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Suppliers who compete with you

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

  1. Peter Ackerman

    Peter Ackerman CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I have already been to the store in Las Vegas. I am curious as to your opinion of the store near you. The one in Vegas heavily promoted a Wizard CMC and had moulding from a South Florida distributor. They also had a PC with the complete catalog of prints available from Lieberman's. It was a very small store and I do not believe they had a saw so all moulding must be chopped or joined. The help was not well trained either. I am looking forward to your impressions.
  2. stud d

    stud d SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    sthof you must also check to see what type of glazing they use. If you are going that is another little thing. Have fun...Walmart is an experience here. It is sort of like the circus...the old circus with the strange people, you know like the bearded lady shops at walmart.

    Patrick Leeland
  3. stshof

    stshof SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'll do it! I'm really curious - Madison, AL is near Huntsville, home of the space center, and there's a lot of highly educated, well paid people here. Was that part of the selection process when the first three Walmart supercenter locations for custom framing were chosen? I wonder... [​IMG]
  4. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

  5. Grumbler F.K.A. Harry

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

    Nevermind the complexity of trying create operational systems to run such an operation in hundreds of remote locations, where on Earth are they going to find even reletively compitent people to staff these frame shops?

    Even if we all closed up tomorrow and went to work for them (Though I can say with certainty that I would be selling hot dogs on the street corner before I would go, and my guess is many of you would do something else as well), they would fall way short.

    Finding the right people will be most likely be the down fall of anyone that tries this. Over time it may be possible, for someone with the time and money to design a training program to create framers. I am not so foolish to think it can't be done, but it won't be cheap or easy. (I actually have a theory as to how this could be done, but as mentioned earlier in the thread, you need to carefull with your ideas.)

    Not to mention that I don't beleive this industry has the technological sophistication to do this and do it right.

    WalMart is a world-class RETAILER. They are going to want relaible and complex systems to measure and track evertything. Sorry but I don't think they exhist. With all due respect, and I mean this sincerely, to the wonderful folks who provide our industry with software, I don't think any of it is ready for the WalMart level yet.

    I do beleive however, that someone with the right resources and time could also create the technology to do this right, but there is still the issue of getting the people to sell it, build it, and service the consumer.

    Like I said, I think it is plausable, but man it's a heavy lift. Is the potential pay off worth the enormous financial risk? People with bigger brains than mine must think so.

    We'll see.....

    Anyone know where I can get a good used hotdog steamer? :D
  6. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Harry, I wouldn't worry about it. I hear that Don Rumsfeld has a plan to accomplish the whole thing very inexpensively and using far fewer people than you might expect..
    ;) Rick
  7. Rogatory

    Rogatory SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Originally posted by Grumbler F.K.A. Harry:
    Harry, I think you are right on the mark about WallyWorld, but they wouldn't buy ready made software, they would write their own.

    Rick, that was good!
  8. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    They use the same tools most of us do. Most big box chains and franchises use custom flavors of Lifesaver, Specialtysoft, or Fullcalc. (Michaels, Aaron Bros, FastFrame, JoAnns, Hobby Lobby, Corners, AC Moore, etc)

    I'm not sure which one Walmart uses...
  9. Grumbler F.K.A. Harry

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

    Mike I have seen a couple versions of the ones you mentioned first hand. Used 2 specificaly for quite some time and they really don't work the way they should. I don't care what anyone says; they just don't.

    Rick, we see how Rummie's plan is working so far. If they use that same approach we all have nothing to fear. "Use as few people as possible so the whole **** thing implodes.... and don't give them the tools they need to get the job done right"

    The major diffrence is that Rumsfeld has troops that know what they are doing and do it very well (when their hands arne't tied that is). I doubt Wally will ever get their troops anywhere close...
  10. stshof

    stshof SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The results of my trip to Madison, AL as promised! This is an inside store retail space (like the photo shop and beauty shop in most Walmarts) with a sign "Framing Us". Outside the store, there is a free standing display with a computer and lieberman software selling prints. The store is maybe 12' wide. On the left is a counter approx. 5' wide with a computer with Specialty Soft POS against the wall and several Wizard photo mats with a sign that they start at $7.88 and will cut them while you wait. On the right and back from the counter about a ft. is an approx. 8' false wall with about 500 frame samples - metal and wood(12 rolls of approx. 35-60 samples). No one came to counter area. We looked around for about 10 minutes. Frame samples didn't have #s I recognized and no prices. A couple of them looked like NDN frames I get from my distributor. No mat samples anywhere(even under the counter!) No glass samples. I finally went behind the counter. I could see a Fletcher wall glass cutter and another false wall blocked my view but it looked very small. I said "hello?" and a guy and gal came rushing out. I joked about how I probably shouldn't be behind the counter and immediately realized this was going to be tough. My police officer husband said they were hiding information - either they read my post and knew I was coming or they were briefed to not answer anybody's questions. Said they were a private company; not connected with Walmart at all. Said they didn't know prices; everything was in the computer. Said they didn't know what mat companies they used, either.(?) We started talking about the military and other topics and the guy went back to the back area again. We probably talked 10 minutes or so but the only other info I got was the female worked sales for years for Art Mart/Kendall/Hartcraft in Huntsville. They're a ready made, photo frame company. She said she quit for health reasons. We left and wandered around Walmart, ate a pretzel at a store inside, and probably spent a hour total there. No customers at FramingUs the whole time. The guy came back out for about 5 minutes and sat at the computer; the female talked to a check out clerk for about 10 minutes or so and then went outside and smoked a cigarette. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  11. Grumbler F.K.A. Harry

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


    People. It will be their downfall.
  12. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    How do they sell matboard without samples?

    She really didn't want to tell you that it is Queen City Matboard. [​IMG]
  13. stshof

    stshof SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    She said something lame about carrying them to the back so she could clean off the front counter but an hour later she still hadn't clean anything or return the samples to the front. I think you're probably right! :D :D
  14. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    You realize you have just made the regional manager (or whatever his title is) take a trip to Madison don't you! [​IMG]
  15. stshof

    stshof SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  16. Mecianne

    Mecianne SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Sue, they make Michael's seem like a museum with conservators working behind the counter.
  17. chrish04

    chrish04 True Grumbler

    in vegas the mats they use are crescent selects, at least that is what i was told
  18. stshof

    stshof SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Are you curious enough to go check them out? I'd love to know if your impressions/experience is similiar! :D
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