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A sign of the times

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Ajmassa

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Unfortunately my local homebrew shop has just closed up shop. I'm lucky enough to live in an area with a couple options and I drop by the different shops when I'm the neighborhoods.
But this was the 1st shop I ever step foot in. Smaller than the others but also more personal and I loved that. I've spent more than an hour just BS'ing with Paul the owner on many occasion. Paul and his wife owned Wine Barely & Hops just outside of Philly in Trevose for 15 yrs. I'm definitely bummed.
I pulled up to grab a few things to see an empty shop with the sign flipped to the blank side. Checking my emails I also missed some great liquidation sales too. With Amazon, morewine, Midwest, etc.., and people willing to travel farther to the bigger supply shops makes it impossible I suppose. I buy online but also make it a point to support local when I can. It is what it is. IMG_8207.jpg
 

bkisel

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It is sad. I miss my LHBS from CT. Wish they would relocate to or open another store near my home in Wellsboro, PA. :(
 

PandemoniumWines

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I've got two local shops, both are little things... the one closest, though, is right next to OSU campus, and they also sell a crazy assortment of wines and craft beers, as well as having a pizza counter, so I'm not thinking they'll go anywhere.

The other brew store is farther away, but equally awesome and they'll even weigh and grind your grains for you (if you're a beer brewer). I actually got my very first equipment from them, which they donated to a silent auction for canine cancer and I won. :D
 

JohnT

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It stinks, but is a fact of life. It is very difficult for the small business owner to compete with the "big bullies". Higher costs and overhead make it nearly impossible.
 

GreenEnvy22

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Being in the Niagara region, I'm lucky to have several LHBS to choose from. I can think of 6 within 15 minutes of my house, another 4-5 if I'm willing to drive an hour.
Not that they all are particularly useful beyond just the basics in a pinch, but they can order in stuff they don't stock. Only one of the local ones carries more than 2-3 yeast types. That one also is a farmer who sells grapes and juice, and has all the stuff I've ever needed, including like a dozen yeasts.
 

Ajmassa

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There's something appealing about the face to face interaction. I don't associate with any other winemakers, so my only opportunity to talk shop is when picking up seasonal juice/grapes or stopping by the shop.
I missed my window for fresh juice before. I stopped the shop to see if he had anything. No juice, but he asked if I wanted a kit. I said, "A kit? Umm I'm good. I make wine from juice and help my fam with grapes. Whatever a kit is it ain't for me."
He then explained it in detail, and opened up a box showing me what was what. And then we shared a bottle of kit Pinot noir he had while shootin the breeze about making wine for a while.
I value types of interactions like this and I know they did too. Unfortunately these type of shops are becoming obsolete.
Somehow another local shop is thriving and opening a 3rd location. They are geared towards a newer generation. And hipsters spend money. Along with beer and wine, they also deal with cheese making, soap, kombucha, kimchi etc... with clubs and classes as well as being dialed in with all the social media outlets. This place is a nice example of success in a very tough market
The last time there I saw a worker assembling all these wooden boxes. I had to ask. They were backyard beehive kits for the meadmakers to have fresh honey. I thought it was very cool to see a successful shop continue to grow and change with the market.
 
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AZMDTed

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Unfortunately my local homebrew shop has just closed up shop.

I've spent more than an hour just BS'ing with Paul the owner on many occasion.
And I'm afraid that's part of the challenge of being a business owner these days. I used to do Art Shows in small communities and I discovered that talking doesn't pay the bills. I hope we're just on the wrong side of a pendulum and that it will swing back before it's too late.
 

Mismost

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I think you seeing just the very beginning of the end of retail as we knew growing up. Where you went to a store, walked in, shopped, paid, and walked out.
Online is the new business model. Look at Amazon....even Walmart is chasing the Amazon business model. It is going to change the face of America.
Think of all the big box stores that have tons of retail locations....the Targets for example. Seems like there is one on every other corner in big cities around here. Millions of square feet of "do we really need this now" real estate, tying up million of dollars of cash.

Here is the question I am wrestling with now.....What are we going to do with those big ass empty boxes? How are we going to re-purpose that real estate? How are the cities going to make up the property tax loss? I can see cities taking over lots of buildings for back taxes.

This is much bigger problem than one empty space in a suburban strip center.
 

JohnT

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My day job has me working for a retail manufacturer. @Mismost is more than correct! Look at Macy's and how many stores they have closed this year. Around these parts, every single strip mall has at least a couple of stores that have been closed.

Internet sales are the way of the future, but the internet has it's drawbacks. For one, you can not actually see/feel/touch the item you are buying. To get around this most internet companies are becoming more and more generous when it comes to return shipping.

Another trend is the showroom. This is where a customer can see/feel/touch an item of merchandise, and then walk over to a kiosk and order it on line. SEEEESH!

Very soon, the retail store and the shopping mall will be a thing of the past. Heck, even groceries are being ordered on-line.
 

Alan tate

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It is sad. I miss my LHBS from CT. Wish they would relocate to or open another store near my home in Wellsboro, PA. :(
True but sad its like buying any commodity that lasts for ever the only thing that doesn't is the ingredients i dont believe you could stay in business selling them alone.
 
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