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Al

Pulling Snapper out of Wal Mart

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Sorry but I don't buy the tone of the article. By Wier's own admission, while Snapper was sold at Walmarts, the price of their lawnmowers had gone down while "content" had increased. All good things for the consumer. Not so good for the manufacturer for obvious reasons. I don't know the reason why Snapper is not sold at Walmarts today but it is probably because of a more self-serving interest to Snapper shareholders than a concern for their dealer network or least of all to their customers.

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RayS
quote:
Originally posted by Beeser
Sorry but I don't buy the tone of the article. By Wier's own admission, while Snapper was sold at Walmarts, the price of their lawnmowers had gone down while "content" had increased. All good things for the consumer. Not so good for the manufacturer for obvious reasons. I don't know the reason why Snapper is not sold at Walmarts today but it is probably because of a more self-serving interest to Snapper shareholders than a concern for their dealer network or least of all to their customers.
The reason that they are not at Wal-Mart anymore is they are not going to let Walmart run them out of business like they do so many other businesses. If you can`t make a profit whats the point in being in business and if you have to lower the quality to do so you won`t be in business long any ways.

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Guest
I don't think Walmart runs anyone out of business. Suppliers have a choice whether to meet Walmart's demands or try to sell their products elsewhere. It's not unlike an ordinary consumer except with massive purchasing power. When was the last time you paid a seller more than the market price for the sake of keeping him in business? PS I don't shop at Walmarts. The place gives me a headache.

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Kent
Once you've built or structured your company around selling through Walmart at the lowest possible price, you're no longer in a position to sell any other way than through a big box store. You no longer have the sales and distribution capability to support any other way of doing business.... Let me give an example -- most big companies will "shoot for" an after-tax profit of around 10%. If you can make 15% after taxes, that's a plus, but don't count on it. What that means is that if you lose 10% of your sales, you're automatically losing money unless you start taking drastic measures of cutting employees, closing facilities, etc. That doesn't give you a whole lot of flexibility to just change your way of doing business on a whim, especially when you'll likely need to invest money to make the change, at the same time that you're losing money... IMO, the only way that Snapper was able to say no to Wal-Mart and survive was that Wal-Mart was only 20% of their business and they still had the 6,000 plus Snapper dealers to sell their products, plus they could expand into the Simplicity dealers who weren't carrying Snappers at the time... i.e. they could tighten their belt and weather the change. If Wal-Mart had been a lot larger portion of their sales, I doubt they'd have been able to survive the change...

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Mick14
3 years ago ,a Buddy's girl friend gave me a Snapper mower she had had for 12 years,She replaced it with a Wally World mower,i still use the Snapper,Her "new" mower has been in the local landfill for atleast a year now,i have no immediate plan to replace the Snapper,but it will be with another just like it.Our local Wal-mart loves to display thier "lawn tractors" out front with flat tires and other damage,and they still manage to sell them,the local repair shops really don't want to repair these things either as they were built to be disposable,,but people continue to buy them.I think its great that Snapper has steered clear of that market.

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Woodydel
Immediate results. The Snapper employees now have enough work for a four day week instead of five. Customers will buy whatever Walmart brings into the store. They will not suddenly decide to buy from a Snapper dealer. Walmart is not hurt. Not so immediate possible result. Walmart decides to have lawnmowers made in China with their own brand. Then they don't need to haggle. Think about it, Sears has their own brand, why not Walmart? They're big enough to do anything they choose. Weir's actions could get them to thinking.

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Al
Hi, Wiers action wouldn't stop them, they will do it anyway. They have no loyalty, Sears is the largest seller of lawn equipment. They have tractors made by MTD, AYP, Roper and others. They do have a ZT that Simplicity discontinued several years ago. It is sold to them in black and is somewhat different than the Simplicity unit was. Simplicity dealers have no info or parts lists for it. This doesn't bother me. I would be mad as he** if it was Orange and said Simplicity on it. Note that Ariens went in the discount stores with their tractors and snowblowers a few years back. Now they have no tractors and only a rear engine rider and ZTs. When factories go the mass merchant route, usually dealers get stuck with buying through a distributor, at nearly the same price the mass merchant sells it for. Then they GET TO, (a real blessing) do the warranty work where you get pd 2/10 of an hour to replace a part on a unit that runs and dies, then starts and dies etc. You can have hours on a dog like this and get your 2/10. The mass merchant sold it and you get the PRIVILEGE of providing them real customer service. Smarts like heck. We don't consider Wall Mart etc our competition. We don't have anything in their quality or price range, and the people that shop there won't come in our place. Our customers want a premium product and service so when our phone rings they want something to happen. They want premium service and a superior product. We have to do the engine co warranty work on anything regardless of who sold it. YOU WOUULD NOT BELIEVE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE THE GUTS, TO TRY TO DEMAND A LOANER FROM US BECAUSE THEY BOUGHT A NEW UNIT AT WALL MART AND HAVE TO BRING IT TO US FOR WARRANTY WORK or they want us to pick it up for free. I have heard it so many times, screaming, this is a new mower and YOU OWE US A NEW MOWER TO USE WHILE IT IS IN HERE!!! I'll loan you one with the commission check Wal Mart sends me everytime they sell one. RIGHT. Sorry, I am not a vindictive person, but think that many people would get a real education if they ran a dealership for 3 months. Al Eden

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cwm1276
Al, your shop is a class act. I know if I need something special your shop is the place to call. My motor replacement kit was a perfect example. I want to try to support my local simplicity shops first for the small things, but they even don't want to help repair our older machines. Glad some of you understand us with these machines.

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Guest
Guts. You've got to differentiate your business; either you mass market, you give great customer service, or you sell it cheap. Well we all know which of those qualities the box stores don't provide :)

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firefoxz1
I believe he made the right decision. You can not continue in business for long from nonprofit sales and he decided not to soil the Snapper name by outsourcing cheap built mowers, this would have been like putting the Simplicity name on a $700 Murray LT.

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AGCO918
I am glad Snapper droped walmart.I have the attitude that Al talked about in his post.I spend my money on a Product being Simplicity that i believe in,that i get Service & product Support for when i have problems,i get the help from my Dealer.I have been a repeat customer all these yrs for these reasons.They for one make the Best products in the Bussiness.They have the best Support that i have seen on any product that i have bought over the yrs.I buy from a Company that i believe in their products and Support to be second to none.I have called Simplicity on the phone a few times in the past ,for problems . They have made it right.Al for one offered to fix my tractor. I have never had this support from Walmart.They are lucky to greet me ,let alone help me with problems on their cheap junk that they sell.I have had problems with walmart in the past on their junk and have never felt the way i do when i go to a Simplicity Dealer.They are Top ,Notch people that i have alot of Respect for.

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tec2484
but think that many people would get a real education if they ran a dealership for 3 months. Al Eden I'm with Al I sell, service and install Garage doors and openers. I get calls from customers wanting me at their house 10 min ago because there sears or genie opener isn't working. I service what I sell first and after the customer that bought the opener from me is fixed (and happy) I will Get to the genie or sears opener. If they don't like it call home depot or sears they will get there in a day or two. With the larger service call.

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msiebern
Amen! Where would we be with our tractors if everyone followed the box store template? Could we go to wallyworld.com and download the manuals for our 40 year old tractors, or get parts for them? It is the support of the dealership level that keeps the company healty. The following excerpt from the article that Al referenced speaks loads about the character of Mr. Wier. In 2002, Jim Wier's company, Simplicity, was buying Snapper, a complementary company with a 50-year heritage of making high-quality residential and commercial lawn equipment. Wier had studied his new acquisition enough to conclude that continuing to sell Snapper mowers through Wal-Mart stores was, as he put it, "incompatible with our strategy. And I felt I owed them a visit to tell them why we weren't going to continue to sell to them." I read the last sentence above not as a "get even" or "show them" statement, but one of professional courtesy and real character. He also remained true to the company strategy rather than succoming to the box store strategy. This is the type of leader that more companies need. Do a google search for walmart rubbermaid or walmart huffy and spend a little time reading these classic examples. Our friends in Ohio should be all to familiar with these cases. It reminds me of a sign I once saw. We are proud to offer: QUALITY SERVICE PRICE Pick any one of the above.

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lboy1971
PBS just reaired their FrontLine show on Walmart last night. They had Rubbermaid in there along with other companies and coverage of the factories in China. PBS did mention that Rubbermaid had a lax and poor management but only briefly mentioned that. They laid rubbermaids entire failure on Walmarts door. Sure Walmart can be blamed for everyones ills, but don't the managers of the companies that let themselves get too tied up with 1 customer deserve some of the blame too? If you are running a business and say 80-90% of your sales go to 1 entity, don't you think you should try to diversify a little?

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cwm1276
Not to get off topic But the company(Newell) who bought Rubbermaid used to headquartered here. Before that purchase they already gave new employees gift cards to Walmart as so much of their product was in the store. Just check out the hardware, home furnishings, cooking, and office sections. You will find the names Newell, Rubbermaid or combined on many of the products. They own many of the big name products (Sharpie,Levelor,little tikes). By the way the combined company NewellRubermaid has gone downhill since that time as well.

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goatfarmer
We need to realize,the WalMarts,the Best Buys,the Lowes,of this country have their place in society,they serve a need. They employ a lot of Americans,in the stores,warehouses,transportation,etc. We as consumers are the ones who need to decide where that place in society is. Is it at the top of the list,where we compare price,and nothing else? Where we only shop the big stores,for convenience,bypassing the local guys with better service,and most times better quality? Where many of the products are produced overseas? Or do we put them a little farther down,where we might get some things there,but also support small businesses? The local guy,who makes his home in your town,who's trying to make a living competing against the giants.It's our decision.

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MikeES
The company I work for (major food company) does alot of buisness with Wal-Mart and Sams. I can give you many stories on how unethical they are. The company know this, but in our business they have decided to dance with the gorilla.

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