Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oceanside, Ca.
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First let me say that I'm not defending WM, but I can understand that they are in the business to make money, as all businesses should be.
A brick and mortar business has expenses that on-line businesses do no have (at least not to the degree that brick and mortar businesses have), the first and foremost expense being the building that they sell their wares in...how many outlets does WM have?...so matching Internet pricing is not always possible. There are three ways that a business can reduce the price of the product that they sell: 1. Cheaper unit costs form their supplier (The first choice). 2. Wages and benefits to employees (which also effects workers compensation and insurance rates...the second choice). 3. Lowering the company's profit margin (the last choice a company wants to make cuts). A company cannot grow if it doesn't make money, and if they are not making money, then what is the purpose of having a company.
If certain items sell better than other things (and the profit margin is better), then that is the direction WM might have to move to...but that opens the door for some other company to capture that sector.
WM seems like a monopoly of a certain sector of business, but they're not one yet, otherwise there would be no other place to purchase the products they sell...but I agree WM is very large. So is Home Depot, Lowe's, Walmart, Microsoft, etc, and we hear complaints about their size and control of their markets too. For some reason we like to support the underdog, but not when the underdog gets to big. Personally I don't care for Home Depot's rise to the top, because they knocked out almost all of the local hardware and lumberyards. Walmart will be doing the same thing to local grocery stores and markets in time, and I'm not keen on that either...but that is the sign of the times we live in. We buy branded items in stores all the time, and large companies do that for the same reasons WM does...to make money and stay in business...I can't fault them for that
If WM's business plan is flawed it will be reflected in their earnings (the bottom line for a business), and to survive they will have to change or die. If the change is for the good everyone profits (customers too), if not then WM dies and other companies will benefit...along with their customers.
WM offers things important to many people, service, inventory, and convenience...but that does not come without a price.
Like I've said before, I do not always buy at WM, but they sure are convenient.