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Just got back from future shop in Coquitlam and I talked to an employee their whos a real mac fan. Anyways he told me that the Imac and emac arent selling well and after the holidays they might be getting rid of them. I dont know if this will affect them selling ipods or not, but if things dont pick up during the holidays expect for macs to be pulled from FS shelves.
 

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I'm not surprised. I can count Mac appearances in Futureshop flyers over the past year on one hand, while they advertise all the usual branded PC systems and cheapo Cicero & eMachines over at least 2 pages in every flyer. If they don't seem interested in including Macs in their flyers, they're probably not doing much to highlight them in-store & encourage sales either.
 

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i think this is a good thing as the way Future shop treats apple product in store does a lot of damage to apple's image. the computers are always screwed up and frozen (don't ask me how they are able to acheive this when Jaguar has never crashed once on me). it's like there's an electric fence around the apple section that only affects the futureshop staff.

if futureshop were to do it properly, that is with functioning computers, trained sales people. a mac software section, and proper advertising then they might be able to make a go of it.
 

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oops. doug posted the same time i did. i didn't mean to repeat the advertising thing.

the other point that should be made is apple's consumer models are way too expensive for futureshop
 

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There once was a lone iMac sitting in our local FutureShop here in St.John's. The screen was so blurred from all of the hands that moved the screen every which way. Then the dust collected on the screen. I actually had to ask a person who was an ex-student of mine and worked at the store for a lint-free slightly dampened cloth to clean the screen. I am not sure if the iMac ever sold, because one day it just was not there on the shelf. :(
 

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Future Shop has never really offered anything for macs.
They put out a low end iMac every couple of years... the only mac software they bring in are kids software and Blizzard Games that are already cross platform {nothing to do with FS} and they don't make them easy to find mixed in with all the PC software...

When I think of FS, I think "Full of S**T",

Funny their other division "Best Buy" has better prices, and better service, no commision high pressure sales people who will tell you flat out that they do not intentionally sell Mac stuff other than the iPod.

Those sales people are genuinlly interested in what they are selling and what you are looking for...

What if Future Shop stopped selling Macs... and no one noticed.... Hmmmm....
 

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No big loss.

If a shop is going to hide the few Macs they have like a shameful little secret that they would prefer not to talk about in polite company then I would rather they not have them at all.

There is no point in putting product on the shelves that the sales people aren't willing to push with the same enthusiasm as anything else.

Besides, I don't even like walking into a FutureShock for something as simple as an AV cable. The entire chain is nothing but a disturbance in the force.
 

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They were never going to bring the attention to detail that a Mac seller needs to have to show a customer what it can do. No loss - a valiant effort that needed more to work properly. They showcased the Mac line like any other units - that was not going to work - esp in that enviro.

Apple has to realize that they have a premium item (and I'm sure that they do), and you cannot go to a general retailer to get your sales - unless they are going to treat the item as such, which they did not.

H!
 

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Every year or so a thread like this rears it's head on ehMac. Not that I'm saying it's not a good thread; it is.

However, this is about the 3rd or 4th time the "FS to quit Apple" rumour has come up; each time it comes, and goes, and FS continues to do their thing with Apple as they've always done. I first heard it from a FS employee in 1996.

I already know, pretty much, what everyone is going to say, because the pathetic "support" FS gives Apple is a one reason why Macs sell poorly outside of major metro areas.

Back in the day, when I was in retail, there was such a thing known (and still known) throughout the industry as "beating", as in "beating on".

Get your hands on a product your competitors sell (and in the case of FS, they sell PCs and make lots of money doing so; Macs are the competition) and set it up in-store. Take whatever steps necessary to make it look bad, and use it to compare to what you really want to sell.

[I still see iPods in stores with last summer's price (most recently at CompuSmart). Not illegal, cuz there's no restriction on selling for more than Apple recommends.]

Now, normally, you had to get your hands on one somehow; a trade-in or something that didn't cost too much was ideal, and carried the added benifit that you couldn't be charged with a commercial crime. If it was really important, you sent a "friend of the store" out to buy one, which, as if by miracle, resulted in an immediate trade-in.

It also opened up the always profitable question in the buyer's mind "what did he buy [that you sell here and must be better] when he traded it in?" If you're lucky he might even ask you himself, saving you the trouble of cleverly bringing it into the conversation yourself, which is always risky; it's best if you assume he's just thinking it. Some consumers get suspicous.

Occasionally a reseller might be able to actually con the distributor to make you an authorized dealer; which makes it easy (buy at cost, sell at blowout to drive your competitors crazy, pick and choose the dogs from the line to make really favorable comparisons).

Some distributors equated product exposure to market sucess; they didn't care or notice you sold 100 of brand A every month but only ordered 1 of brand Z every few months.

A more subltle approach involves a high-profit item versus a necessary line of low profit items (subtle, because you have to be gentle with the target since you intend to keep selling it). It's academic as to whether you think FS beats on Apple or just would rather switch buyers to higher profit PC sales; the result is the same.

The actually illegal approach is called "bait&switch" but to commit that one, you have to advertise the "bad" product. FS never does that.

What annoys me is Apple must know what's going on; it's not (as Don Cherry would say) "Rocket Surgery" and everyone with any real retail experience knows all about it. The only possible explanation I can come up with is they want a reseller, no matter how reluctant, in smaller centres across Canada.

[ November 21, 2003, 11:49 AM: Message edited by: gordguide ]
 

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Whether you can sell a premium line at a consumer-level store, or not, is entirely your choice. In other words, you have to want to do it.

In fact, it is a major part of premium product sales strategy. You need ordinary items with high percieved value that expose the consumer to you and your customer service, and you need to sell them to get people to come back (customer service is optional at Wall-Mart, critical at any place that hopes to sell the exclusive brands).

I've done it, London Drugs does it, and so do many, many resellers. But you can't just shove a box in the corner and expect it to happen; it has to be part of your business plan and your sales strategy.

The difficult part of that is finding your high-value products. They can't be just anything; they have to be both price/feature competitive and expose your customers to whatever value the higher priced items do.

In other words, if you want to sell a $1000 CD player, your $139 CD player has to be good enough that over time the buyer will notice that his is somehow better than the other guy's $139 CD player.

Often the first glimmer of this happens at his buddy's house, where he notices the CD player his buddy has is somehow inferior to his own. Now he knows there is a quality difference between similar products, and he will look for it in the future.

Generally there are only a few lines that can offer that, and it may be that they aren't available to you. That's the tough part; the rest is (relatively) easy.

If you sell almost exclusively on price, you can't afford to ignore a siimilar product, no matter what the quality; you bring in the $129 CD players and promote them instead.

FS simply chooses not to do the premium thing. The most obvious sign of that is they don't sell premium-quality PCs either. Their consumer-level goods are not chosen based on value, they're based on brand recognition, turnover, and profit margins (ie high margin items have more "room" to offer lower prices while maintaining whatever actual margin you need to keep the heat on and the lights lit, while high turnover items allow you to lower your margins a bit further than with stuff that sits in inventory).

It should, by now, be obvious that Apple computers fail the "Future Shop test" in 2 of 3 categories compared to low-priced PCs from, say, HP. An AlienWare Gamer PC would score 0 of 3, while a Sony VAIO desktop would get the same score as a Mac.

I don't have a problem with FS's sales strategy; it's a battlefield out there for resellers and you need both kinds in the marketplace. It's just that they aren't cut out to be Apple dealers, never will be, and they have chosen that path for their own, perfectly legitimate reasons.

[ November 21, 2003, 11:31 AM: Message edited by: gordguide ]
 
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