PFG, Picture Framing God
The ones with the most money and most pull get the most consideration. Nothing new there. I believe indies are dropping like flies because they aren't keeping up with trends and the way people shop. They are getting run over without knowing what is hitting them. The industry has changed big time and most don't get it. Those of us here on the G are far more informed than the bulk of the industry is. Long gone are the days you can succeed by being just a good framer, you need to market and sell yourself and as an industry we have not achieved that. It is nice to blame the BB's. They look at framing as a biz and how they can make money and lots of it. What a concept.The fact that "indies are dropping like flies" is not the fault of the suppliers, but of the companies that are able to manipulate the suppliers.
Doug, most of the BB's customers are entry level customers who would never seek us out. As I recall only 5-10% of the public has ever entered an independent frameshop. I believe the people framing at the BB's ony get framing done because it is the BB's. They aren't going to come look for us if the BB's disappear. I'm basing my opinion on my experience working in a BB or two. Those customers are much different animals than what you see come thru your door. They don't know or understand quality, they are there for the deal. If you want them you will need to get them there by offering a "deal". Perceived or not.Regarding people needing something framed, if there's no big box around, do you think they would not have it framed? Would they leave it under the bed or go the thumb tack route? Some will but many would still want to get it framed and they would be pleasantly surprised to find that some of the independents are no more expensive than their favorite BB.