There is a lot of talk in the industry about Brick and Mortar showrooms -vs- Internet only businesses that sell home furnishings. We would love to share our view, as we are a hybrid of both business models.LodgeCraft
has 3 showrooms in NW Montana and a host of websites that we promote our furniture and complementary furnishings through. We have a crew of skilled craftsman that build lodge style furniture out of our 15,000+ sq ft workshop. Our showrooms display these and other fine lodge style furnishings. So what is the advantage of going with a Brick and Mortar or Internet only or Hybrid?
Well, naturally I would suggest that each scenario is defined and answered by the variables in play for each specific customer. In a B & M store you have major overhead in purchased inventory, facility costs and more. But this is also the place that most customers fall in love with the furnishings, because they can actually touch and see these furnishings. They typically deliver right to your home and set up the product at no/minimal cost. They pave the way for the successful Internet companies that have minimal overhead outside their eCommerce platform and sales staff. As a result they offer lower prices, just to get the sale and cut the B & M right out of the equation on price alone. Buyer benefits right? WRONG
Often times the purely Internet sales based company has never seen the product, has no experience with industry terminology as they have only seen an image and rarely the physical product they are promoting, they don't understand shipping and freight companies, etc. But what they do know is sales, and that is how they survive and prosper. There are a few good ones out there, so ask the right questions and don't base your decision soley on price.
The hybrid model is LodgeCraft. We have product online, and on the showroom floor
. We have a workshop and a showroom. We have our own fleet of delivery vehicles, commercial contracts with shipping companies, and our prices on the showroom floor and Internet are the most accountable in the industry. That is why we are the preferred contractor and go to source for so many commercial ventures, government contracts and repeat/referral customers (for over 24 years).
In summation, you can get good prices anywhere, but shouldn't you also get the product knowledge, industry knowledge, and expertise, without any additional fees (and no tax)? My arguement is for the "hybrid" model of Internet & Brick and Mortar showrooms. Plus we have great coffee if you stop into our showroom!