Equestrian Blog

News and thoughts from around the equestrian community

Feeling the Crunch?

There's been so much talked about 'The Credit Crunch' this year, it seems almost mandatory that we should all be suffering from it. Some people have even gone as far as pinpointing exactly when it began, as if we could all agree that this was the point in time at which we all began to feel less well-off.
In truth, we're all affected in different ways, some of us more so than others. The one conclusion that it's almost impossible to draw is that you're completely unaffected. Whatever shape our finances are in, we're all customers of someone and if the companies you buy from are affected, sooner or later, you'll be affected. But here's the thing that isn't often reported. Being 'affected' does not always mean being adversely affected. Uncertainty may be troubling but change isn't always bad. What do I mean by that? Well - and whisper it quietly - some effects of the credit crunch are actually good news for customers. Like the emergence of a buyer's market in many retail sectors as companies become more motivated to sell because of their rising costs - and at the same time, customers become more price-sensitive.
The media focus is almost exclusively on the fact that mortgages and other credit is harder to get and more expensive - not generally a good thing - but the point that's often missed is that more pressure that sellers are under (and many of us are under more pressure), the more keen they are to make a sale, and the more they are prepared to lower their prices. As customers, we can at least save back some of the extra money it's now costing us to fill our tanks. In recent weeks, we've heard a few stories in the industry about some of our competitors getting into difficulties and some of the offers we've seen being made would seem to illustrate that. No retailer can make genuine '70% off' reductions for very long and none would even consider it unless they felt they absolutely had to. As the biggest operator in our market, we're thankful to see that our sales are continuing to grow, even in a difficult year like this. In fact, with the opening of our second Superstore at Cannock in October, it's fair to say that we're very confident about the future. Special Offers are often easier to find in a downturn
All this means that we're not forced into selling off stock cheaply, just to keep the wolf from the door, but if we do carry on regardless of what others do, we could begin to look quite expensive compared to those sacrificing profit for survival. Obviously, we'd rather not give you that impression, so we begin to find ourselves embroiled in a price war not of our making. As the customer, the choice of where to buy is always yours and we never expect you simply to presume that our selection and our prices are the only option open to you. Of course you will look out for bargains wherever you can find them. We even have to accept that there will be some offers that we won't be able to match. All I can do in those instances is to ask you to bear in mind why the offer is so good. It may not be too good to be true, but it's almost certainly too good to last. We'll do our utmost to offer you the best bargains this year but I promise you that we'll also be here to offer you more bargains next year. Not everyone in our market can promise you that.

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