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Old 01-15-2009, 06:01 PM   #1
GIusedtoBe
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Default Home Brew supply store potential???

My background is in sales and not retail so i was wondering if anybody knew what kind of potential income an HBS store could produce in a medium sized town. I know there are a gazillion variables but we only have one HBS locally and they are nice guys but they don't advertise at all, are mostly knowledgeable about wine, keep bankers hours, and have a VERY limited supply.

Everytime I go in there, there are customers in there but these guys don't do anything to promote the hobby that I can see. I've asked about homebrew clubs around and they say there was one but they don't have a number or contact info. I would think the local HBS would be the mecca of a HB club???I knew more about brewing inside of 2 months of starting than these guys.

My thought is that a bigger and better HBS could do well here but like I said, I have no retail experience. Do you think HBS type "do it yourself" stores would do well in a recession? I would think that a good HBS would obviously appeal to beer snobs like us but also to the people that just want to brew some cheap swill.

What do you guys think?

Any feedback would be appreciated.
Al

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Old 01-15-2009, 06:05 PM   #2
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/shou...ly-shop-79172/

It's been brought up before, but if you really want to do it.....then do it! I think you might have a hard time competing with the big online stores though. If it werent for shipping prices and having to wait for products to be delivered I would probably only shop online.
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Old 01-15-2009, 06:13 PM   #3
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If my income requirement wasn't as high as it is now (read: before wife and kids), I would open a shop in central NJ. I can drive 35 miles in just about any direction and hit a home brew shop, but none of them are that good and well, 70 miles round trip is too far. I think you have to try to establish what the home brew customer base is in your town. Getting involved in your closest homebrew club would be a good indicator. If they have 3 members, it probably means there are 7 homebrewers in town.

I actually think it's easier to make it when you compete directly with an established HBS that sucks bad. You can compete with longer hours and offer to host homebrewclub meetings on premises if your space affords that. Sure, you'll have to steal customers, some of which may be very loyal, but it can be done.

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Old 01-15-2009, 06:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Displaced MassHole View Post
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/shou...ly-shop-79172/

It's been brought up before, but if you really want to do it.....then do it! I think you might have a hard time competing with the big online stores though. If it werent for shipping prices and having to wait for products to be delivered I would probably only shop online.
And for the fact that our LHBS is pretty good. I can't wait for the expansion.
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Old 01-15-2009, 06:23 PM   #5
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Home Brew Mart is expanding? Haven't been in a while since I brewed up a storm (taking time away from brewing to build a rig). Guess I might just be leaving work early to stop by for a few tasters.

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Old 01-15-2009, 06:29 PM   #6
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1) How many brewers in your area?

2) Any other competing shops in nearby towns?

Do you live in Knoxville proper? Looks like quite a large population base that could be well serviced by a LHBS. I'm going to assume a bit, since your username is GIusedtobe and guess that you had some military service. Depending on time in etc, you could potentially qualify for all sorts of small business loans and business start-up assistance. If you really think you could handle all aspects of a full time business, I say go for it. My LHBS serves maybe half the population of your area and looks sucessful.

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Old 01-15-2009, 06:55 PM   #7
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Home Brew Mart is expanding? Haven't been in a while since I brewed up a storm (taking time away from brewing to build a rig). Guess I might just be leaving work early to stop by for a few tasters.
Yup. They're going to utilize the office that is next door that doesn't get used. Hopefully it'll open up the place a bit, because it gets crowded.
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Old 01-15-2009, 06:59 PM   #8
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Just remember the customer is always right. Do not get into retail if you do not want to deal with a lot of bs from people who are always in the wrong and deal with them with a friendly smile...

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Old 01-15-2009, 10:59 PM   #9
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It might not be a bad time - politicians are hell bent on taxing internet sales within the next year so online demand may be tempered a bit creating more demand for a local supply, shipping costs are not dropping, the price of store bought beer continues to rise and the economy sucks so bad that people need to drink to forget about it...

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Old 01-15-2009, 11:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carnevoodoo View Post
Yup. They're going to utilize the office that is next door that doesn't get used. Hopefully it'll open up the place a bit, because it gets crowded.
Good to see some other San Diego brewers on this forum. I didnt know Home Brew mart was expanding though.
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