Home > Uncategorized > B***ocks to the Big Boys

B***ocks to the Big Boys


It drives me crazy. More often than not, when I drive to any out of town store for a new TV, fridge, or piece of DIY kit, the piece of equipment or appliance I wanted or I have bought is either out of stock or it’s broken and dysfunctional by the time I get it home.

The big stores are quite often utterly useless. Supermarkets don’t stock the local cheese, or the DIY store has one lamp left which you want but it’s the display model. And becuase it’s nailed to the shelf, you can’t have it. So, I drive home frustrated, lampless and pumping yet more carbon monoxide unecessarily into the atmosphere.

I am glad these big companies suffer. They sweat their untrained staff, keep their stock so tightly ‘just in time’ that a mere one degree drop in the air temperature means they sell out of kindling wood within an hour.

I am now becoming one of the converts to the local shops. Perhaps a little like someone who has given up smoking but who has gone too far the other way, and bullies smokers into submission!

But it’s worth it. One haven of brilliance is our local hardware store, Harrison and Dunn, in Bourne, Lincolnshire. It’s a small shop but it is packed to the gunnels with anything you want. Nails, screws, chemicals, locks, garden equipment, bird seed. You name it, they’ve got it. And if you don’t know what you need, the brilliant staff will help you because they know what they are talking about.

It is such a simple formula – know what your customers need or ask them what they are doing so you can pick the right tool or chemical to help them. I work in a big business and I have done for a while. We are told about ‘solution selling’ as if it was something new.

Little businesses are experts at solution selling and practice what they preach. Big companies are too far away from their customers to know what they want and rely on price to get customers in. How crap and unimaginitive is that?

A local butcher in Bourne is run by a couple of women. Their meat is very good and their service is brilliant. My wife asked me to get some meat recently from them and they helped my get what I needed. When was the last time someone in Sainsbury at the meat counter helped you by asking what you were planning?

Funnily enough, the little shops are quite often cheaper than the big boys. The big boys have their ‘loss leaders’ to trip us into thinking they are cheaper than anyone else. But it’s our laziness that keeps them going.

It saddens me that development plans for our local town include an ‘out of town’ DIY chain store. I won’t be going there. Long live the little boys and b***ocks to the big boys.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. justin
    05/08/2007 at 4:24 pm

    Quite right mate. It’s even worse here in America where the big fishes have often eaten up all of the little ones, so your’re left with large companies only. And if you think that British customer service is bad…. you would be tearing your hair out.

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