Why is every big retailer
like a (somewhat) glorified warehouse?
- Kmart, Bi-Lo, Coles, Woolworths (supermarket, departmental)
- JB Hi-Fi, Dick Smith, Harvey Norman, Bing Lee, Good Guys (electrical, whitegoods, computers)
- Dymocks, Angus and Robertson (books)
- JB Hi-Fi, Dick Smith, Sanity, HMV (music, movies)
Their common characteristics appear to be:
- Huge open space full of racks and racks of stuff to buy. And often with actual stock stored on the floor.
- Often uses “screaming at you” TV commercials and brightly coloured sales flyers printed on thin paper.
- Appear to compete primarily on price. Probably dependant on sales to survive.
- Supposedly offers a huge range of goods. But provides at best only an illusion of choice – if you want anything vaguely non-mainstream, you are out of luck.
Apart from the category of goods on offer (and in some cases even this is not clearly defined), there is little real differentiation. Or perhaps there are just no interest in differentiation. After all, as long as short term revenue targets are being met…
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