Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby il padrone » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:29 pm

Comedian wrote:The other thing affecting LBS in Brisbane (not sure about elsewhere) has been the rise of the bicycle chain store.

Up here we've got 99 bikes and we had gold cross. Plus we've got others like anaconda as well.

These chain stores have been doing busines in Melbourne for in excess of 10 years (about 20 in the case of Goldcross) so I don't regard these as of any sudden commercial impact.
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby il padrone » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:34 pm

RonK wrote:2. 99 Bikes is owned by Flight Centre. A friend worked as a mechanic for them ....

A friend of mine worked for them here in Melbourne as well. He was being given directions by some store manager who came out of their travel arm and knew 3/5 of stuff all about bikes. She had to ask him for advice about how to run the store, then treated him like total crap. He's much happier in another real LBS now.
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby AUbicycles » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:25 pm

I tend to agree with il padrone as the chain stores are very similar to the average local bike shop. While they may be connected as a franchise or centrally owned and managed, they still generally service a regional area. This may put them in competition with other independent bike shops in the area but this would be very similar to competition from an independent store.

Often the chain stores have main brands which are different from other stores in the area - but where they may have an advantage is improved marketing and promotion but that really just goes back to basic competition and who is doing a better job of promoting to, and looking after a customer.
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby Ross » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:49 am

http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/10/04/the ... retailers/

TL;DR - Gerry Harvey is whinging old geriatric that needs to move his business with the times like other Oz retailers are doing/have done.
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby sogood » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:07 am

Ok, who cares about the GST? AUD has risen against USD significantly since the US budget crisis, now at 0.9675 from a low of 0.89ish. Say no more!
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby Ross » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:24 pm

I just thought I would blow off some steam with a related rant about why local shops are closing down.

Example1: Myself and 5 friends went for a ride yesterday and as you do, we stopped in at a coffee shop. Now this coffee shop is out in the boondocks a bit, about 30km from town (there is another one a few kms away but they are same/worse). Anyway we rocked in and placed our orders. One of my friends wanted a latte but in a mug. Mr Coffee W@nker behind the counter says, "No, it comes in a glass". WT?? It comes in whatever the damn customer wants it in. If the customer wants it in an old gumboot then that's how it should come. It makes NO difference to Mr Coffee W@nker what vessell he pours the coffee into. We didn't ask for a latte made with virgin Yak milk with added Peppermint freshly hand picked from the eastern slopes of the Himalayas by Roman goddesses wearing Turbans, just a latte in a mug. Why is that so hard?

Example 2: There's a circus in town at the moment so I thought that might be a good way of killing a few hours. So I went there and asked when the next session was. "4pm" was the reply." Mmm ok", I say, "it's 1pm now so I'll find something to do for 3 hours I guess, can I please have a ticket for your B reserve (at the back)". "Sorry, we only sell those 1 hour before the show" was the reply. WT?? "Don't worry about it, I'll spend my money elsewhere" I replied and walked out. A ticket is a ticket I would of thought, if they can sell one type of ticket now they should be able to sell them all.

So a good news story now. After that I decided to buy a magazine. Went to the newsagent and looked for the specific magazine I was after. Couldn't see it anywhere. Bugger. Asked the girl at the counter and she looked it up on the computer system and said next issue is due tomorrow. Then she came around the counter and looked on the shelf (where I'd just been looking...) and found the still current issue which is what I was chasing. Great! Then I go to pay and only had EFTPOS card and half expexted them to say there was a minimum spend, but no, there was no minimum spend. Then she gave me a card that gives me a discount after every 5 magazines I buy, no expiry date either. Great customer service there, I'll definitely go back there, and not just for the 5 magazine discount deal. Because good customer service.
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby Xplora » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:39 pm

Ross, you aren't wrong, but I'll put this to you - times have changed for the customer base, as well as the shops. Most people are trained to religiously follow "the system" and don't have any interest in the customer at all. They are technicians, not customer service people. Also, most staff are disconnected from the realities of the business and the owner. In many successful businesses, staff actually care about the profit line because that pays their wages, and covers their pay increases. You don't talk to the boss about a rise if there are no customers.

Customer is not king for many staff, and why would it? There are other customers, other wins to be had. Unfortunately a lot of businesses are not interested in people, just wallets, and they know that they'll make more money by focussing on wallets. That means a standard coffee, in a standard size and material of vessel, with standard froth temp, etc etc. It sucks out the creativity of the staff, the owner, the customer... but it ensures the business is viable.

I agree that inflexible service is awful, but these people aren't paid to think or explain policy reasons. And that's the shame of it.
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby adrian_d » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:27 pm

I must admit with the huge amount of online ordering available, I do find the experience to window shop at my own pace rather daunting. I like to do my research and even just enjoy looking at the stock, with Online Ordering I can read the specs and prices of 100s of products without feeling like a time waster.

For me, to buy the bits I wanted to buy from a shop would have pushed my previous budgets out the window and I would be

I am all for supporting Local businesses, but no doubt we are paying more for the facilities of a building, electricity, local warranty facilities, multiple staff at a time where Online purchases have less of these. As casual_cyclist mentioned there is a premium with these sort of things but even then

In the last 7 years of purchasing varies electrical and mechanical things i've had very few items fail. Sometimes the warranty process is so long and put onto the customer for the cause that I rather just write it off and buy another.
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby jaffaman » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:34 pm

I do feel for the LBS re stock. I want to buy some Ergon grips for my MTB. They make 11 models of grips, in two external diameters, and most of them come in 3 sets - standard, Nexus, and gripshift (which have long, long and short, or two short grips respectively). When I have seen them in the LBS (most don't carry them at all) they only have two or three types, and never the gripshift version, which is what I need. No LBS is going to keep 50 odd variations of just one manufacturers grips on the shelf - that simply isn't viable. But then the touch and try before you buy is lost if all you can do is get the LBS to order them in sight unseen - and this puts on-line just as easy or easier really given it comes to the door.

Likewise I wanted some Leyzene lights recently. Bought some for the family - actually bought the shops entire stock (3 rear and 2 front) despite knowing I could get them $10 cheaper each online. But I had to go online to buy the one I wanted - local stores only stock the black and silver versions, online I can get red and blue, and the blue is an exact match for my frame in colour, so that is what I wanted. Same issue - I don't blame the LBS not having blue, when I asked he didn't even know they existed. I don't think the distributor brings blue in to the country. But when I ordered mine online, I bought the extra front the LBS didn't have at the same time, since it was there and in stock.

Bit of a no win really for the LBS. Stock a few popular items you think you can sell. Hope that covers it. Anyone who wants anything else will probably end up on-line. This is what drives shops to stock mostly low end stuff. At the high end people get very particular and they can't afford to stock all the variations. At the low end people will buy what they have in the shop, which is great, but the $ per customer is low, and there isn't lots of value add to be made.
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby RonK » Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:36 pm

A point that many retailers miss when they whinge is that most online purchases are discretionary spending, and that if the purchases had to be made at local bricks and mortar shops prices, they simply wouldn't be made.

So if government action made it uneconomic for me to buy online, I wouldn't be heading to the local store to buy instead. I just wouldn't be buying non-essential items.
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby Ross » Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:39 pm

Xplora wrote:Ross, you aren't wrong, but I'll put this to you - times have changed for the customer base, as well as the shops. Most people are trained to religiously follow "the system" and don't have any interest in the customer at all. They are technicians, not customer service people. Also, most staff are disconnected from the realities of the business and the owner. In many successful businesses, staff actually care about the profit line because that pays their wages, and covers their pay increases. You don't talk to the boss about a rise if there are no customers.

Customer is not king for many staff, and why would it? There are other customers, other wins to be had. Unfortunately a lot of businesses are not interested in people, just wallets, and they know that they'll make more money by focussing on wallets. That means a standard coffee, in a standard size and material of vessel, with standard froth temp, etc etc. It sucks out the creativity of the staff, the owner, the customer... but it ensures the business is viable.

I agree that inflexible service is awful, but these people aren't paid to think or explain policy reasons. And that's the shame of it.


I'm pretty sure Mr Coffee W@nker was the owner. The circus woman most likely just an employee. Not sure about the newsagent girl, if not an owner then certainly a long-time employee.
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby jcjordan » Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:45 pm

Ross wrote:
I'm pretty sure Mr Coffee W@nker was the owner. The circus woman most likely just an employee. Not sure about the newsagent girl, if not an owner then certainly a long-time employee.


One thing to remember with the circus is that they sell alot of tickets online. The one hour before is most likely the online cut off and they don't sell at the gate to prevent overselling.

The smart thing to have done was to explain this and let you know they will hold one for you.

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Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby sogood » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:05 pm

Ross wrote:I just thought I would blow off some steam with a related rant about why local shops are closing down...

All good case studies!

I think what it summed up was, many if not most of our Australian businesses lack the competitiveness and are rigid in the way they conduct their business. Go to a country where business competition is fierce eg. Many E Asian countries and in areas of the US, business owners know when and how to bend and adapt to try to extract every cent out of our consumers' pocket. Another common case in point is when rushing into a shop that's about to close. There'll be many shop owners who'll say 'no' and miss a sale that may take them no more than 5-10 extra minutes, even though the average wait time b/n sales in a day is counted in hours. Life is too easy here (some called civilised) and it breeds dinosaurs. :|
Last edited by sogood on Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby Xplora » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:10 pm

Ross wrote:I'm pretty sure Mr Coffee W@nker was the owner.

Everything in my body wants to defend the barista because it's such a stupid thing to argue about... mug, glass, who cares? Charge extra for the difference if it is a cost issue. MAKE YOUR CUSTOMER HAPPY.

That's not a good experience mid ride. They have probably ensured that no one will ever stop there again if you talk about that loop with fellow riders :shock:
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby Ross » Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:04 am

jcjordan wrote:
Ross wrote:
I'm pretty sure Mr Coffee W@nker was the owner. The circus woman most likely just an employee. Not sure about the newsagent girl, if not an owner then certainly a long-time employee.


One thing to remember with the circus is that they sell alot of tickets online. The one hour before is most likely the online cut off and they don't sell at the gate to prevent overselling.

The smart thing to have done was to explain this and let you know they will hold one for you.

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Nope. Tickets available by phone (with added *cough* ripoff "booking fee") or at the door only.
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby Ross » Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:14 am

Xplora wrote:
Ross wrote:I'm pretty sure Mr Coffee W@nker was the owner.

Everything in my body wants to defend the barista because it's such a stupid thing to argue about... mug, glass, who cares? Charge extra for the difference if it is a cost issue. MAKE YOUR CUSTOMER HAPPY.

That's not a good experience mid ride. They have probably ensured that no one will ever stop there again if you talk about that loop with fellow riders :shock:


I'm sure my friend would of been happy to pay extra but wasn't given the option. Last week Mr CW had a whinge about the same issue but not to my friend's face but just to other staff and I happened to overhear it (they were standing only a couple of metres away from me). Apart from the coffee thing the service and quality of the food and beverages is quite good.
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby Xplora » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:31 am

Ross, I think that supports my earlier comment. They do better with standardised services. It is too hard to do something unique every time consistently. Which ends up being a strait jacket.

I got into coffee via white chocolate mocha served in a soup mug. How many places serve that? That's right. Almost no one. Thanks Mars Hill Cafe Parramatta! A unique product is often what someone needs to get into it. My wife has a hybrid that had to be specially built, another unique product.

Innovation is crucial but you need to find a business willing to do it. It is impossible with chains or made in china crap and I think we suffer for it.
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby cyclotaur » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:50 am

I think all these cases are instructive, but it's important not to generalise from specific examples.

Basically every consumer will search for and support businesses/products/services that suit their needs. It's a free market and we can't expect every provider to supply to our precise requirements all the time. Conversely, if businesses want to prosper they will find a big enough slice of the market that is happy with their basic product/service. To expect them to specialise beyond that unless it's trivial (like latte in a mug :roll:) is probably a bit unfair.

The 80/20 (or 90/10) rule applies in all directions.
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby Xplora » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:29 am

cyclotaur wrote:To expect them to specialise beyond that unless it's trivial (like latte in a mug :roll:) is probably a bit unfair.

Is a mug of latte trivial? I think that's the million dollar question, quite literally.

Would you put a ceramic mug of beer to market? What about a dozen shotglasses of beer? It makes for a fascinating comparison. The lines inthe sand that are drawn for business reasons... :idea:
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby cyclotaur » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:16 am

Xplora wrote:
cyclotaur wrote:To expect them to specialise beyond that unless it's trivial (like latte in a mug :roll:) is probably a bit unfair.

Is a mug of latte trivial? I think that's the million dollar question, quite literally.

Would you put a ceramic mug of beer to market? What about a dozen shotglasses of beer? It makes for a fascinating comparison. The lines inthe sand that are drawn for business reasons... :idea:

Hmmmm .... I think if the customer wants a mug rather than a glass of latte, and you have the mugs right there, then it's not too hard to pour him a mug and price it accordingly on the spot.

But there are probably as many (more?) 'Coffee W@nker' customers as there are baristas anyway, and given I don't drink coffee, beer or shots of anything I probably have no more to contribute !! :lol:

My only requiremement for my hot chocolate is a china cup/mug with a handle. :mrgreen:
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby Xplora » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:36 am

There is an argument over price the instant you change the vessel though - which is bad for business. Coffee shops should be warm, inviting, friendly places to be. Not the hustle and bustle of your local markets... and I can see where the w@nker could be coming from. I'm applying a LOT more analysis to the issue than should be warranted though. But planets collide once you offer too many options. You ask for coffee, I give you the coffee. I take the money. You enjoy my ambience and leave. Not you specify the shot strength and origin of beans, specific milk temp as well as latte art picture, vessel for it, whether you want a saucer or not, marg or butter for your toast made from gluten free or gluten flour, at a seat near or far from the kitchen, with the communist newspaper/financial review as you choose... the business owner has to eliminate a lot of the choice because it is bad for business. If you can't get the gay communist crowd who likes 53 degree milk and mid strength shots from Ethopian beans because you don't make it like that, then that's too bad. If you don't want customers who choose to have their latte in a mug... LOL

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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:32 pm

I'll have to get my daughter the barista to drop in and comment, she takes her beans very seriously and her customer service too. She refuses to do the art thing beyond what can be simply done with the pour as it doesn't do anything for the flavour or texture of the shot.

Giving the customer what they want (within reason) isn't rocket science but as always, if it's a special order than be prepared to pay a special price.
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby Ross » Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:00 pm

RonK wrote:1. Rebel Sport, Amart All Sports and Gold Cross are all owned by Supercheap Autos, which also owns BCF, Ray's Outdoors and FCO


Govt not collecting GST on low value imports doesn't seem to be impacting Super Retail - http://www.news.com.au/business/breakin ... public_rss

THE owner of Rebel Sports and Supercheap Auto plans to open 25 new stores in the year ahead, and says sales are improving.
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby Xplora » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:15 pm

EVERYTHING those stores sell is absolute rubbish. The best gear they have is consumer grade if you're lucky. Their volume and margin is huge.
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Re: Closing shop - it's all the fault of GST

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:11 pm

Xplora wrote:EVERYTHING those stores sell is absolute rubbish.


So bold a statement that it can't be true. Gold Cross cycles is not in my area and I havn't visited their stores but find it hard to imagine them expanding and setting up new stores if they don't have anything good.
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