LFS pricing and stock trends

idris

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In the last 18months, one of LFSs I've visited most consistently over the last 5-10yrs seems to have moved steadily cowards selling more "exotic" or "wild" fish varieties, and simultaneously the costs of even more common fish has increased.

Has anyone else noticed similar trends?
 

idris

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I think inflation has been around 3% for the last coupl of years. Prices seem to have fone up by 20%-30%.
Wild species availbale have gone from two or three to 20+..
Not that I'm suggesting either factors are to be ignored.
 

Onoma1

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It's not the increasing price of the fish but decreasing value of the money (inflation).

I am not an expert, however, while it isn't an even curve the pound has dropped in value and is dropping:

October 16th 2000 1 pound would buy 1.71 Euros (commercial rate)
October 21st 2019 1 pound would buy 1.15 Euros (commercial rate)

9th July 2014 1 pound would buy 1.71 dollars
9th of December 2019 1 pounds would buy 1.27 dollars

This means that products bought in dollars or Euros are more expensive. I am surprised that we haven't seen much higher price increases for the imported products that we use.
 

idris

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Ok .. but before anyone mentions The B Word, is it just this one LFS / chain, or is it across much of the hobby?
eg The other LFS I visit, just a 5min drive away,seems to have kept it's prices lower. (Maybe they just use UK breeders )
 

mort

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Are you talking about a maidenhead? My local independent has kept prices relatively stable but some of the local maidenheads are very expensive. Tbh I don't understand their pricing policy, some seem fair like ember tetra 2 quid each or 8 for 15 but others like a fiver for a checkered barb (about 1.50 at the independent). They also put a premium on nano fish with things like chilli rasbora a fiver each but do hAve a pretry decent selection.
After a friend tried to sell wholesale to them I know they have a very strong margin demand and some of that goes to the franchise as well as the location they are in.

The independent I mention has done well, which is nice, and recently expanded. They have lots more choice now but some of that choice is from wholesalers. I used to get the lists and some were very limiting whilst others had plenty of species that you hardly ever saw. I think the Internet has expanded some companies ranges. I know when I ran a shop in Norfolk (marines prodominately) I had people regularly travel from Kent to see me and once someone even from Scotland.
 

Keith GH

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The local LFS's in my general area stocks are basically standard. They have a mark up of 300% plus. A point of interest the average small take away food shop in a small Super Market pays $11,000 to $12,000 rent per month. Imagine what there markup must be.

Keith:wave::greenfinger:
 

Fisher2007

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The price differences between Maidenhead stores is incredible. I travel a fair bit with work, all around the country, and where I can have a lool ay what stores are in the local area and pop in for a nosey

Few weeks ago I was down near Southampton, where I went to two seperate Maidenhead stores (both within garden centres). The price differences between the two was amazing. Unfortunately I can't remember specific amounts but stuff like amano and cherry shrimp where 'normal' price in one and a good £2 each more in the other in both cases. I noticed a fair difference in bog standard stuff too (rasboras, tetras, etc)

Based on that alone the hikes may be more to do with a store rather than an overall trend
 

Geoffrey Rea

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The franchise that shall not be named also has targets specific to that store. For example, if they’ve set a target return for every two foot of display rack and it’s not being met from selling food, pro, hardscape etc then fish pricing may be used to increase their quarterly earnings.

Pick one of the franchises that shall not be named with a large pond section, in a garden centre, during the summer. They’ll be making a killing on ponds so it’s a good time to ask for bulk buys of certain fish. They usually take kindly if you’re buying all the fish in an individual display as it frees up that display tank for something else, may offer you a better price.
 

mort

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Maidenhead? Who said Maidenhead? I certainly didn't mention them. Nope ... definitely didn't mention Maidenhead.
I know you didn't but saw you mentioned a chain in your previous post and there aren't many chain store in the industry, so they were just an example. There are other chains which also run the franchise model but control their own in store prices. Other stores like pets @ home have a consistent price throughout shops.


Ok .. but before anyone mentions The B Word, is it just this one LFS / chain, or is it across much of the hobby?
eg The other LFS I visit, just a 5min drive away,seems to have kept it's prices lower. (Maybe they just use UK breeders )
In my local area price seems to be down to what they think they can shift things for. You have shops that would rather make a modest profit and then let the customer take care of the animal but we also have shops with prices through the roof where they are more likely to have to keep the animal for a long time before it sells.
 

Fisher2007

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@mort has answered your query here @Fisher2007 - they are a franchise so get to price things as they like within that store.
I get that I just would have thought there would be some pricing structure of some form imposed by the franchisor, otherwise Maidenhead as a brand could be impacted by just one or more franchise taking things too far
 

Geoffrey Rea

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They sell online nationally @Fisher2007 so a range of the products are already priced for them, limiting extreme profiteering by any one store on their core ranges. There’s also items only available online from the franchise that shall not be named, ensuring some income stream isolated from the stores that is an earner 24/7, as online shopping has no opening hours.

as a brand could be impacted by just one or more franchise taking things too far
And yes they do. Such as with the price of certain species of fish. But:

The franchise that shall not be named also has targets specific to that store. For example, if they’ve set a target return for every two foot of display rack and it’s not being met from selling food, pro, hardscape etc then fish pricing may be used to increase their quarterly earnings.
 

idris

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Lots of discussion about price. But going back to where this started ...

Any trends relating to the availability of wild / exotic / run-of-the-mill species?
 

mort

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I get that I just would have thought there would be some pricing structure of some form imposed by the franchisor, otherwise Maidenhead as a brand could be impacted by just one or more franchise taking things too far
A lot of the products come from the company warehouse so you buy from them, meaning they already have their cut. When my friend approached one individual shop they got a wrap on the knuckles from head office as you have to get in at the top not on an individual level.

A lot of companies in aquatics have a maximum discount for their products which keeps prices fairly stable across the board. If you sell below this then magically they don't have the product in store at the wholesalers anymore.
 

mort

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Lots of discussion about price. But going back to where this started ...

Any trends relating to the availability of wild / exotic / run-of-the-mill species?
Pricing does come into it. If more run of the mill fish are getting more expensive at the wholesalers then there is less risk trying something new. New species also attract more custom since we have more resources and information to find that species and see how to keep them. With advertising potentially reaching every corner of the globe it's easy to find something out of the norm. I also think we are expanding the hobby more and there are enough dedicated keepers who don't want the mundane anymore.

More species are captive bred so even species that were only available as wild caught are pretty easy to get captive raised. There is also dedicated breeding programmes producing new strains and colours, we need only look at apistogramma or discus to see how this has gone.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Any trends relating to the availability of wild / exotic / run-of-the-mill species?
Yes:

A lot of the products come from the company warehouse so you buy from them, meaning they already have their cut.
Because:

Pricing does come into it. If more run of the mill fish are getting more expensive at the wholesalers then there is less risk trying something new. New species also attract more custom since we have more resources and information to find that species and see how to keep them.
So to answer:

In the last 18months, one of LFSs I've visited most consistently over the last 5-10yrs seems to have moved steadily cowards selling more "exotic" or "wild" fish varieties, and simultaneously the costs of even more common fish has increased.

Has anyone else noticed similar trends?
Yes. As above. What is available is inexorably linked to what is believed to be desirable. Price per unit is not a good indicator of customer purchasing behaviour in this hobby. They don’t correlate as strongly as you would imagine across the hobby.

@mort is bang on the money.
 
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