Have you ever been in an Office Max? They’ve got lots of great stuff at “good enough” prices. However, it can be very hard to find what you want. The worst part is that it’s often hard to find someone that can help you find what you want. It reminds me of the old Media Play near our house (before they closed) where you could walk into the store and be there 10 minutes before you came across an employee.
I love this statement from the Office Max CEO about the closings – “In 2005, we completed a comprehensive review of our real estate portfolio, assessing each of our individual stores based on performance and growth potential. As a result, we identified 110 stores that we intend to close by the end of the first quarter 2006.”
What a bunch of corporate mumbo-jumbo crap. If they would just put some effort into treating the customer a little better, things probably would have worked out more favorably.
Take Wal-Mart for an example. I’m of the opinion that you shouldn’t expect good service at Wal-Mart. They do everything they can to make prices as low as possible, so poor customer service should be expected. I don’t shop there very often, but when I do I know not to expect great help (although I do expect great prices).
More specialized stores, like Office Max, need to realize that they simply cannot compete with Wal-Mart’s prices. That’s ok. If I pay $0.75 for a pen instead of $0.48, that’s fine – I expect that when I walk in. When I go to any specialty store (Office Max, EB Games, etc) I know it’s not the cheapest price out there. I go because I hope to get when I want quickly and hopefully have someone there that can answer some questions for me. If they can’t do that, then I might as well just stick to Wal-Mart.