: Better service is certainly one way that small operations can compete with the
: big box stores. Some small businesses understand that, some don't -- and it's
: the latter, IME, that can't survive competition with the big boxes.
Here's a couple of articles that I found interesting:
The first is the story of what happened to Vlasic pickles (company
went bankrupt after getting a close relationship with
Walmart), and the second is about one company that decided
not to sell through Walmart, and why.
I agree that ultimately it's the customer that decided whether a business
gets his money or not, but there are other factors at work, including
ignorance on the part of the customer (to take a group relevant example,
tools with plastic innards instead of metal ones have advantages and
disadvantages, and the typical homeowner doesn't know about them), and
Walmart's ability, due to its sher size, to pressure suppliers
to reduce costs.
-- Andy Barss