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Author Topic: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing  (Read 647 times)

Pacific NW Ron

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I haven't been in one of the nationwide big box stores for about 20 years.   I'm not going to name the retailer because I don't want to give them free advertising.   I'll say it's one that gets mentioned often on UltimateBass. 
So yesterday my fishing partner called and wanted to know if I wanted to go to XXXXXXX 25 miles away.  I didn't really have any thing I wanted but decided I'd go along and just check it out since I hadn't been in one in years.  I said sure I'll go along.  We spent about two and a half hours in the store.
The first thing I noticed was a big portion of the store seemed to be apparel.  Since I am in the market for a new shot gun at least half that time was spent in the gun department.  The whole time I was in the gun department not one time did anyone come and ask if they could help me. 
From there we wondered through the camping and apparel departments finally ending up in the fishing department.  One thing I noticed was that there were no employee's visible in any of the departments.
In the fishing department I again noticed there was no one to help customers and for the amount of square footage there wasn't much inventory.  Another thing I noticed was the prices seemed high.  Isles were wide and easy to navigate but lacked inventory.   I was checking out the rods, which again for the size of the store was a slim selection.  I could use a 7'6" heavy casting rod.  I was checking the rods and not finding a rod with specs I wanted.  As we were leaving we saw an employee standing in apparel.  I asked him if there was anyone in tackle that could help me.  He said he'd page someone so we went back to tackle and waited.  Finally after what seemed like a long time someone showed up.  I asked him if they had any 7'6" heavy casting rods.  He says yah and took a 7' med/heavy off the rack and handed it to me.  I said I want a 7'6" heavy.  He says, why, this one should be just fine, a good all around rod.  I say yes I know that but not what I want.  He then handed me a 7'1" med.  All I said is, "I don't think I really want a rod from here", just walked away and left him standing there.
The whole time we were in the store we had not one single person ask us if they could help us, except the one in tackle that was paged, and he didn't listen to what I wanted.
I left with an empty basket.  I bought nothing, nada, zilch.
Maybe there's something I missed but I don't see the excitement or hype about these stores, or any reason to support them.  Now I remember why I haven't been in one in a long time, and probably be a long time before I visit another one.  Maybe part of it is comparing them to the way I ran my store before I sold it, which by the way, after only one year, I think the people that purchased it are already "out of business".   I made it a point to acknowledge every customer within a few minutes of entering the store.  I had a reception desk right at the door.  This seems to be non-existent in the major retailers.
Please, someone here on UltimateBass help me understand what the big excitement is?  What did I miss?  Is there some thing wrong with me?  Do I need to see a doctor?
Ron
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Smallie_Stalker

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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2018, 06:39:22 PM »

No Ron, there is nothing wrong with you and you do not need to see a doctor. Sadly that kind of apathy about customer satisfaction runs through the entire retail industry not just fishing stores. The difference between what you experienced at this store and the way you ran your store is that you were the owner of your business whereas these people are just employees who work for someone else. They don't have any vested interest one way or the other in whether the customer is happy. And they have no incentive to make the customer happy because they are going to get the same paycheck whether the customers are happy or not. They don't care about the bottom line or even if the store goes out of business. They'll just move on to the next job. And idiots like this think they deserve a minimum wage of at least $15 an hour!!!  ~b~

You didn't miss anything. You saw first hand what is happening to the retail market. Poor customer service is the downfall of any company that has to provide goods and/or services to the public. The bottom line is if people are not happy they are not going to come back and spend more, and they sure aren't going to tell their friends to go shop there either.

I think that is one of the reasons why you were so awestruck at this. When you were running your store you made sure your customers were happy. You took the time to talk on the phone or in person for as long as necessary so that they were getting exactly what they asked for. And you somehow managed to keep your prices very reasonable.  You are not going to find many places today with that combination and definitely not from any of the big box stores.
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Kris

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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 06:40:40 PM »

I can tell you that the store I work in is not like this description. But, sometimes there is no knowledgeable bass fishing person in that department. There is never a time that there is no one at the gun counter for a long period of time. Managers are always on us to greet the customers and offer to help them find something if needed.  I work the "Lodge", hunting/fishing/camping and always on the move if the store is busy. We have buttons in each department that customers can push for help. It announces that someone needs help in X department in the headset of our radio. Phone calls for our departments are also announced in our headset. I am not going to mention where I work but I have a feeling I might know whose store this is.
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Bud Kennedy

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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 07:04:28 PM »

I strongly believe that today's quest for corporate profits has created a lot of this type of performance with any big box store.  Obviously stores cost money and takes a lot of employees to make it work.  These things alone add a lot of overhead expense.  The retailer then decides to reduce their expenses via reducing headcount in their associates.  This leaves the remaining employees to perform a multitude of tasks other than serving customers.  They are stocking shelves, unpacking trucks, performing inventory counts, housekeeping the display areas, setting up marketing displays, covering breaks for other departments or employees that too are also tasked with a multitude of duties.  The customer is left to mill about the store on their own.  On top of that many of the employees are not familiar with their products and have not been trained or have the experience to offer true valuable assistance to a customer.  I suppose that is why we are so impressed when we run into one of the "expert" employees who can actually answer your question or make solid recommendations.

We have come through a system that no longer appreciated experience and knowledge and instead considers employees as overhead incapable of using their brains.  Many employees in turn enforce this belief by being ill trained, unprepared or just plain anti customer.  The result is unhappy customers.
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SteveTX

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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 08:14:39 PM »

I have to say the closest BassPro to me is an hour and a half drive the closest Academy is a hour drive so I do not frequent these maybe 5 times a year. But I will say not all stores are created equal just because they have the same name on the building. Management and in general the employees themselves dictate the way the store is to a customer.

The Garland BassPro near Dallas I have never been there that there was not a employee within easy reach. The fishing department every time I have been there is completely stocked up with thousands and thousands of lures and tons of tackle. I cant say I have ever seen a item that they were out of except a Powder 130 WP when they were the rage and he had sold the last one like 30 minutes before I got there. They still had every other color but Powder. Everyone was very friendly was greeted at the door and was told no less than twice thank you when leaving checking out.

Are they perfect no I think they are a little high on prices. Are they convenient no. Was it cool actually seeing thousands of lures where you can visually see them hold some and actually see the colors unaffected by the color settings of your monitor. Hell yes.

Academy I have been to 2 different stores and both have smaller but still a very nice assortment of fishing tackle. Prices over all seem better and again you can visually see and inspect the lures before ordering and waiting only to go crud that didnt look transparent in the picture online. I find many of the H2O crankbaits to be quite good but prefer to hand pick them unless I already had one and know exactly what to order. Management and employees at the Academys I went to went beyond normal to gain our business. My daughter bought some running shoes and the second pr was suppose to be free or damn near it. Well they were out of the exact ones my daughter wanted so the employee got the manager involved had them take our info down ordered them and had them drop shipped to our home an hour away. Also she was getting me lures for Christmas at Academy and the guys there were very nice and helped her to get the ones on my wish list and helped her find substitutes for the ones they didn't have in stock that were close in color or style that turned out I liked and was a great surprise.   

I get it box stores are not great I have been in some that were pathetic one was just bought out by BassPro that should say something about their management. I do think well managed ones in well researched or just luckily landed in great locations can and will be successful.   
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 08:18:38 PM by SteveTX »
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Captsteve

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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2018, 08:48:05 PM »

no more box stores for me. you are correct, there e inventory is pathetic.

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bassnman81

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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 10:33:48 PM »

PBS has gone down hill.  Prices are way to high, low inventory and employees that seem to know little if nothing about the departments their working in. JM should be ashamed.  I support my local man and pops around here. Much better service and they seem to keep their pricing where it should be.
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Canesfan

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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 06:30:57 AM »

Other than going because I got gift cards for a birthday, Christmas, etc., I usually purchase online for convenience and wait for sales.  But the big box nearest me usually is crowded, staff when you can find them, is generally helpful and knowledgeable, but they usually donít have what I  need or are looking for.  A lot of it is the store management.
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Fun4me

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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2018, 07:59:00 AM »

Generally speaking, I don't expect big box stores to know everything about their products. If I can't find something (say the fishing section), I would ask. Other than that, If I'm looking for a 7'6" heavy casting rod I will thumb through the selection myself until I find a heavy.

As far as service? I prefer to be left alone while shopping. If I need help, I will find someone even if I have to search the store, But I do understand that others may not be like me.
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D.W. Verts

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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2018, 10:38:57 AM »

The original Bass Pro in Springfield is a neat place to take the family for a day trip. But I'll leave my wallet in the truck. It's more like a tourist trap.

I'm diggin' Doc Irv, Monster, etc.!
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Pacific NW Ron

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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 12:03:27 PM »

The original Bass Pro in Springfield is a neat place to take the family for a day trip. But I'll leave my wallet in the truck. It's more like a tourist trap.

I'm diggin' Doc Irv, Monster, etc.!

It is a neat place to walk around in.  They also have the outdoor museum on the same grounds. 
That was the last one I was in till a couple days ago.  When we lived in AR we made a trip over there about once a month.  I used to have business meetings in Springfield and always had to stop.
Ron
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hubcap91

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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 12:14:30 PM »

I feel your pain. I was given $200 worth of giftcards to Cabelas this year so I thought I would buy a nice pair or sunglasses. I asked the young lady (maybe 19-20) if she had any info on the different frame sizes for Costa sunglasses. "They are one size fits all." she says. I told her that I know for a fact that isn't true. I guess I upset her because she hits me with "Well maybe you should work here." And locks the case. I was livid. I tried them on at another retailer and ordered online.

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Ddyyak

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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 01:59:28 PM »

Retail is s tough world right now. I work on the distribution side of one of the top apparel companies, the issue is labor. Unemployment lowest in a long tim in most parts of the country. Add to that a generation that does not want to work and you have terrible customer service. Before everyone jumps on paying employees more, that works when people at motivated by money, a good portion of this generation is not. We have raised our entry wages by nearly $4 in the past year and they come in to apply them miss over 15 days in the first 60. Online has an advantage since you don't have to staff so many stores. Stores will start becoming more automated so you will be able to be more self serve.


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Lipripper

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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 02:11:47 PM »

I live 15 minutes from a BPS and can count on one hand the number of times I have been in it. There are also several other big box stores in the Chicago land area and I haven't been to any of them. I would rather do my shopping on line and get it in a couple of days than go in them stores. It's just more convenient and I don't have to fight the traffic getting there and back home again. If I need something like right now then I would venture out to one of them.
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Polaris425

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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2018, 09:26:47 AM »

I was at one Saturday. (BPS, I'm not ashamed to say it. I go there. I sometimes buy things.)

There were employee's EVERYWHERE... Several asked me if I needed anything, I didn't, but politely thanked them for asking.

I saw several employee's helping customers in the fishing department.

The Gun department was SWAMPED with people. There were probable 20-30 customers at the counter, and a handful of employee's behind the counter all doing what they could to keep up.

Every department I walked through had employee's in it, and in almost every one, at least one employee asked me if I needed anything.

I think the problem wasn't the store you were in, but most likely the management.

With the success of online superstars like TW and Amazon, I've found lately that big box brick & mortars are stepping up their game in the customer service area. At least, here in the south that is.
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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2018, 07:58:05 AM »

Well I Like Bass Pro Shops, for several reasons.

1) Their clothing selection is awesome. They have things that appeal to both Men and Women and the quality seems to be very good. Their Camo Clothes that I have bought are good and have lasted many years.

2) They carry things that I just can not find in other stores. Now they have built a new Outpost Store in Daytona and to me it is a Micro Store compared to the Bass Pro Shop in Orlando. I like being able to run the shorter distance to Daytona, but if I really need somethings I will go to Orlando.

I like to be able to touch and see what it is I'm spending my money on and the ability to have it NOW for a price that is really not that much more to me is an advantage.

3) My Grandkids love going there to look at the stuff they have around the store including the Fish Tank. The Springfield store is an awesome place to visit and so much history told as you walk through that store.

4) You may see it as supporting Big Business, but it is also supporting your Neighbors that work there.

5) I have NEVER had an issue getting someone to give me assistance or help if I needed it at ANY Bass Pro Shop I have been to.

6) I don't go there with an attitude that This Place is Going To Suck, so it doesn't.
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Polaris425

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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2018, 08:21:56 AM »

Well I Like Bass Pro Shops, for several reasons.


6) I don't go there with an attitude that This Place is Going To Suck, so it doesn't.

That's a big part of it.
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Oldfart9999

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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2018, 11:24:33 AM »

Until it's finished I have an hour ride to my local BPS, at one point it was their smallest store. I've found their fishing dept to have always have several employees on hand, at least a couple knowledgeable and to be well stocked. I went to the Cabelas in Buffalo, an hour the other way, I won't go back. It looked like they had a good size fishing department, they didn't have much in it, to say I was disappointed is an understatement. Normally I only go during sales so I'm not paying full price and I also want to pick up and look over what I buy. I don't like buying blind. The corps have to pay for that brick and mortar, cost a pretty penny but folks go in look at stuff then go home and order on the net, it's their right to do so just bitch at me about the cost of items in the store then!!! ~rant ~rant ~rant
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fishballer06

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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2018, 11:50:06 AM »

I find it odd that you didn't have any sales associates around or offering help. Normally whenever I go in those type of stores I've got 3-4 employees bugging me if I need help with anything.


Me in the typical big box fishing store.

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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2018, 12:05:00 PM »

Are they perfect no I think they are a little high on prices. Are they convenient no. Was it cool actually seeing thousands of lures where you can visually see them hold some and actually see the colors unaffected by the color settings of your monitor. Hell yes.

just to be contrarian Steve  ;D

we complain about service, availability of sales people. then WHEN we get  them we complain about prices.

roseanna roseanna dana got it right.  it's always something.

 lo
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SteveTX

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Re: My first visit to a big box retailer in many years. Disappointing
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2018, 04:01:28 PM »

just to be contrarian Steve  ;D

we complain about service, availability of sales people. then WHEN we get  them we complain about prices.

roseanna roseanna dana got it right.  it's always something.

 lo
lo ~shhh
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