In today's market, as financial budgeting is utmost on the consumer's mind, everyone wants a bargain. People look for consumer benefits or incentive programs. They all want customer satisfaction, selection and guarantees. Shopping has changed considerably over the last five years. We have less independent stores and more box store chains and outlets. .
There has been a dramatic decline in independent shop owners, resulting in a loss of personal service and/or preferential treatment usually given by these "Mom and Pop" operations. Box stores do not have employees with specialized product knowledge or proper application experience. If you are looking for this information, it is necessary to read the manufacturer's enclosed brochures or pamphlets.
However, having the larger box stores has been most beneficial in competitive pricing. Now, because of the new business model of low margin and high volume, the consumer is offered pricing which may seem somewhat unbelievable and representative of substandard quality. In the past, when the market term "discount" was mentioned one would think of soiled, limited selection and poor quality. Big chains try to create an artificial monopoly. This is an attempt to trick the buyer into shopping exclusively at it's stores. For example: Fabricland (a large fabric and sewing notion outlet) and Nutter's (a vitamin and bulk food chain), provide the option of purchasing a membership card. This card allows the consumer to purchase product at additional savings, i.e. 20% off the first Tuesday of the month, and 10% off on every other day. This entices customers to shop where they get "preferential treatment", in this case, discounted pricing. It also encourages the consumer to shop more frequently at these particular chains rather than price compare at competitive retailers. Airlines have been doing this for years with their reward miles with great success.