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Suppliers who compete with you

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by Peter Ackerman, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Charles, drop it.

    Jay, your right.

    Cornell, thank you.

    Dermet, shut up. You're off topic.

    Peter, we're waiting with baited/fettered breath. :D
  2. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    I had hoped the “sigh” was a polite nonchalant was of saying “why are you acting so silly?”

    That is all I care to share here. I’m sorry I was so vague. I really hope this thread can stay closer to the topic. Perhaps if you need to sort out your difference with Baer (or me) via email or perhaps another thread would be a better place.

    I’m sure that there are more than a few framers interested in the saga about Walmart doing framing.
  3. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    As Olive Oyl used to shout in the Popeye cartoons, "BOYS!, BOYS!"

    :eek: Rick
  4. CharlesL

    CharlesL PFG, Picture Framing God

    Baer and Dermot, consider it dropped.
  5. Dermot

    Dermot SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

  6. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    Repeat after me....

    "Grumbling is only a hobby"
  7. Dermot

    Dermot SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    "Grumbling is only a hobby"

  8. Rebecca

    Rebecca SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    "like someone pee'd in his Lucky Charms this morning"

    Attention, this is a frankenthread.

    I have never come across this expression before in all my 50 yrs., and now I've seen it twice in as many days. Is it a Southern thang? Or am I just hanging out in the wrong crowd???

    Thanks for any light you can shed.


    DTWDSM SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Wally World has tried frame shops in their stores a couple different time with no success, both local independants and local franchises, neither have worked. All of these are not owned by Walmart, they are leased departments. Sure this one looks to have more $$ behind it with the website and all but let's face it, framing is a disposable income purchase and Walmart isn't the first choice for those type of purchases.

    Did read an interesting article today, Walmart is in a huge hurry to open as many super centers as they can in the next five years. They realize that in that time many cities will change their zoning laws so a Walmart would not be able to open. Walmart expect to hire over 800,000 new employees by 2010, that's 2300 a day.
  10. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Rebecca, from your perspective, anything we do in the contiguous 48 states would be a "Southern Thang" :D [​IMG] [​IMG]

    It's more of a "Mommily" than any "thang" else. Of course . . . I don't think that anyone would say that in Bawston. [​IMG]
  11. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    I think some one put this in the right prospectives. I also rememeber Walmart leaseing framing centers ( even around here) ,but this has the markings of being well funded. Which would seem to indicate WalMart's personal thumbprint.

    If I am not mistaken Joann's venture was also listed as a experimental or trial project. The big difference with trials that we attempt and those WalMarts and even Joanns and some vendors give a shoot at is the amount of CA$H they will invest in an uncertain effort.

    This kind of reminds me of a parody on the joke someone posted about a framer winning the lottery . They were asked what they'd do now and the reply was "frame till the money ran out" The coperation will quit as soon as it starts costing more that it is expected to make.

    We do this because we like what we do ( to some extent) The big coperates do what makes money. the difference is they will spend a bundle to try to make it work. However if you don't have the correct people and equipment and managment ,it is all for naught and they quickly "Fagitboutit".

    But then it seems that is what they are useing Jim and his Placement and training company for. But there still are no guarantees. You can't always solve a problem by throwing MONEY at it ,some times it takes Continued taining and fine tuned skills, which are learned at continued education seminars ,usually attended by PROFESSIONAL FRAMERS who care to produce a quality product and porvide a true sevice to their clientel. Not by someone who works a 9-5 job and goes home and forgets about the employerand all ttheir customers after that. There is a big differance between a PROFESSION( which you choose to be in) and a JOB( that you Have to do to pay the bills).I know I have done booth.IMHO
  12. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    A little side note on this Sunday evening....

    About 3-4 years ago, some friends took us to a Sears store called At Home or In Home or maybe Home....

    It had all sorts of everything you would need to remodel, except the lumber & plaster stuff.

    This was all the "finish" stuff like appliances, plumbing fixtures, etc.

    And there in one corner, by the front door was a Custom Picture Framing area. Much like some of the new "Bank Branch" in your supermarket....

    I haven't seen or heard about anymore of these Sears stores.... but then Home Depot "Expo" centers are supposed to be about the same...

    "Picking off the Main Street of America" was how I once heard it expressed by Ross Perot....
  13. Richard Allan

    Richard Allan Guest

    Wall Art Custom Framing, Inc.
    218 Benton Woods Drive
    Matthews, NC 28105
    Phone: 704-845-2726
    Fax: 704-9737852

    Domain Name: FRAMINGUS.COM

    Administrative Contact , Technical Contact :
    Wall Art Custom Framing, Inc.
    218 Benton Woods Drive
    Matthews, NC 28105
    Phone: 704-845-2726
    Fax: 704-9737852

    The level above usagiftsdirect, is a company in Texas named Syngenium.

    No opinion, Just some info for those interested.

  14. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Psst! Richard. We all knew that it's WalMart.

    But nice try for a first post. Welcome to the frey.

    BTW: Unik Moulding??? Is that moulding with no *****?
  15. Richard Allan

    Richard Allan Guest

    Is it Walmart? Do they own one of these companies?

    Unik (Norwegian for Unique) were you refering to Eunuch, I don't have a harem to protect, nor can I sing.

    Thanks for the welcome, not new here, just a new company.


  16. Garnetta

    Garnetta CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    The person who owns the domain name "framingus.com" appears to be Greg Robey. Here is his other web site and the phone number and address matches what you found on the domain name owner lookup for framingus.com:

  17. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    That Sears operation you referred to sounds like The Great Indoors. We had one here, with the framing dept. up in the front corner. I think it was run by B A Framer. The store closed after a couple of years.
    :cool: Rick
  18. David N Waldmann

    David N Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    There are 2005 days between now and Dec 31, 2010 - that's only 399/day.

    Even if you say Jan 1, 2010, and only count week days, there are 1435 days, or 557/day. Still a pretty big number....
  19. The King

    The King SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I donno, David. I'm thinking they hire 24/7.

    After 11 p.m. you have to go in through the grocery door with your resume.
  20. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    We have tried to tell everyone that North Carolina is the framing capital of the world.

    I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Huneywood was part of this.
  21. DTWDSM

    DTWDSM SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    I typed what was written in the article, didn't do the math. (maybe I should next time [​IMG] )

    Wouldn't that be a joy to be the head of HR for them???
  22. El Framo

    El Framo Guest

    I'm with Jerry. NC is such a lucrative framing market right now, you'd be crazy not to open up here. Heck, I'm getting rich just sitting here typing this message. Later on I'll probably meet Jerry at the country club, or on his private yacht. We bluebloods aren't too picky.
  23. Dermot

    Dermot SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I would suspect that some of the hiring numbers include them taking over some existing business…….I believe that one such takeover in the UK added about 30000 + to the Wal-Mart pay roll…..never the less 8000000 is impressive………

    Regarding competition for framing…….I still believe that someone is going to get online framing right……..and when they do Wal-Mart will look like a friend……

  24. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Thanks Rick. You are entirely correct. Bob Carter and I sorted that one out. Man, I so glad he's back.

    Looks like they have about 14 left up and running...

    Come ON Peter, we're dieing out here. Reveal! :D
  25. Grumbler F.K.A. Harry

    Grumbler F.K.A. Harry CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Does this have anyting to do with FPE?
  26. AWG

    AWG SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    BAFramer/FPE and Wally World?


    curious minds want to know.....
  27. SteveT

    SteveT CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Did all the Home Depot's give up on the framing?

    I agree with El Framo, why do all of these stores look at framers and think we are making so much money???

  28. EllenAtHowards

    EllenAtHowards PFG, Picture Framing God

    IF I were going into the Cheapo Frame Biz and had no scruples, I would do it thus:
    1. drymount everything
    2. paper mat (or more likely intl white) everything (probably carry 25 colors; no more)
    3. plastic moulding everything (probably 20 styles; no more)
    I could churn out a bunch o'framing, with cheap labor.
    Let's face it; 80% of what we do could be done quickly by a minimally trained person. Especially if I could cart the stuff to a central facility where I would have a glass washing machine, and other big production tools.
    So what if you spoil a few? So what if you lose a few? (This 'no scruples' thing makes it a lot easier to run a business, doesn't it?) I think you could make a lot of money and it is just ripe for the picking.
    This is analagous to what happened with clothing. First clothing was made for you individually by a tailor or seamstress. Then someone figured out that most folks can be fit with standard sizes. These were made in American factories and sold in dress or menswear shops. Then department stores came in and provided a lot of the same stuff for less, and they had more money to advertise. Then things went off-shore and discount stores began selling cheaper stuff. Folks quickly became used to buying a bunch of cheap clothes to last a season, instead of a few things that were worn for several years. The rich still have things made for them, or buy 'off the rack' at expensive ritzy stores. But most folks buy their clothes at cheaper places... and don't kid yourself. A LOT of not-so-poor folks buy a lot of their clothes at BigMarts.
  29. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Whos the fool in your story? Is it the customer or the tailor who refused to "lower his standards" and gave away 98% of his customer base?
  30. AWG

    AWG SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    We were discussing this thread yesterday. Here's a potentially brilliant (if I say so myself) business plan:

    Recruit a number of frame shops with excess capacity - just about all of us have some "down time" we'd like to fill.

    Find someone who needs large quantities of framed art - Garden Ridge, furniture stores, Pier One, etc... the list is endless.

    When they place an order for say, 2000 pieces, farm out the work to those under-utilized shops in your network - 50 here, 100 there, and so on. Supply the materials because you've bought them by the container.

    Pay each of those network shops a piece rate - say $20-$30 per frame - to complete and fit the piece to YOUR standard.

    Arrange delivery (could be to the local Pier Ones, for example)

    Could such a scenario really be all that bad for a small (struggling?) shop? Better low profit jobs than no business, right?

    Or am I too late to the party? (Did Jim or Peter's mysterious person beat me to the punch???

    Just wondering......

  31. ERIC

    ERIC SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I was once told by a very smart business man, "If you have more ideas than money to do them with, stay away from people with money. They usually have more money than ideas."

    I'm not picking on you Tony, it's just that as I read your idea, this statment popped up in my head. Mostly because you seem to have identified something that while obvious, may have been overlooked (or at least not talked about) by the thinkers amoung us.

    You have given me a great idea for handling a project I want to start. Thanks.
  32. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    I would take some of that action.

    Great idea, however, I believe G Ridge is getting product a lot cheaper than that by the container load from China.
  33. Whynot

    Whynot SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    You asked the wrong question, Jay. I see a different product there, although related to the first. Over more, I’d say that the tailor was not stupid at all and, if only POSSIBLE, he would have gladly "lowered his standards", had that been his REAL problem. But the real issue there was not consumers' appetite for lower quality. Mass produced items of decent quality for considerably much less was, and that’s exactly what finished our poor tailor up. There was no way that tailor could match that price without lowering the quality far beyond that of mass produced items.
    To illustrate this last assertion I am going to use my own example. So, am I being able to perfectly reproduce any given piece of molding by LJ or any other such manufacturer? You bet I am. That would be "lowering the standards" for me. Now I must add to this that there is no way I would be capable of matching LJ's price at doing it, though. And the other way around, LJ would probably be equally embarrassed with their price performance if one of a kind framee were being requested from them.
    We don't talk here just frames, but mainly technology. Reproducing same object by using different technologies is always possible, but there is only one way of doing it right. And the price will tell which is what. More over, the fact that two different technology users survive in same very competitive market, as ours is, proves that both are making different products and both products are meeting certain consumers’ demand. Therefore comparing different products by way of price or corner sample policy would be wrong ;) LOL
  34. AWG

    AWG SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Ideas - I've got a million of 'em. Bucks - not quite so many.

    Eric: Just remember where to send the royalty checks... :D

    Jerry - You're spot on. It was long ago,but I assume the bulk of GRidge's preframed stuff still comes from BAFramer's central operation. We used to merchandise the preframed stuff while building out the frame shop at Garden Ridge. The owners claimed to have no more than $20 in any one prefamed piece.

  35. Dermot

    Dermot SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Tony…..nice line of thinking………inside or outside the box does it matter……you are stretching the thinking process……you could do a Six Sigma project with that sort of thinking process……

    You are thinking on the lines of how online framing could work (or part of it)………forget the traditional way of ordering/selling frames …….I can see the day when frames will be order online and then you take the frame package to a specialist who will fit your piece of art into that package……

    If this sound a bit familiar think Dell…..you order your BOX (Computer) then you have a specialist upload/fit the software for you….or if you are good enough you can up upload/fit the software yourself……

    If you think I’m off the wall with this you should start digging and find out where some of the smart money is been invested for research and development by some of the computer and software companies……..and believe me the framing/art business is on their radar …….like I said the day will come when Wal-Mart could look like a friend…..

  36. ERIC

    ERIC SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Now, wait up! I said that I had a project - which is an idea waiting for the money to do it with. ;) I have to put my idea and your idea together and see what happens. If this is anything like most of my other projects, it will just produce more ideas than money. :(
  37. ERIC

    ERIC SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

  38. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Tony, and ("I would take some of that action.") Jerry

    Believe it or not, this has been noodled around by others ...
    Who pays for shipping? (materials and finished product)
    What volume can you GUARANTEE per month? (for you and the project manager)
    Where does the material get stocked?
    Do you have room to store? (materials [raw and shipping] and finished product)
    Supply the materials? points, backing paper, wire, blades ...
    Are you cutting mats, glass, ... or just fitting?

    Is it worth it to the project organizer to cut everything ship it around and have you just fit it? If not, can you really do it for $20 - $30?

    Don't forget, you have to prep and pack for shipping for that same price.

    This is one of those ideas that gets a LOT tougher if you look at it closely. It can work, but it isn't as slam dunk as you think.

    The best chance might be a "few" local shops that just picked up "over" demand, but the project manager had most of the capacity handled most of the time.

    My 2 cents.
  39. stud d

    stud d SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I got ideas that I don't even understand...put that with money and my wandering little brain and that is dangerous. I think Einstein once said something like "Genious is knowing when and what to pay attention to". I know that is wrong-sorry Albert. I think to be in business for your self you got to be a little nutty. Looking forward to it.
    Patrick Leeland
  40. AWG

    AWG SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    I think the idea is full of enough potential problems that it will take someone with more money/time/volume than I have to devote to it. It would basically be a chop service for frames and mats - you just need fitters and shippers.

    BAFramer does it in their lease departments - no shipping of finished work is involved because that work is "custom" and delivered at the counter.

    Remember my model is not custom work - just low margin high volume wall decor - A "China Beater" model if you will.

    Einstein also said something like
    "The definition of insanity is doing the same things the same ways and expecting different results"

  41. Grumbler F.K.A. Harry

    Grumbler F.K.A. Harry CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I would not look at BA as a model for anything but inevitable disaster.

    As for the "Fitting Service" you are kicking around, I'm OUT! You will be the one fixing ALL of the MANY flaws in the frames and mats when they arrive. The factory workers that cut and join the frames would not care whether it was a frame or a highchair, and as for the quality of the mats...CMC or not, they will s*ck.
    Remember,your face and name will be associated with the finished product, that may or most likely will not, meet your standars and the customers's expectations. Suddenly $20-30 will not be nearly enough.

    I have see the a similar model first hand and it was UGLY. And that was with the supplier and the stores being owned by the same people. Nevermind what could happen if you were dealing with two different entities.....

  42. AWG

    AWG SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Don't misunderstand - I'm not shilling for BAF. Personal feelings aside, respect for the business, feelings about the ownership, etc - the business makes money (for a select few). I did my time (sentence) there and don't miss it. I'm just thinking out loud.

  43. Peter Ackerman

    Peter Ackerman CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I am sorry for the long delay in letting you know who is behind the framing venture at Walmart. I am even sorrier that I will not be giving you the names of the suppliers who are trying to compete with you on a retail level. But the sorriest group of people is going to be the folks who started this in the first place. After a thorough investigation of this venture, I can say in my humble opinion, that it is only a matter of time before it fails. I do not want to rub salt in the wounds of the egos behind this venture as I am sure the embarrassment and cost of this failure will be bad enough. I am going to keep the gruesome details to myself. Perhaps in the future the names of the misguided soles behind this misadventure will be revealed by someone else. Needless to say this is no Joanne's or Michael's. All I can say is that anyone who thought this would work should seriously consider therapy. I still think it is in your best interest to purchase supplies form companies that support you, not compete with you.
    That is all I have to say about that.
  44. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    How about if we go to the super secret meeting room?
  45. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    For all of our sakes I hope you are right.
  46. stshof

    stshof SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I would love to know why you think it will fail when it's making framing such a readily available product. It may turn out to be a big waste of time but I think I'll make a road trip this weekend to one of the stores listed (Madison, AL) and do some snooping! Also, how do you know if your companies are competing with you? :confused: [​IMG]
  47. B. Newman

    B. Newman SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    But I don't know the secret handshake... [​IMG]

  48. ERIC

    ERIC SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Maybe, . . . . they were planning to just take the order . . . . and then drop it off to one of us and have the work done.

    Nah. [​IMG]
  49. stud d

    stud d SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Well Peter you got us...and that is it? No pay off? That is a bit unfair. Curiosity got the cat...where is the satisfaction?

    Patrick Leeland
  50. stshof

    stshof SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Road trip is on for tomorrow - will check mats, frames, customer volume, etc. Anyone else curious about anything? ;)
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