I have been noticing a trend in the past few months from local stores that make me think they want me to shop online. Unavailable items are becoming a trend, and these stores may be killing themselves.
If I were to go into any major auto parts store and order a rear axle for a 2012 truck I would expect to have to wait a day or two for that to be delivered; similar thinking for a complete set of kitchen cabinets from a major hardware/home improvement store. However, when I go into the store to buy something like a shoulder strap for a weed trimmer, which retails at $14 plus tax (assume cost is $6), I’m told they don’t carry this in stock and I’ll have to order it. For my convenience though, they can have it delivered to the store for free and I can pick it up the next day any time after 3 pm. My thought on this:
‘I can order it from an online store for less money and have it delivered right to my door, for free or a minimal delivery cost.’
I completely understand that every store cannot stock every item available – the overhead would be in the billions. What I don’t understand is why these stores stock 20 custom light fixtures that retail for $275 each, 14 toilets at $240 each, and 6 trailers chained up together that retail for $1200 each*, but they can’t carry a $14 shoulder strap?
Now it may seem like I’m fixated on this strap, and I’m not. This has happened several times in the recent past with various (under $50) items. Since I’m not in a screaming hurry I usually just have it delivered to the store and pick it up later. However, I’m getting very close to falling into the convenience that I will never come back from, and ordering online – exclusively. If I need a two by four I’ll go see you, otherwise, you may have just given Amazon a new customer.
footnote: I randomly selected a local home improvement store for quantities.