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21 minutes ago, Marty said:

Choice Mike Hackley emphasizes that he sells a range of products not just a couple of versions.. He mentions having videos for two hundred gas inserts for fire places so that  people could see all that was available before buying by watching videos from their home at their leisure. He also says they have cooking videos .

Mike says that out of exposure to the entire line of product in a category --he then manufacturers what he believes is better than all of them and sells them.  Blaze is his manufacturing and marketing company for outdoor grills that sells on Shoppers Choice as a distributor and to  other distributors  also. This implies that Blaze is it own company that develops grills, manufactures them, and then sells to distributors at the same price across the board. He says that he is now coming out with a gas fireplace insert  that he is going to manufacture and market under the name of a fireplace company he is buying.

 

Very interesting.

So basically Blaze, Shoppers Choice, and BBQguys are a three headed monster?!:-o

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Just now, Garvinque said:

So basically Blaze, Shoppers Choice, and BBQguys are a three headed monster?!

 

Basically yes

This is a distillation of a whole long article.

 

 The short Version is Mike Hackley started "Grill Store And More". The economy tanked around 2000. He was on the  verge of going out of business.

 

A friend suggested selling on line and let Mike see his  books. Mike started selling on the internet through Shoppers Choice by hiring his own web designer and gave the name of his old company to a friend. He was making too much money to want to bother with a B&M store.

 

Mike was able to use the internet medium to allow people to consider  many more options than a B&B store with out any sales pressure and low over head

on Shoppers Choice. He says that he had videos of 200 gas fire place inserts in the same fire place. People could make a decision from home without any interference from a sales person. He did the same thing for grills. He kept increasing warehouse space as the business grew.

 

Some companies refused to sell to an internet company only.  So he opened another B&M store just to get access to all the possible products. He went to a 12,000 SF building for his" brick and mortar store". He NEVER names the" brick and mortar store" store in the article.. However it does say BBQ guys a Shoppers Choice store on the BBQ guys web site.

 

When Shoppers Choice was well established--- he put Cory Tisdale--the original programmer-- in as CEO of Shoppers Choice and left to start Blaze outdoor Products.

 

Mike designed and manufactured the Blaze Kamado using this company. He also has patents in this company name. He says that having direct access to all grilling equipment made and through cooking on them all behind his brick and mortar store allowed him to come up with a set of ideas for improvement of outdoor grills including the Kamado.

 

Now that he has the Blaze in production--- he is distributing it to any grill company that will buy it and sell it. He also distributes it to Shoppers Choice. Obviously since BBQguys is a Shoppers Choice company there would be a real desire to push an affiliated product.

 

Mike did the same for patio furniture and is starting a another company for gas inserts. Each company apparently its own company manufacturing its own product and  is selling to distributors including Shoppers Choice.

 

The importance of the original store was to gain access to all the BBQ products. Setting up ,outdoor kitchens at the store and using the equipment helped in the design of the Blaze Kamado.

 

Yes it is a set of  individual companies and they sell to all distributors apparently. Shoppers Choice also buys and sells from the various companies across a whole product category. Or that was the case at the time the article was written.

 

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1 hour ago, HalfSmoke said:

 

http://www.shopperschoice.com/content_content_20148.html?source=corphub

 

Doesn't list Blaze, but don't doubt it. Thought I saw somewhere that DCS ranges is in the fold as well. More of a Hydra.

Yes the article says that Mike intends to keeps expanding. The model is to become intimately familiar with a product in a segment of the market. Come up with ideas to improve the product. Patent what is new. Manufacture it under a new company name or one acquired and market it through the internet. Then do it again.

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17 minutes ago, Marty said:

Yes the article says that Mike intends to keeps expanding. The model is to become intimately familiar with a product in a segment of the market. Come up with ideas to improve the product. Patent what is new. Manufacture it under a new company name or one acquired and market it through the internet. Then do it again.

Sounds to me as a good business practice, keep moving forward!

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1 minute ago, Garvinque said:

Sounds to me as a good business practice, keep moving forward!

I agree. Mike( Shoppers Choice) is now in a very strong position because he has easy access to web site development and with his volume access to low enough shipping rates to offer free shipping.

In the article cost of -site development, video for the site ,site following, and shipping costs are barriers that Mike says will make it hard for people to follow his lead.

A small company may even match his price but free shipping is very powerful.

It makes me think of Amazon. What Amazon and other such companies will do to local retail frightens me.

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18 minutes ago, Marty said:

I agree. Mike( Shoppers Choice) is now in a very strong position because he has easy access to web site development and with his volume access to low enough shipping rates to offer free shipping.

In the article cost of -site development, video for the site ,site following, and shipping costs are barriers that Mike says will make it hard for people to follow his lead.

A small company may even match his price but free shipping is very powerful.

It makes me think of Amazon. What Amazon and other such companies will do to local retail frightens me.

We humans can be lazy, and free shipping will make people spend more for actual product when it's cheaper to go to the store and get it I'm guilty!

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2 minutes ago, Garvinque said:

We humans can be lazy, and free shipping will make people spend more for actual product when it's cheaper to go to the store and get it I'm guilty!

I live in a very populated area and many things are only available on line. I also find that small stores than have various things are more than Amazon.They have to be to exist. I shop aggressively for price. I am seeing a change in Amazon. Some times I have to leave the site and shop else where before Amazon offer a better price. Raise the price and free shipping is another way to make money.

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20 minutes ago, dodgeboy8888 said:

does anybody on the forum actually own the blaze kamado ?

Check other kamado section, there is a thread started by a gentleman from fla. and he has posted a few topics including pictures of his blaze kamado!

 

Garvin

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