Day: June 8, 2021

Jun 8

Small Tackle Shops Fear the Future of the Big Box Store

In an age where we all spend more time watching our money, there’s no question that tackle shops are among the most recession-proof businesses. But the future for many small tackle shops is no funeral ceremonies and Chapter 11 bankruptcy papers. Sure, retail stores killed local small retail at the turn of the millennium, and the net killed retail at the turn of the millennium, but consumers in the deep recesses of an online shopping bender are suddenly realizing the limits of online retail: You called that a big? And what’s your sign? Just another pre-approved credit card charge.

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That’s what I hear from customers every day at my tackle shop in southwest Ohio. My employees tell me that most people just don’t care anymore about customer service or making sure the goods they order are in good shape, or that their shipping options are reasonable. They tell me that instead of being excited about the next delivery in five days or less, customers now expect their sporting goods to be out of stock by lunchtime, or by the time they can make it to the post office. If a store owner doesn’t keep his or her employees trained in basic customer service or keep track of the latest buzzwords like “expect,” “guaranteed,” or “fast,” then it’s really just another line item in a multi-million dollar budget.

The big box stores are losing out on a lot of money right now because customers aren’t buying as much merchandise, so they’re not going to go and buy everything offered on the shelves in Wal-Mart and Target. But the fact that Wal-Mart and Target are two of the biggest publicly held companies in America makes them irresistible to smaller regional retailers. That’s why I think the future of big box stores looks blemished indeed.