By Paul Pannone
In a progressing eWedNewz story direct sale of products by manufacturers to consumers that cut out the middleman (retailer) is no longer affecting just the apparel business. The Internet links consumers, wholesalers and buyers directly to the source, decimating the streams and layers of business.
Organizations like 1800flowers make it easy for consumers to send flowers but make it impossible for independent florists to compete.
Private discussions stemming from a current eWedNewz story say Alan Dessy should be run out-of-town on a rail because of his practice of selling consumers direct. Privately some manufacturers and sources say they admire his brilliance to execute where business is eventually heading anyway. But along the way retail stores and business owners have another view.
Lisa Marie Dwyer of Creative Ambiance told eWedNewz the following:
”Just want to give you my 2 cents today about the direct sell thing.
As a florist I have recently come face to face with this in my own business. As you know florists are fading and there are fewer and fewer each month (around here it seems. ) I was at the flower market to pick up my order last week and discovered that a local hotel was no longer purchasing flowers from florists, but direct from the market. I was shown that the casino in CT was doing the same. Worse news came when I discovered that one of my competitors for a job was a local grocery chain.
Big business is going to kill us all eventually. It has not stopped with dresses, shoes or accessories. This big business = $ saving mentality is killing America. Do these consumers care that I have a family to support? NO- I spoke with the caterer later in the day about the client she referred to me using the grocery store for her wedding and soon discovered that the store would not be providing set up but expect the caterer to do it. I felt like asking the bride if she was purchasing a meat platter from the store for the caterer to arrange and display as well. Where are people’s heads??? They are certainly not thinking of who has their best interests at heart. We put our heart and soul into everything that we do. The grocery store is going to drop and go.
Dwyer included the post on her own Facebook page, garnering statements from her friends, including Annmarie Therriault of Couture Bridal .
“Four bridal shops in Rhode Island in the past 8 months have closed due to people using us for dressing rooms and then ordering online. Soon there will be no places to go to try on dresses, feel fabrics or make those memories with their families trying on dresses in a fully equipped store with knowledgeable stylists if this continues. SHOP SMALL BUSINESS>SHOP LOCAL.”
The battle cry of smaller operators against Box Box stores is not new. But, painfully, small independent businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to fight off the growing advances of large operations in their fight to win over consumers.
What do you think? Will independents ever win against big stores?
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