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Concerned!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:45 pm
by Severum11
I just had a chat with the owner of my favorite LFS. He indicated, in no uncertain terms, that the industry as a whole is in dire straits :( . It seems that several of the wholesale operators are having a very difficult time due to economic slowing and high fuel cost. He stated that stock in several large wholsalers has dropped as much as 70% in the last year. In addition he is being forced, by monetary concerns, to relocate and did not appear very confident he would find a new location. Anyone else running into the same thing? Do those of you with a close connection to the import and distribution side of the hobby have concerns about the future? I would hate to see things change to the point that the LFS is a distant memory and we are only left with giant chain stores.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:04 pm
by Fogelhund
It is rather inevitable that during difficult economic times, marginal businesses will cease to exist. That is one of the fundamental principles of a free market capitalist society. It is my belief that the difficulties that are contained, in particular in the US economy, have yet to manifest themselves fully. When discretionary spending is squeezed through rising energy and food prices, discretionary spending drops. Hobbies such as aquarium fish are discretionary in nature, and are going to be amongst the first industries affected. Those businesses that fail to plan for such downturns are doomed to failure.

A number of LFS, chain stores, and wholesalers will go out of business. The strong LFS and chains will survive, and the next economic expansionary phase will see the introduction of new businesses.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:38 pm
by Joels fish
I wouldn't worry much about the chainstores taking over. Some LFS will go out of business, and others will eventually open to take their place. The current state of our economy is temporary , and will correct itself (anyone else ever notice this sort of thing happens in election years?).

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:42 pm
by barbarian206
your absolutlty right about it being temporary but the prices that are here with us now will stay there are a lot of greedy rich people out there that if they don't get there way they move to third world countries and take there buisness there . power to the people.... and the fisheies lolol......... :fish: :fish: :fish: :dancing:

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:14 pm
by DJRansome
Oh I think the internet is eventually going to put most LFS out of business. The LFS just can't compete with the prices, and the consumer just isn't going to pay 100% more 100% of the time just to support his local LFS.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:15 pm
by Number6
DJRansome wrote:Oh I think the internet is eventually going to put most LFS out of business. The LFS just can't compete with the prices, and the consumer just isn't going to pay 100% more 100% of the time just to support his local LFS.
I have yet to order a single fish off the internet... I don't think I'm a minority either judging from the traffic in the local SW/reef shop here in Florida...

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:06 pm
by NorthShore
Number6 wrote:
DJRansome wrote:Oh I think the internet is eventually going to put most LFS out of business. The LFS just can't compete with the prices, and the consumer just isn't going to pay 100% more 100% of the time just to support his local LFS.
I have yet to order a single fish off the internet... I don't think I'm a minority either judging from the traffic in the local SW/reef shop here in Florida...


Same experience here. I've never ordered a fish off the internet and don't need to. I can get almost anything locally for almost the same price, both fresh and saltwater as well as reptile. There is so much breeding and fragging going on locally. LFS will always have the novice hobbyists who won't buy anything off the internet. In fact, the internet sellers who rely on volume to make up for low low profit margins will be some of the first to go.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:01 am
by Joels fish
Oh I think the internet is eventually going to put most LFS out of business. The LFS just can't compete with the prices, and the consumer just isn't going to pay 100% more 100% of the time just to support his local LFS.

I disagree on that. Sure you can get some good prices on the fish , but shipping costs can really add to the total price of the sale. I don't buy enough fish at one time to justify the shipping charges, and lots of other people don't as well . Thats the reason there will always be a LFS. Besides I like to pick and choose my fish out of the bunch rather than from a pic on a web site. Cant do that on the internet, not yet anyway.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:12 am
by DJRansome
I wasn't talking about fish especially. I've heard the "bread and butter" of the LFS is the dry goods. Don't most people order filters and media and even food over the internet?

Regarding fish, about half of mine are internet because no one local had the variety I wanted at the time I wanted it. Individual fish prices are lower, so adding the shipping makes the cost come out the same.

Re: Concerned!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:09 am
by lloyd
Severum11 wrote:I just had a chat with the owner of my favorite LFS. He indicated, in no uncertain terms, that the industry as a whole is in dire straits


it's not uncommon, when a small business falls on hard times, to hear them blame the 'industry as a whole' for their particular circumstance. times change, and so we need to operate our businesses differently to adapt, or risk loosing momentum. there are few examples remaining, where all you need for success, is an open door and a cash register. more likely, and i mean this with no insult, is that he has failed to keep up with these changes, and/or lacked the innovation and training required to keep his operation a success. most of these guys still think that plecos eat algae. :roll:

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:25 am
by Number6
DJRansome wrote:I wasn't talking about fish especially. I've heard the "bread and butter" of the LFS is the dry goods. Don't most people order filters and media and even food over the internet?
Not from what I can tell... from what I can see, hobbyists who frequent forums, join fish clubs etc. order new stuff from the net, and then carry on a very hot trade in used merchandise.

The vast majority of "prime" customers with money to shell out hit the LFS, ask for advice, and walk out of the store with the recommended filters, R/O system, chillers, etc. that the LFS employee can show and explain how to use.

Even I hit the LFS for Salt Water stuff simply because the LFS store guy does NOT insist that I must have MH lights, chillers, $500 skimmers, etc. just to own a SW aquarium... the LFS guy is happy to sell me C.F. lighting and the soft corals that will do well under that light... any sale is a good sale as far as he's concerned! :D