Retailing 101: When 2+2 No Longer Equals Four


We’ve been grappling with rising wholesale costs for some time, watching how it has slowly had a detrimental effect on the hobby we know and love. We had thought that with the drop in the price of oil over the last six months, together with worldwide economic stagnation, that product prices would remain level or, heaven forbid, actually decline a tad. It hasn’t.

Recently we decided to drop one line that we’ve carried from the very start simply because we no longer think that the consumer is willing to pay their MAP price. Now, we’re faced with a similar problem with another longtime vendor, and may have to drop them as well for much the same reason. We’re not going to name names, or poke a company in the eye when we understand that they are faced with increasing manufacturing costs and finding a way to make ends meet, but the fact remains that at some point someone has to blink. Well, we’re blinking.

Our job as a retailer is to regularly curate our product portfolio, ensuring that our customers get the very best product available at the lowest possible price while we make a residual margin that keeps us in business. We bring in new lines that we think the consumer will enjoy, try to stay current on market trends, and drop under-performing lines that are no longer holding their own. We’ve been doing this for fifteen years and know the business well enough to keep the lights on and the bill collectors away. But when someone says you now have to sell a loaf of bread for $5 that once upon a time not too long ago sold for $1, then compare it to loaves of bread from other vendors available for a fraction of the price, then it no longer makes sense for us to peddle their wares despite our sentiments or history.

We’re not sure where this vent will lead or if if will have any effect on the hobby at large. We will, however, be closely monitoring this situation and take the necessary steps to keep our inventory in line with consumer demands.

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