Brick & Mortar versus E-commerce

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Brick & Mortar versus E-commerce

Post by koimaster » January 15th 2021, 2:59pm

Interview Life as a Watch Retailer in 2020, Brick & Mortar versus E-commerce, Corona Perils and Founding the Amsterdam Chapter of Red Bar
Brick and mortar retailer ACE Jewelers went e-com more than 10 years ago



The past year has been a tough one for pretty much everyone on the planet. Some saw their business grow at such speed that it was a huge challenge to keep the pace up, while others (unfortunately many more) suffered from an almost standstill of their business. Brick and mortar stores had a very tough time, online flourished. ACE Jewelers are, besides a family business, a pioneer in e-commerce, and were the first to be allowed to sell luxury watches online; not your typical old fashioned jeweler. We sat down with Alon from ACE Jewelers, in Amsterdam, to hear how they have dealt with 2020, with the Coronavirus, and all its challenges.


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Re: Brick & Mortar versus E-commerce

Post by MKTheVintageBloke » January 15th 2021, 3:18pm

Fuck e-commerce. Takes the "man" out of "salesman." In other words, takes me out of my job.
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Re: Brick & Mortar versus E-commerce

Post by TemerityB » January 15th 2021, 3:26pm

MKTheVintageBloke wrote:
January 15th 2021, 3:18pm
Fuck e-commerce. Takes the "man" out of "salesman." In other words, takes me out of my job.
MK, I know what you're saying. Personally, I feel like an island, but then again, I don't really care: I would rather pay full price for a watch knowing it will be backed by human beings who know who I am when I walk in the door than save cash by buying gray market, especially at any price point over $500. Add to that a world where we have a post office that's turned into a drive-in movie snack bar, well, keep your discounts. Let me see it, try it, know what I'm buying. I'll take it a step further: I don't even wanna buy direct from the brands through the mail. I mean, the decision is so easy, at least in my mind's eye. Don't get me wrong - I realize as a New Yorker, not all watch buyers have the huge amount of choices and stores that I do. I understand why mail order is essential for a lot of people - you either buy that way or you can't buy at all. Totally understood.
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Re: Brick & Mortar versus E-commerce

Post by Watch Noob » January 15th 2021, 3:42pm

Fuck 2020!
Having said that, I feel for those Retailer's like MK that make a living in B&M stores. Full disclosure, I haven't purchased a watch through B&M in many years. When the internet first became a thing we jumped on it immediately to it's full potential. In 2020, we virtually ordered everything online including grocery delivery. Gas and liquor were about the only things I went out for with the occasional drive-thru Starbucks or Biggby coffee.
As for watch purchases, would I rather go to B&M to actually see what I'm purchasing before I buy? Hell yes. But online shopping has made it so easy that if you don't like what you bought, we'll send you post paid authorization to send it back. Let's face it, convenience is a key factor.
I was in a B&M late 2019 looking for a 75" OLED, we literally couldn't find employees at Best Buy to take our cash. Since then I've purchased 2 or 3 flat screens online.
I personally think it's going to be a tough go for many retailers going forward. You are going to need something special to draw people into your store with an exceptional staff. Otherwise, why deal with the hassle?
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Re: Brick & Mortar versus E-commerce

Post by bbattle » January 15th 2021, 5:16pm

I like Brick and Mortar shopping for the tactile experience; also, I have weird feet and have to try on shoes before I buy.

I also buy online but the grocery stores here are pretty well inline with internet pricing on what I want so I shop local.

http://www.thepantsbarn.com/is where I make my yearly pilgrimage to buy pants and maybe a belt or some Carhartt shirts. They carry every style and every size of ten different brands so I have no trouble finding what I want.

There are some nice AD watch shops in the area; I suppose I should visit one just to see what the fuss is about. But now all of MK's "musings of a salesman" are coming to mind and I'm pretty sure I'd be one of those looky-loo morons with no intention of buying just wasting a salesman's time. Not what I want to be but how to get around it without mortgaging the house before I pay a visit?

I do avoid eBay and Amazon for watches; I just don't trust the bastards. Heck, you have to do some searching to find the best prices on Amazon; they like to hide them behind the ones that pay extra to jump the line.
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Re: Brick & Mortar versus E-commerce

Post by iwasbanned » January 15th 2021, 5:30pm

I don't like talking to people, I don't like being pressured, I don't like to overspend. So for me, it's the web. In my many years of collecting I've bought 2 watches from a brick and mortar.

Though technically I've also bought online from toppers, watches of Switzerland, and timeless luxury all of which have brick and mortar shops. Does that count?
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Re: Brick & Mortar versus E-commerce

Post by Pubbie » January 15th 2021, 5:37pm

Bricks and mortar will be dead in the major economies within ten years. Online sale and (if needed) return will be the norm. Only the poorest will go to "shops"; a bit like how they used to have to go to the water pump with a pail, whilst the middles and uppers had plumbing.

The retail "experience" will be over. And everyone will like it that way!

I'm the UK, there was never much of a retail experience anyway, so I'm ambivalent, apart from Rolex shops. The faster they close, the better.
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Re: Brick & Mortar versus E-commerce

Post by Watch Noob » January 15th 2021, 5:45pm

Pubbie wrote:
January 15th 2021, 5:37pm
Bricks and mortar will be dead in the major economies within ten years. Online sale and (if needed) return will be the norm. Only the poorest will go to "shops"; a bit like how they used to have to go to the water pump with a pail, whilst the middles and uppers had plumbing.

The retail "experience" will be over. And everyone will like it that way!

I'm the UK, there was never much of a retail experience anyway, so I'm ambivalent, apart from Rolex shops. The faster they close, the better.

Holy shit dude, don't hold back!
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Re: Brick & Mortar versus E-commerce

Post by Watch Noob » January 15th 2021, 5:51pm

iwasbanned wrote:
January 15th 2021, 5:30pm
I don't like talking to people, I don't like being pressured, I don't like to overspend.
We recently purchased all new kitchen appliances in SS finishing.
Although we love Kitchen Aide that has served us well for years, they had some mismatches among their appliances. It was a few hour ordeal followed by several phone calls. The Salesman should have been named slick Rick as he promised the world and delivered a local county. At any rate, yes it was borderline painful to deal with this guy, but it all worked out in the end after a few threatening phone calls.
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Re: Brick & Mortar versus E-commerce

Post by jason_recliner » January 15th 2021, 6:06pm

I like B & M stores. I like to see and feel what I'm buying, try things on, play with the buttons and features. Especially when it comes to a luxury purchase, there's nothing luxurious or premium to me about the experience of sitting in front of a laptop, clicking a button, and being handed a cardboard box by a courier. I enjoy a high quality retail experience.

Furthermore, I like what B&M stores bring to our communities. People are out and about, they bump into people they know, they stop for a coffee or lunch. I don't want my local town centre or my CBD to be populated only by people there to work and For Lease signs in dirty windows.

I'm going out later to get some snorkeling gear. We'll probably get a bite to eat somewhere on the way, maybe even stop by the beach and try it out. I could have purchased it from the same store online but where's the fun in that?

Fuck Amazon.
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Re: Brick & Mortar versus E-commerce

Post by codguy » January 16th 2021, 10:57am

iwasbanned wrote:
January 15th 2021, 5:30pm
I don't like talking to people, I don't like being pressured, I don't like to overspend.
Ditto.

The watch I am eyeing (and don't need) is ±$15,000 at the authorized B&M stores I contacted. I can purchase the same factory watch elsewhere via web for ±$10k.

Not wanting to screw B&M sales staff .....but on the flip side I would be helping sales staff/employees working at online companies and the $5k can feed my other habits hobbies.

Win, win for me..... lose, lose for those stores needing to charge the additional 33% for overhead/profit. Methinks shopping malls will eventually turn into large skating rinks in my honest opinion.
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Re: Brick & Mortar versus E-commerce

Post by TemerityB » January 16th 2021, 1:38pm

Speaking of Amazon, I found this borderline crazy: The site has eliminated its A-to-Z listing of watch brands. I'm not kidding. There used to to be a comprehensive list you could go to, to see what they carried or sold through secondary sellers - but even that's gone. I was told by an Amazon rep to "type in the brand." So basically, they are actually burying brands they sell so they can hype their "featured brands."

I used to love Amazon, but now it sucks gigantic adult book store marital aids. Cripes, I can't even get a shipment delivered without it being lost, delayed, or delivered to the wrong address - their Amazon Logistics self-shipping, at least in my area, has been a colossal disaster. I only order small inexpensive "can't find it anywhere else" items now, and even then, I'm forced to pick them up at an "Amazon Locker" because their vast team of otherwise unemployable jagoffs can't deliver them properly. I can't imagine spending more than $50 on ANYTHING at Amazon any longer.
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Re: Brick & Mortar versus E-commerce

Post by 3Flushes » January 16th 2021, 2:19pm

Money has become my primary consideration. I don't trip over usa warranties- places like JOMA who include a warranty send a watch you buy from them back to the country from which it came or it's designated service center where the warranty is valid.

Given the ridiculously long turn around times, any difference in time is virtually imperceptible and they handle all of the shipping bullshit once you get it to them.

My PO (8500) cost $3100 at a time US MSRP was just North of $6,000, AIR, and I received the watch in the new packaging. The Omega stalwart still runs a bit fast and I've had no trouble with it at all. Buying quality brands is of very little risk, that is, the deflect rate of a quality house is stable world wide and with a reputable dealer, no fuss no muss.

If AD's were freed by their horseshit distribution agreements to bargain with customers and compete I'd be happy to buy from them. For me, going gray makes many watches affordable that I would otherwise have to take a pass on.

Piss on their price fixing, AD bullshit.
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