Without wishing to come over like the chap in the dusty top hat I wanted to take this opportunity to talk to you about the January Sales.
The festive season has been hi-jacked by silly Americanisms like Black Friday which seems to us to be about as much fun as the Black Plague. These events resemble a feeding frenzy and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the big stores both on the Hight Street and on-line are peddling end of line at vastly inflated prices for the requisite 28 days needed to be able to legally slash the price in half. Or even worse they are having equipment made for the sale; using old defunct brand names to satisfy the consumer that they are buying something of value when in reality they are buying something built down to a price and with a very shot life span.
The January sales ( SALES!!!) can be like that too. But the products that attract the biggest discounts and the retailers offering the very biggest reductions are often not at all transparent and are certainly not the consumers friend. Most of you will know that many of the largest corporations don’t pay taxes. That in itself is hard to swallow when you and I pay so much tax in proportion to our income. But often these companies follow some far worse principles.
First amongst these is the zero hour contract. This makes staff little more than slaves with few rights, few employee benefits and without voice to complain for fear of being offered zero hours to work. Hard to build anything enduring except profit for a small number of tax exiles of you don’t reward staff.
Another is the own branded product. There is nothing wrong with companies selling their own brands; especially when those brands offer great value or something unique. The problem I have is when those companies don’t tell people that they are their own brand and then they take people who come into their stores to buy branded goods and switch-sell them to their own products, often telling them they are superior when in fact they are simply more profitable. In our industry Richer Sounds are a fantastic shop and have some great principles but their own branded Cambridge Audio is not clearly sold as an own-branded product.
The reason why I am raising these issues is because small independent business like ours need your support. Big companies and corporations often don’t deserve any support but get it anyway because they’re a route to products or services that we think we need. Their friends in government write tax laws and employment laws that enable them to behave atrociously and line the pockets of their CEO’s and shareholders. They can and will (and often already are) making our High Streets and shopping malls generic, driving up rents, driving down salaries for their employees and eroding the quality of many of the products they offer for sale whilst disguising the fact with true cunning.
You and I don’t have to let that happen. When you have money to spend you have a powerful choice to make where you spend it and in whose till you put it. Please consider some of things I’ve mentioned when you do.
We’re a local company and we value our customers a great deal. We also value the staff that we employ and many of them have been with us for donkeys years (we shall define donkeys years as 25+ for the sake of this blog).
Moorgate Acoustics is 35 years old this year and we are still a family run business. We stock no own brands but choose every product by listening to it in the same way that our customers do. We stand by the reputation of the products we sell and are proud to sell them and happy to trade them back in many years later when our customers wish to upgrade.
We do of course have a sale during the month of January. We have to compete and of course many of you will know that we often buy end of line products and bargains to enable to us to compete all year round. Most of this we do by having good relationships with our suppliers. After all we are not a massive company with multiple outlets and a cunning tax-avoidance plan.
Next time you see immense discounts on items (particularly electronics) have a little think about how they can afford to give such money away. I can almost guarantee you that they can afford it because the profit margin allows them to reduce the price massively and STILL make a massive profit. Conversely the equipment we sell is designed to last donkeys years and provide pleasure long after you’ve forgotten the price tag!
Our goal is to sell great products to satisfy our customers enough that they’ll want to come back to us and never want to stray elsewhere. Our demonstration room is there for all our customers to listen to the things that we stock and choose which of them best suits their requirements. We offer many many years of help and advice to make this process simple and even enjoyable. We are also after building long term relationships with our customers rather than looking to “score on the first date”.
There are three shareholders in this company; one is me and the others are my mother and father. All the decisions that we make about our stock and how we do business are made by us and we place the interests of our staff and our customers first because we value them both and see them as critical to our business. We see the customer and not the wallet.
I believe we do a great job but we don’t rest on our laurels and we are always looking at ways to do better. I know if you’re reading this on our website the chances are that you already know about us. If you don’t buy from us please give us a chance and put us to the test. I personally guarantee that we will look after you and ensure you want to buy from us again and again.
Please share our message if you know anyone who is interested in good sound.