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Old 01-04-2011, 07:42 PM   #1
JasonTerry
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Default In Support of All Home Brew Stores

What would you like to see your LHBS do as a business to become a better resource for your hobby?

My local LHBS is a great store, but it could be soo much more as a business. I have, and continue, to try and offer suggestions, humbly, to help him grow his business. Maybe if we compile a good list of things a few store owners will read it we get our wishes.

Some things I would love to see
  • Classes on brewing. Beginner to advanced
  • email notifications... hour changes, closings, Sales, New products
  • review my brew. Seriously. A solid eval on the outcome of my efforts.

Thoughts?


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Old 01-04-2011, 07:47 PM   #2
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to offer hops by the pound. paying oz at a time is good for him until I go online to spend my money at a different place.


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Old 01-04-2011, 08:04 PM   #3
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I'd be happy just to have LHBS less than an hour and a half away. Add $20 to any trip and it's hard to justify over ordering online

Hmmm maybe I should start one.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:05 PM   #4
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There are two LHBS in my area. I sometimes dread going to both, depending on what I want.

Inside of one in particular looks like a pack rats/hoarders household. It's horribly unorganized, dust on shelves, cracked drywall, and I'm sure hasn't been vacuumed in months. Basically a hole-in-the-wall at about 300 sq ft. of retail space. All this store needs is one good days worth of cleaning, painting, and re-organizing. I go there only for equipment. The ingredients and extract kits appear to have been sitting on shelves for YEARS exposed to sunlight and heat.

The "good" store is a little farther away from my house, but it's cleaner, the people are friendlier, and they spend time with you answering your questions... they are so in-depth that you crave to take a class. The bad thing is they don't offer classes often enough and they have very very crappy hours, and they don't have enough merchandise. The shelves they do have are stocked, but in general, there is just a lot of empty floor space. They could seriously fill this place up with merchandise that people want.

Both of these places are just a good day's effort away from being magnificent places to shop, talk, or just hang out.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:06 PM   #5
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I once asked my guy about 'review my brew' and I was told that SO many people give him free beer that if he were to try it and comment on it all it would take up all his free time and leave him too inebriated to run the store. Not saying he won't try one here or there, but expecting him to judge everyones beer is too much (and probably bad for business anyway).
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonTerry View Post
What would you like to see your LHBS do as a business to become a better resource for your hobby?

My local LHBS is a great store, but it could be soo much more as a business. I have, and continue, to try and offer suggestions, humbly, to help him grow his business. Maybe if we compile a good list of things a few store owners will read it we get our wishes.

Some things I would love to see
  • Classes on brewing. Beginner to advanced
  • email notifications... hour changes, closings, Sales, New products
  • review my brew. Seriously. A solid eval on the outcome of my efforts.

Thoughts?
My local store does all that.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:16 PM   #7
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Maida7... damn another reason for me to move to Asheville.

I bet if you threw a fee on the Rate My Brew it would cut down on the guys who just want to be told they made good beer and really dont care about making better beer next time.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:45 PM   #8
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Sounds like I'm spoiled with my LHBS. Keep up the great work Steve.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:32 AM   #9
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there are a few in my area.... one is like the one gregger describes, unorganized, dirty, slovenly, unkempt, etc. the other is a bit better organized but lacks a truly customer-service oriented approach to business....

my requirements are as follows:
good website, with good detail about hours of operation - these hours should be convenient for the customer, not convenient for the operator - if you want weeknights and weekends off, dont go into retail.
email address is a plus, so i send off an inquiry and await a response.
the inventory needs to cover the basics and then some, if they are gonna hedge their bets and not carry alot of essentials because they dont want to carry the stock, then they should not be in business - if i want to order something, then i'll likely order online and go by total price.
their yeast must be fresh and of a good selection
the place should be spotless, more importantly, there should be a culture of maintaining a clean and orderly shop. for a hobby that requires such careful sanitation practices ive never seen so many ****hole LHBS's
LHBSes are in some cases as much about customer relationships as the products they sell, they need to enjoy that aspect otherwise they should not be in business.
for me personally, good selection of kegging supplies is essential, fittings, connectors, etc.... ability to refill CO2 is awesome.

really though, it is the basics, convenience, cleanliness, attitude, selection.. many times i am willing to pay more provided the other things above are covered. i suspect alot of these places feel that if they cannot compete on price with the bog online guys, then they're not gonna compete at all...
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:49 AM   #10
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Rawlus. Excellent points. Basic business. But so important.


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