Thinking that the day of reckoning would come since my business was manufacturing based I stocked up when the time was right. For me the day of reckoning did come and I somehow manage to make-do with what I have for the most part. Sadly, the day of reckoning also came to many fly shops. Could this all be interrelated?
When I was the consumate consumer I had a standard that made customer service and friendliness of paramount importance with price and inventory right behind them.
I to this day avoid a shop where one of the help is condescending and snooty. Another whose help asks everyone who comes in what kind of rods they have and if the answer isn't that one particular brand tells them, 'Those suck!". Where are the owners of these shops and are they ignoring customer complaints?
As for the owners, to this day I have a nearby shop who still doesn't understand the internet and how people can check prices. Maybe he thinks the dog he has around to pet is worth a 5-10% premium on everything he sells.
I used to hang around my favorite fly shops and saw many types of customers come through the door. The most interesting were the worm slingers who came in probably out of curiosity but also with the biggest chip on their shoulder known to man. If the help allowed them to browse a bit they claimed they were ignored by the uppity help and if they were attended to right away the help was pushy and made the customer feel uncomfortable.
It's a fine line good help walks to keep customers happy.
I did my best to prevent the takeover of the big box stores. Slowly, surely and sdaly except in special areas or with something very special to offer the Mom and Pops shops are going away along with the personalities each shop had and the personalized attention they gave.
What I know for sure is that my grandson is going to make out nicely when I kick the bucket... IF he stays on the straight and narrow!