Attention Wal-Mart Shoppers!!!

Mecianne

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Well, not that they were a real threat & not that we framers ever worry about big box stores, but....Wal-Mart frame shops just got the plug pulled. They are closing immediately. Not sure of all the details.
 

BILL WARD

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anyone able to get any details???? would be interesting to hear the gitty-nits!
 

FramingFool

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Far be it for me to rant and rave, but I think (gently, too)that that is the reason we have an edge over BB's ....they'll never be able to cost-justify the time and effort that quality framing requires .... remember, we're talking low-margin, high volume bean-counter-speak here...

Of course, that's just my humble, soft-spoken, gentile opinion ..... absolutely no offense intended toward anyone...!!
 

stshof

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Ohatchee, AL
This must be a very recent development. Their website, www.framingus.com still shows custom framing services at the original 3 Walmart locations. I can't wait to hear more!
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JohnR

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Couldn't ever see going into Wal-Mart to have something framed, let alone trust them with my "art". Never felt much for the chains either. Always felt more comfortable going into an independent shop. The atmosphere always felt more "homely". It's a personal thing. Perhaps shared by others?
John
 

Jim Miller

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This should be no surprise.

Selling custom framing at Wal-Mart seems like selling custom made clothing at a thrift store. Most customers probably don't realize what it is, and wouldn't be in the market to buy it if they did.
 

Bob Carter

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Hey Jim-Wal-Mart just landed a great location across the street from our PV Mall location for an "upscale" store (I know, I know that is an oxymoron). But if their marketing people drop that store (100,000sq ft-smaller than usual)bet the farm that they will attract local residents

Anybody familiar with this property knows how "sweet" the demographics are. WM out bid Loew's anf Great Indoors for the property.

My wife swears they have the best prices for groceries and household goodies.

I'll bet that most framers would desperately want that housewife to shop at their shops

A quick insight into this decision is that it wasn't so much that the customer base was capable, but that the same space was so much more valuable
 

Jay H

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Like Jim, I question even walmarts ability to opperate two totally different models under one roof.

Walmarts have 40' open steel ceilings, concrete floors, and bright flourescent lights. The isles and checkouts are set up specificlly to herd em through. The blue smocks and mexican cleaning crew doesn't exactly scream luxury either.

Do you think that even Walmart can (or would even want to) carve out a corner of that store to sell a product like framing? Selling framing is a totally different animal than gallon pickle jars for .99.

I'm sure that if could be done Walmart could pull it off. It seems that they didn't.
 

DenKym

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Lincoln, NE
Bob - I know that corner that you are talking about and when I read the story that WM got it I was amazed. I don’t remember if there are any other WM’s close though.. the only one that I can remember was the one at Chappral and the 101.

We have a WM two blocks from our home and shopped there rarely, and every time I do, we check and see that they are NOT cheap, just convenient.

We agree with most though.. it would be very tough for WM to invest into custom framing, unless it was outsourced or through a regional production.
 

Jim Miller

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Originally posted by Bob Carter:
...Wal-Mart just landed a great location across the street from our PV Mall location for an "upscale" store...if their marketing people drop that store (100,000sq ft-smaller than usual)bet the farm that they will attract local residents...
Of course the local residents will shop there -- when they want to buy the things Wal-Mart is known to have at great prices, like food or toys or electronics or weed killer for the lawn.

But certain other things are not in a typical consumer's mindset when thinking of Wal-Mart, even if Wal-Mart shoppers pursue those other things in other marketing and merchandising set ups. I think custom framing failed there because it is not in the typical consumer's Wal-Mart mindset.

Wal-Mart sells furniture, but would Wal-Mart do well with custom-built furniture? A consumer in the market for a custom-built desk probably would be thinking of things like top quality workmanship, wide variety of materials, and excellent finishes. That consumer would probably not think of Wal-Mart as a good source for that product. It is an unnatural product for Wal-mart.

Likewise, if Wal-Mart began offering custom-tailored men's suits, I think a man shopping for same would not rush to Wal-Mart. He would go first to an upscale men's store with mahogany paneled walls...That ain't Wal-Mart.

Craft stores have made framing a major part of their business, complete with superior consumer exposure in terms of advertising & marketing. Wal-Mart would have difficulty doing that, I think. No matter how you cut it, I think custom framing would never be a big attraction for Wal-mart or Wal-Mart customers.
 

Bob Carter

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Hey Den-It is real prime real estate. There is a "Supercenter" on Bell and Tatum (about 4 miles North),but this is to be an "upscale" version designed to counter the Lowe's and Target crowds.

Must say that my wife and daughter swear their grocery prices are significantly lower and this
comes from a couple of "serious' shoppers.

Jay-These operations are typically concessions leased out to other operators just like eyewear and others. I wouldn't read any advantage to us that they no longer have this concession. I suspect that the clientele they attracted won't look to many of us as a "second choice", but will probably take those dollars to Micheal's or Aaron Bros.

Jim-I agree that to many consumers, WM may not be a "first choice" for many of those same custom goods. But, from the studies, neither are we independent framers "first choice" for our own product. I will guarantee that revenues generated at these WM stores exceed most all of us. If the average framer does $157K and has only a 1000sqft store, he will do $157K sales per sq ft.

That level of sales per sq ft just won't cut it in almost any retail operation-probably not even at double that volume

In truth, they could probably knock that framing display down and bring in a bunch of pallets of fertilizer or lawn chairs and generate a lot more sales per sq ft

Don't think there is much of a silver lining for any of us, though
 

Jay H

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We agree totally Bob. I don't think anybody who would buy frames there will be coming to us. But you tell us to look where others excel. If a shop fails, I would be cautious to point out what they did well but we can glean what they did wrong.

In this case they HAD the visibility and probably more than you have. So why did it fail and what can we make sure to not do? I'm just guessing here but I think Jim has hit the nail on the head. That environment just doesn't lend itself to a custom-luxury-nonessential item like say a mall or a strip would (or 100 year old Coca Cola building
)
 

Bob Carter

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You bet we agree, Jay

All these things need to be kept in a comparative context. We ought not look to this experiment as failure of framing (because we do not know),but, my opinion, that they just could have better use of that floor space

I can see where they could be a 400lb gorilla in the arena of preframed art and poster framing done while you wait

My hunch is that too many other options could yield better sales per sq ft

I still maintain (without shred of evidence to confirm it)that these operations probably did, by our standards, very large numbers

It just wasn't enough for them

What did they do wrong?

In my opinion, nothing

They rolled the dice, gave it a whirl, analyzed the data,monitored the results and said-"Not the best use of our resources"

How many of us would still be standing if we did the same

Make sure that everyone understands that I agree with both Jim and you on this use (do you remember me telling you the story of my advice to another giant retailer looking to get into framing?)

But, it might be a little wishful thinking to suggest that this indicates anything more than a venture attempted
 

PAckerman

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This Walmart deal was not by Walmart. It was group of investors and one well known consultant that opened these three stores. The stores were rented space in Walmart supercenters. I wonder whether the consultant will add this to his lengthy resume. I doubt it.

In my opinion this idea was dead on arrival.

United was not, I repeat, not part of this deal.
United Mfrs does not engage in any business that would compete with our customers and as long as I am here, we will not.

Peter Ackerman
 

stud d

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It gets my panties in a bunch when someone dangles a carrot of info infront of you and you don't get the payoff.

Peter be nice now,
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a brother out!

PL
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Bob Carter

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Hi Peter-I think we all know who spearheaded this venture and it was simply a concept tried. Doesn't change my point of view and it was above board

Heck, even had you been involved as a supplier, it wouldn't have changed my mind any, either

BTW, it was a delight to visit with you. I wish we could have spent a little more time. You are one of the good guys out there
 

HB

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Originally posted by Peter Ackerman:
United Mfrs does not engage in any business that would compete with our customers and as long as I am here, we will not.

Peter Ackerman
I don't question your ethics, but, I'm not sure that tells anything. Your customers are who buys from you, & that could include WallMart or Michaels! In fact, you sell products to everyone's competitor if you sell to more than 1 framer. Let's not kid ourselves, its a competitive world & if someone wins a contract to supply to my competitor at a whopping deal due to volume expected, it'l tick us off, but who says its not ethical. It may be just plain good business. One needs to fight to get (& stay)at the top.
 

PAckerman

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Selling to framers is what we do. I choose not to sell to Michaels or Wallmart. I also do not sell to Joannes or other big box shops. As a matter of fact I personally told Home Depot that they were not welcome either. I prefer to cater to the small retail frame shop. I have good reasons and a few are here.

When a big customer goes out of business it can mean a big loss.

Stores like Home Depot and Wallmart have very strict rules regarding how items are packed and shipped. They are also notoiously slow payers.

They also have zero loyalty to suppliers and have been known to jump ship and leave the supplier with large amounts of inventory and useless warehouse space. I know of a few people who were destroyed by expanding to cater to these guys and were killed off when they lost the contract.

You may question my ethics anytime you like but to say that selling to retail framers that compete with you is the same as opening my own shops that compete directly with you is patently absurd.

Peter Ackerman
 

stud d

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I think I have guessed who this is, without knowing. It is usually the same people who do this type of thing over and over again. It must take really deep, grand canyon deep pockets to have this type of undertaking. Not too many people can handle that.

PL
 

HB

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Originally posted by Peter Ackerman:
You may question my ethics anytime you like but to say that selling to retail framers that compete with you is the same as opening my own shops that compete directly with you is patently absurd.

Peter Ackerman
...but to say that selling to retail framers that compete with you is the same as opening my own shops that compete directly with you is patently absurd.

Peter Ackerman

Did I say that? I didn't imply setting up your own store, but you can pick which retailers you supply to, and, granted, many of us little framers will support the wholesaler who goes out of his way to support the little guy as well.!
 
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