Today I find myself agreeing with Joel on Software (not to be confused with Joel-on-open-source-software or Joel dean of Apple University). In his Inc. magazine column this month, he writes about the failure of Circuit City due (among other reasons) to incompetent sales people. (Back in January, I also listed three other factors pressuring most brick-and-mortar stores)
But Joel thinks that B&H Photo in NYC will survive where Circuit City failed due to much better selection and service. I’ve never been to B&H , but I love B&H and Adorama Camera as mail order camera stores that have been reputable dealers for 30+ years. Of course, as a clicks-and-mortar store B&H enjoys buying power and scale economies that would be unavailable to a local retailer.
However, his article shows the typical East Coastist prejudice of a New Yorker, as immortalized by the New Yorker and its infamous Saul Steinberg cover.
The electronic superstores in Tokyo's Akihabara district are the only other places where I have seen so much gear under one roof.He obviously hasn’t been to Fry’s: I guess California is “flyover country.”
That said, his B&H sales reps seem to care about their job, which is more than I can say about Fry’s or any other electronics retailer I’ve seen (except for the Apple Store).