Another dealer bites the dust!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by sheppard, Dec 14, 2002.

  1. sheppard

    sheppard LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 542

    Got to blow off some steam! Walked into my primary dealer ysterday and they informed me they were closing by end of business that day.

    "For the Holidays right?"

    Nope, for good!

    Nearly lost my breakfast. The short version is that Snapper was bought by Simplicity. This dealer was consistantly in the top 10 nationwide! But Home Depot, Walmart and Lowes began getting more complementary inventory. Home Depot would consistantly advertize "We'll beat any price by 10%!"

    And they did...consistantly.

    The other sticky point is that the distributors would not uncrate the deliveries to them but would do it for WalMart That's soft $ that cuts into profit.

    Last blow to them was the 3 year draught in the south. Not enouph mowers sold.

    These guys were good!. Never had an unpleasant experience when I walked into their place.

    Damn All Corporations!

  2. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 749

    I dont mean to stir up the bees nest of anti-corporation sentiment here,, but the only reason these corporations survive is because we, as consumers, demand the best prices possible. They can provide them through measures such as bulk pricing, taking advantage, and efficiency. We as consumers do not pay for personable service like many would like, and thus these corporations (wal-mart, home depot, etc...) take over the smaller stores.
  3. sheppard

    sheppard LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 542

    Dear roscioli,

    Can't disagree with what you said. The problem I have is that I KNOW THESE GUYS!

    Sure I like a good price on most things. When it came to lawn equipment I did NOT shop price. I've got a bit of the hypocrite in me I suspect. I can walk in Home Depot and find what I want most of the time.

    When I know someone that is put out of business I get ticked.

    We face the same problems with scrubs. Anyone can come behind me and drop their price. The customer rules in today's market place now more than ever.

    I just don't like it when good men I know are put out of business and some faceless corporation reaps some profit.

  4. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    That is why I don't do biz with Home Cheapo. As a business owner I know what it takes to stay in business. Lowering prices below cost because you know you have billions ticks me off. All of it is in hopes of putting mom and pop out of biz. I refuse to be apart of that. Just as I want my customers to pay fair, I do the same for Mom&Pop stores.
  5. rkbrown

    rkbrown LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    We have an old family owned hardware/supply store still in town. You go in there and the folks know your name, ask how the kids are (by name) and give excellent service...they know their business. HD and Lowes are quite a bit further down the road...but only temporarily. It is good to see that a lot of contractors still use these folks. I always make that my 1st stop before going elsewhere.
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Bummer...if that happened to me, I would be up the proverbial creek without sufficient means of locomotion.

    Sorry to hear bout losing your dealer:cry: :cry: :cry:
  7. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Yes, we are definately victims of our own demise. I really try to keep my primary business to the mower shop around here. I will buy an occassional shovel or something like that from Home Depot, but that's it. I will never buy any fert or equipment from them. My dealer sells Simplicity and currently he is able to compete with their prices. He also gets all the people that buy from Home Depot calling him and saying that Home Depot told them to call him for warranty and service work and they expect him to drop what he's doing to service Home Depot's customers. He just laughs at them. I have been there more than once when he had the pleasure to tell the customer " sorry, you bought it from Home Depot and they have no service dept., therefore you will have to wait until I can take care of MY customers before servicing their customers, thank you". It's great, and that's about all you can do to make yourself feel better. F these people that think they can just order the little guy around. You wanted to save $50 on a mower, well see why you did now jerkoff. :eek:
  8. McKeeLand

    McKeeLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    Sheppard I don't get it, do the homedepot down ur way sell commercial mowers. they don't here, they only sell home owner mowers. which if u ask any mower dealer, they can have the home owenrs. they account for such a small part of their sales and a much larger part of their pain in their a**! Thats the only way the smaller guy can compete is to cater to the contractor.
    I mean my irrigation supp. house is stuck right in the middle of lowes and HD here and they've been holding their own for years with them. its all about the service. price is one thing, but i'll pay a little more for knowledge and respect.
  9. BigJim

    BigJim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    Thats how business works,the manufacturer supplies the dealer,expects him to carry all the inventory,promote the product,handle all the warranty stuff,but they supply the big chains all the big selling stuff at 30% less than they sell to you and then look you in the eye and say your all getting the same deal.Been there had that done to me.:mad:
  10. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    A few points...

    1. Do not feel too bad for businesses who lose out like this. They failed because they were unable to adapt to the market. My dealer sells the same Echo and Husqvarna products carried in Lowe's and Home Depot, and is cheaper on each.

    2. I talked at length with him about the mass market approach. He said he would need to streamline his operation, and concentrate on service, but he wasn't worried. Why should he worry? Most of this equipment will be purchased by commercial users and high end homeowners. These clients are unlikely to put up with the long turnaround times on service at mass retailers.

    3. These dealers attend trade shows and dealer oriented industry events, so this was no suprise. What the independent dealers need to do is combine their purchasing power. I worked in another industry (appliance parts) and this was done to keep Sears honest. Take a look at mom & pop hardware stores. Lowe's and HD hit them first, and True Value and Do it Center networks helped small companies compete with larger ones.

    4. Times are changing. The bad economy we hear about was foreseeable, and businesses not prepared for it are to blame for its effect, just like the foreseeable encroachment of mass retailers on the commercial market. Somebody mentioned the same effect on our businesses from scrubs who compete based on price. There's a lesson here for us. Business is survival of the fittest, be fit enough to survive.

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