Tracy needed a new lawn mower, and ordered one online from Sears. Later that day, an email arrived announcing that the lawnmower was ready for pickup. For whatever reason, Tracy wasn’t able to make the 17-mile trip out to the store until more than a week later. The mower was….well, nobody quite knows what happened to the mower.
Some of you were pretty rough on Kaje when he wrote in, telling us he was given a better Sears lawnmower by mistake. Would he give it back? Or would they have to pry the new mower out of his cold, dead hands?
What does it take for a company to decide that selling their product through Wal-Mart’s chain might hurt their business? This excerpt of an excerpt from Fast Company might give you a clue, as a vice-president at lawnmower company Snapper explains to Wal-Mart why he can’t continue to offer his product in their stores:
“Now, at the price I’m selling to you today, I’m not making any money on it. And if we do what you want next year, I’ll lose money. I could do that and not go out of business. But we have this independent-dealer channel. And 80% of our business is over here with them. And I can’t put them at a competitive disadvantage. If I do that, I lose everything. So this just isn’t a compatible fit.”