there is no reason other than greed and obeisance to shareholders (sorry for the big words pump) for a company that "makes it" to abandon its core beliefs. por ejemplo, there is a difference between price club (now costco) and wal-mart. price club started small (and classy) in san diego (balboa #101) and grew to huge success... but unlike wal-mart, they STILL provide a living wage (more than $10 an hour more than wal-mart) and benefits and don't limit the number of full time staff to push the burden of health care of its employees onto the public. result? go into a store. costco has one of the highest customer AND employee satisfaction rates, while wal-mart has the lowest (as reported by numerous self-surveys including consumer reports). costco doesn't go into a neighborhood to undercut its competition to be the only dog in town. it has a specific range of goods that it sells and maintains well to a specific crowd...with excellent customer service and a quite liberal return policy. the scorched-earth policy of some big chains is self defeating, for it creates an environment where there are fewer consumers for the very goods they sell. when nike and others step out of their expertise to sell a cheaper product that will run the small businessman out, there is only one motive: profit. it is not filling a needed demand, nor is it adding quality to the life of the public it purports to serve. is it legal? sure. being an a$$h0le is legal too. that doesn't make it a good policy. dog-eat -dog business is short sighted and ultimately moronic. making it big time does not necessarily translate into being exploitative. hopefully the days of the company store (the wal-mart model) will not return.
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The American Monopoly will only continue to grow as long as our paychecks allow them to. The problem doesn't stem from nike trying to get into a niche market, it stems from the economy as a whole. As the price for goods continue to rise, we as the nations consumers are forced to either make more money or look for the best deals.... which is why the walmarts and targets are so successful these days.
Now what I cannot seem to grasp, is the fact that a company like nike, who has severely marked up their prices since the start of their company, can continue to grow and infiltrate niche markets and overwhelm them with high prices.
I have never liked the "surf industry" or any sports "industry" for that matter, I have always done things because I enjoy them, not because I like the look, but the look is what keeps companies in business and is why they can afford to pay ambassadors the big money. Quite frankly I could give a **** less if nike wants to run everyone out of town, eventually everything will wipe itself out and we will have to start over.
If you ever get the chance read Yvon Chouinards book, Let my People go Surfing. Its a good read about how a business should be run to stay sustainable through the cycle of the world.
Wow...this thread is legit.
Although surfing is getting saturated with players/surfers i must say, I surfed EL Porto in Cali (head high day, marquee spot), tons of surfers in the water but only a handful catching waves. No problems here, i had a blast.
Surf NJ whenever there's a wave and ALWAYS go the opposite direction of the crowds. Usually its just sheeple following each other. the blind leading the blind. It's amazing how a sport that lends itself to individuality is filled with so many followers....
i would say that they already DO 'contribute back' in the form of taxes and providing jobs for people.
i do agree with the local shop thing. I will support them as long as they don't try to gouge me and/or hire idiotic employees.
The funny thing is, communites complain about Wal-Mart or Target coming into their areas, but then the parking lots are jammed with these same people from the day they open. Obviously, these companies are fulfilling a demand that either wasn't being met by existing retailers or are doing it more cheaply than existing retailers. Either that or the residents didn't really care either way, but wanted to complain about something.
If a mom and pop shop can't find a way to compete with Wal-Mart on price, they need to differentiate their shop in another way (customer service, return policy, delivery, higher quality goods, whatever). If they can't do that, they won't survive. If the public demands cheap, low quality crap from China because they don't care about having to replace their (fill in the blank) every year, and they don't care about exploitation of labor overseas, and they don't care about the environmental ramifications (both from production and disposition of crappy goods), then the Wal-Marts of the world will continue to thrive, especially in an economy where those at the margins can barely survive.
Personally, I shop where I get the best service and the best quality for my money. If I go into a local shop or big-box store and get crappy service, I typically won't go back ever again even if they have the best prices. Taking this back to Nike and surfing - the vast majority of hardcore surfers aren't going to buy Nike gear. It's going to be wannabes, kooks, and trend followers - ie, those who either don't know any better or aren't going to be surfing for long.
It seems to me like we're seeing a trend away from the Wal-Marts of the world and more towards the local economy lately, but maybe I'm wrong. There's nothing wrong with profit, but profit earned unethically is not acceptable.