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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just stopped by the nearest LFS to me that's not a chain store only to find out its closed. It's sad to see the chain stores taking over.
 

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This topic pops up once in a while and I always end up playing Devils advocate... I must be wired differently than most other folks!

I see nothing to be sad about... the internet and inventions like digital music n' books changes everything from movies, to books to the LFS and I see both big and tiny shops die if they refuse to change. Borders, Blockbuster, Mom n' pop pet shop...

The LFS nearest to me nearly died until it realized it needed to adapt... here's a shocker! They had to drop their number of cichlid tanks!!!

I know, I know... blasphemy. :oops:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What's sad about it is most LFS's going under is the fact that most of them are more knowledgable than the chain stores. And I don't like buying lifestock without physically seeeing them.
 

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sirdavidofdiscus said:
What's sad about it is most LFS's going under is the fact that most of them are more knowledgable than the chain stores.
Maybe it's different from area to area but in both the greater Toronto area and down here in Tampa, I find the same employees turn up in LFS and then in the chain stores...

I've even met managers of chain shops who went on to start up or become a manager of a LFS...

now, if either a mom n' pop or a chain shop hire some teenager, well... :D
 

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It is sad when a very knowledgeable and passionate store closes down. However when one of these stores open up and you get advice like "oh yeah a oscar will work perfect in your 29 gallon" or "pleco's only grow to their environment, they wont outgrow your 10g" or my new all time favorite "african cichlids are mean, nasty, territorial beast, you'll need 10 gallons per fish, minimum, so I thank you could do 7 of these "mixed african cichlids" in your 75 gallons" I feel no sorrow for their epic failure. If you don't know anything about what your trying to sale, why bother? We actually had a Coral shop die out in 45 days, because the owners were living in the back of the store. So sorry for the rant, but you know, got to let it out somewhere.
 

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sorry to hear about your lfs... i just lost my closest one too :(

I always feel bad when i hear people ragging on the big chain stores employees.... i get frustrated too when they don't know what i am talking about, but when you really look at it, for half of them it's their first job and they have to know a bit about every type of fish in the stores.... being a cichlid owner i of course think they should spend more time learning about what i keep, but really they are maybe working 8 hours a week and often work in other parts of the store. so cichlids might not be their strong point, but i bet if you asked them about what they are into they will blow you away with their knowledge about birds or hamsters.... i had this happen just last week and have really changed my perspective on them.... sorry i hope i didn't hijack! just reading everyone else posts about passions and knowledge made me think of it.
 

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The largest LFS in San Diego has chosen to jack up its prices to a multiple of what would be possible online. If a newbie comes into the store who is happy to turn over his wallet, he will leave the store with a viable combination of hardware and livestock. An experienced hobbiest comes in, sees the prices, then goes home and logs on.

I suppose that this works as a business model for first time customers, but isn't so good for repeat business. I go there only to buy the odd fitting or whatever when shipping from an online source would be more expensive.
 

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What's sad is that the thing they aren't changing is a commitment to customer service, a desire to spend a little more on quality food to feed the fish they keep, and a bit better fish, etc. etc.

All of the ones around me are slithering away too. So, all I have is PetJunk who carries "African Cichlids" in a tank. Apparently, according to the local Petco, ALL Africa Cichlids get along just fine, they ALL grow to about 4-6", and they ALL only need a 10 gallon tank, but you can keep just one in a bowl.

-John
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This store had a pretty good staff. Larger selection of livestock than most, though nothing too unusual. And most of their stock was healthier than the chain stores. The real downfall of this store was it's selection of equipment was very small. It's my understanding there is almost no profit in lifestock. It's supplies were they make there living.
 

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It's often been said that we should support the mom & pops because of the expert advice that can be gotten from them that you can't get elsewhere. I think the advent of the Internet and forums like CF have made it so you can get both more/better advice and better prices by going online. No one person in a store, no matter how good they are, can compete with what you can get online now as far as advice from experienced aquarists.

I'm sorry to see them go too, but I'm not willing to spend what they ask for fish and equipment to keep them open. All they provide to me is convenience if you need some little odd or end, or want to handpick mopane wood or something, or if you're looking for new glass tanks, which isn't often.

I think they can make money on fish, but they have to know what people in their area want and are willing to pay for. My one local guy is keeping fewer tanganyikans because everybody wants the Malawi's right now. You have to keep your finger on that pulse.
 

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Living up here in Alaska, we dont have the selection the lower 48 does and it does get frustrating how expenive it is to get things from the LFS, and as we only have one in Anchorage to start with they kind of have the market cornered. The reason I really like dealing with them is they spend more time with me and have really helped me to learn about fishkeeping, they are even coming out to my house to do the water change while we are on vacation! I wanted to buy a 125 G. from them though and for just the tank, nothing else ( hood, light etc) was 700$ !!! The largest one can get from the chain here is a 75G, so that pretty much leaves me to the mercy of Craigslist. Still for a used 75G, complete is going to cost at least 250-300$. So I feel the pain of all fishkeepers, but as one stated with way things are now its not a surprise the LFS are having a hard time competeing with the chains! Just be greatful you dont live up here!!!
 
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