Let me clarify that I am not against big corporations. I love capitalism. I also love the mom and pop shop. I love that you can go to a fishing store in any community, ask what is biting, and you'll get a great answer. I will admit I am not the most punctual person. I have been known to open late. Let me apologize now to anyone who has had to wait for me. Despite my time faults, I also have stayed open late for customers. I have delivered items to customer's homes for them. I'm not saying this to brag about myself. I'm saying this to show you the difference between the big box store and a local small business.
You see, we are here because we love what we do. We put money into the local economy because we live in the neighborhood. Most of the time you will find small business owners are quite informed on the products they sell. If I don't know about something a customer asks, I will try to find out. If you need something we don't have in stock, we have the flexibility to order it for you. Most big box stores order once, months in advance. Once they are out of a product, it's gone. We are not working by the hour. Unlike most associates at the box stores, we have a vested interest in our business doing well.
|Pic courtesy of K. McDonald. Property of Woods Sporting Goods|
I try to carry products I know my customers use. Some stores may have multiple isles of fishing products, but how many of them are effective? Are you looking for an older black powder product? Many times I have them because I know I have customers that use the product. There are some products I order in bulk to keep the prices down for my customers. Try counting out a bulk package of hooks and repacking it into 5 hooks per bag by hand. You get stuck a few times! You see, I know many of my customers and I know some have been laid off from work or had their hours cut back. I want them to have a good product for a great price. So I will get my fingers pricked a few times, to help keep the prices down.
My final appeal to local shopping today is this- gas is currently over $3 a gallon. How much money are you really saving to go 30 miles out of your way to buy an item that is maybe 15 cents more at the local store? For years, my husband has been telling me to put a sign at the store that has the price of gas each week and the mileage to the nearest box store for all the folks that say "I think it's cheaper at ________." I might just start doing it.