Git Awfa Mah Prawpity Nayah!

The ramblings of a jaded redneck, hiding out in the Canadian music business.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Mom and Pop Hardware Stores

Even in our suburban Toronto town, we have one of those funky old hardware stores with the door with a bell on the back, creaky old worn down hardwood floors, and merchandise piled up here there, and everywhere.

The odd-couple that run the place are perfect. He's a cranky ol' dude who doesn't talk much, but fights it down in order to be some sort of salesman. She's missing at least a half dozen teeth, and is about as quirky as they come. Both of them know exactly where everything is. When we first moved to this town, I made the mistake of responding "just looking". Awkward... Silence... Watching my every movement...

See, you just don't "look around" in their store. You come in, you tell them what you need, and they find it. They always do. They are hardware store lifers. They are exactly the kind of person you wish you could find when you're wandering aimlessly through the isles at Home Depot trying to find something. When you ask for help at a Big-Box store, you're going to get the pimply 20-something college kid who's taking a year off. He's never been on a job-site in his life, and he's never used a compound mitre saw.

See, the whole point of a big-box store is to move consumer goods through at just above their cost, in order to create opportunities for financing, extended warrenties, etc. With the clout of a massive retail chain, they beat up their suppliers for the absolutely rock bottom pricing, and then they want 90 days to pay. They have their supply-chain management totally. They've already sent out the flyers before the goods show up at the stores. They move the products in 30 days time, and still have 60 days to play with the money on the stock market.

So how can Mom and Pop compete with this? They're not even in the same business. I know I'm paying more when I buy a wheelbarrow or a saw from them, but I want them to stick around! If you vote with your dollar, then go and vote at your local Mom and Pop hardware store. Don't vote for Big-Money, vote for your way of life.

Now git awfa mah prawpity nayah!