When I broke into retail management back in the late 1970s, one of the responsibilities that came with the job was walking the store’s floor each day before it was opened to the public. “Patrolling the physical plant”, as its called by some, means just that – picking up any rubbish on the floor, inspecting and aligning dump displays, repairing torn or hanging signage, and returning stray shopping carts to the queue. Its a relatively simple task that pays dividends each and every day, particularly if your store was due to be inspected by upper management. It also meant your store looked good for the public-at-large, ready to cater to their every need.
Today, with many retail establishments eschewing brick-and-mortar store fronts in favor of online virtual ones, I’m constantly amazed at how this simple concept seems to have fallen on deaf ears, fallen out of favor, and even fallen by the wayside. Time and again, I see manufacturer web site that feature old, out-of-date information, incorrect information and even no information at all, as if it was a job left for some one else to one day repair and update. There are web sites that time out day-in and day out, are slow to load and even have information that is completely useless to anyone in or out of the industry, making it all but pointless to visit.
People seem to think that Hobby Master has risen to prominence simply by producing an ample supply of collectibles month-in and month-out, outstripping and outselling the competition with an avalanche of product. While that is partly true, one of the reasons they have succeeded where others have failed miserably is the fact that they also update their web site, constantly and continually freshening up the site so that it contains pertinent and up-to-date product announcements. They also provide Hobbymaster.com, an enthusiast-operated and owned site that has been around for a number of years, with regular imagery and updates, making it a go-too page for anyone interested in Hobby Master products. Why this fact has alluded the attention of many competing firms is beyond me. I don’t understand how they can expect to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Hobby Master and a handful of other manufacturers when they approach the business with what can best be described as a lackadaisical attitude, failing to understand the importance of putting their best foot forward by offering timely and accurate information ahead of the release of every item they make.
Ladies and gentlemen, its time to walk your virtual floor. Clean up before the clock strikes twelve.