With the world going the way it is, a lot of small shops are struggling to keep their heads above water. The days of going a to your local shop and picking up your skis for the season are gone, replaced by purchasing from shops online that sound small (a certain "ski barn") but in actuality have huge Wal*Mart sized warehouses to keep stock to ship online. Then the skis are brought to the small town shop for the mount and the techs have to physically pull the tag off from the online store. I've been there, it stinks.
As a 7 year employee of a small town shop, I am looking for ideas to keep us afloat. We arent going out of business, but its tight and with more money in the budget, we can better serve the community we come from as skiers and snowboarders.
What we cant do:
Prices are as low as we can go...Come January first when hardgoods go on sale, we make barely enough on a pair of skis to cover what we paid to have that ski shipped to us from the distributor. Prices can't really get any lower. It would seem the simple solution would be to match prices to online shops...that isnt going to happen. Shops have heating and electric bills, rents to pay on space, wages for techs, and a whole slew of other expences that need to be covered. The overhead is higher, so the prices need to stay about where they are.
What can we do?
Take hints from you guys. Shops are looking for ways to draw customers in again. We have had ideas from creating a more sparse gallary feel with pieces from local artisans around the shop, to incorporating a coffee bar or something of the like to the shop. The thought has cossed our mind to create a more freeride oriented shop away from the race lines we carry as well.
What I would like to hear is your input. What could a shop do to recieve your business in this world of online box stores and cutt throat price breaks?
PM's work. Responses in this thread work.
Thanks for your time!