Idea: chain mail-order store.

A person comes in to a store to check out the goods, but the order is mailed. So the person pays less, but also gets the item with a delay. Reason this is cool:

– there is a place to return the item
– there supply-chain costs are minimized

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Idea: chain mail-order store.

  1. I think one of the difficulties would be justifying the cost for rents etc, which is generally the benefit of having a mail order only prescence. Also, in this age of “have to have it RIGHT now”, I don’t know if customers would be willing to come in look at a product and then wait. It would have to depend on the product, and it would prob have to be pretty high end.

    • As a customer, the benefit is often being able to actually touch the product before making the purchase. Now imagine a slight markup on online prices at in-store purchasing and a day’s delay. I’d do it.

      Optimal products would be some that have a large variety, yet are small: electronics. Cameras, laptops, computers, etc. etc. etc. Software can be loaded up so that people can play their favorite game on the computer of their choice.

  2. Anonymous

    In fact, the smart ladies are already applying this idea to practise. She walks in a fancy fashion store beginning of the season, tried on the clothes, then walks out. At home, she went back on line, click on the items she tried on and also on Internet sale, and boom, it comes a week later in a box. But yes, supply chain can be further minimized if it’s not a store but a small kiosk, with only one set of items for demonstration. – CC

    • CC?!?!? Who you be?

      One set of clothes that everyone tries on? NAAAASTY 🙂 But yeah, that’s exactly the idea – and the main thing is to give people an incentive to make the purchase at the store. For instance, if purchasing on their own would cost 100$, at Circuit city 150$ and at this store 105$, I don’t know about the old ladies, but the time I would spend making the purchase on my own is definitely worth 5$…

      • Anonymous

        oh no….

        The idea is to limit on rent or operational cost and push the sales through the Internet. Anyhow, CC – a mortal who loves gelato, coffee and champagne. A food lover who explores all the possible source for the pleasure of sensation. An atheist who believes life is planned in someway by some superpower but not any of the Gods in the existing religions. One who believes in the importance of day dreaming but also braking through illusion then we see reality.

      • Re: oh no….

        So there are two components, rent and operational costs. Suppose that in a hypothetical retail store (and I am pulling number from air):
        rent – 30$
        operational costs – 50$
        revenue – 100$ (so profit = revenue(100) – rent(30) – operational costs(50) = 20$)

        Now suppose that revenue is coming from sale of 10 items a month at 10$ each (out of a selection of 100). Now suppose that you increase the selection to 1000 items and lower the price to 9$. Now, because of the increased selection of items and a drop in price, the number of items sold goes up to 13 and operational costs go down to 25. That means that revenue is now 13 * 9 = 117. So what do we have:

        profit = revenue (117) – rent (30) – operational costs (25) = 62$ Now, I don’t know, but going from 20 to 62 looks like a heluvaprofit to me. Granted that I made some very crude assumptions, but they don’t seem unreasonable.

      • Re: oh no….

        Gigi?

      • Anonymous

        Re: oh no….

        Gigi’s evil twin 🙂

        I haven’t looked at your math carefully to give you some thoughts. But my gut feeling is that this kind of store has to be setup in big cities, which in that case, rent is more expensive than operational cost. So it all depends on if you are comparing the traditional retail way of business to your model or to mine. Buon fin de semana. -CC

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