappy customers, rectify their problems then keep them as our customers :). In Wrexham there are at least four independent PC retailers.
     
  6. unknowngamer

    unknowngamer here

    Joined:
    3 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    1,200
    Likes Received:
    98
    There are 4 shops within 2 miles of me.
    All small.
    Mostly repairs, 1 specialising in laptop repairs.


    but, I get all my kit online.
    Have done for years.

    Hell I get 90% of all the stuff I buy online, Last year I did all my chrimmy shopping in my comfy chair.....
     
  7. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Whitelist Bit-Tech in your adblock!

    Joined:
    14 Jul 2004
    Posts:
    5,942
    Likes Received:
    435
    I tried to support local shops for ages, but they're essentially a ripoff. With electronics you don't make a hundred sales a day or anything, so you've got to make fairly generous profit margins to stay afloat. I realised I was paying £10 more for a £30 item than I would do online and decided I couldn't afford it. I love small local shops, but they just can't compete anymore. It's regrettable but irreversible.
     
  8. Furymouse

    Furymouse Like connect 4 in dagger terms

    Joined:
    4 Feb 2004
    Posts:
    621
    Likes Received:
    22
    Theres only one independent retailer around here and I refuse to use them now. They were the most dishonest people I have ever dealt with. So as the only other choice is Best Buy ( which just got in some top of the line 4650's!! ) I will be using etailers.
     
  9. 13eightyfour

    13eightyfour Formerly Titanium Angel

    Joined:
    9 Sep 2003
    Posts:
    3,403
    Likes Received:
    111
    That was pretty much the problem around here, but what got me thinking was maybe if they had a broader range of products that people actually wanted could they offer better pricing.

    The biggest problem around here is the cost of renting a shop that gets enough foot traffic to make money.

    What if the storefront was eliminated and a small website was set up and advertised locally, That way the only outlay is a website and holding stock.

    Im not thinking about setting anything up id just like to know whether the independents could survive if they were willing to change.
     
  10. hodgy100

    hodgy100 New Member

    Joined:
    2 Jun 2008
    Posts:
    287
    Likes Received:
    1
    we have web systems near us. They are a great store tbh, as their prices are always close to online retailers :p

    have a look :p

    www.web-systems.co.uk
     

Share This Page