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longhairedgit longhairedgit
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  • Joined: 10/10/2007 14:03
  • From Gloucestershire
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  • Posted on: 18/1/2008 5:57
Re: Job interview at LFS #11
Selling fish is the main priority, not looking after them correctly

Yeah, Im often sensing that is a bit of a priority, but TBH I dont see it as an insurmountable problem. Look at the average P&h customer, fish, tank , filter, bits of food, meds when the fish gets invariably sick, its all around the £40 - £100 mark really, but then you get people like you lot who spend in a few years and sometimes in a few months what the beginner joe will spend in a lifetime after a negative purchasing experience involving a fish death, then it stops making sense.

Someone like me can spend £1000 a year on fish without breaking a sweat, most of you will break the £100 every year, because your fish are alive, MTS and real fandom crack on, and the amount increases. Besides when you tell someone to cycle for a long period of time, people do come back, often they get a bigger tank under good advice too, bigger filters, more food, more media, more decor , it all goes up and up. P &H may not fully understand the potential of the market that they have been largely ignoring since they started trading. They have allowed fish prices to drop, so they have to sell volume, and shift numbers so high its very difficult to keep death rates down, the impetus is on NOW NOW NOW, but in truth theres much more money to be had. An experienced big scale hobbyist whos had a positive customer experience will come back and spend more than perhaps the next hundred dippy customers in a year.

The market is there to create more of the more serious hobbyists. They just havent got the wit to do it, because they financially depreciated the value of fish in the uk with their own selling methods. Going more marine is a way they think to address the profit margin on a fish, but it doesnt work that way.If they cant address stock quality, and maintain it , the marine prices will have to drop too, and then marine fish will be in the same boat as most freshwater species already are, reduced to being massively percentile expendable. Marines of course, are far less able to handle that level of exploitation.

As long as people are allowed to stock marine fish, theres no point in descriminating p&h out of the picture, theres really only two ways they could fail at it with their huge corporate cash, and thats to hire crap staff, and let the accountants decide fish price, and advice protocol, rather than let a true fishkeeper do it.

Creating a condusive purchasing and information giving environment , and respecting fish value and life cost should be an intrinsic part of a business plan, cut it too fine, you ruin your own market. It may be about pushing out competition, but TBH recession is coming, expansion in the existing marketplace is very difficult, and will become increasingly so, and p&h will probably not increase its percentile share of the fish market unless it can genuinely convince, and practise every single damn day, good fishkeeping practise.

There is a reason a lot of experienced fishkeepers would not even deign p&h a worthy place to visit for anything other than a squeaky dog toy, the pros tend to go elsewhere. Been in shops that are dead quiet , but still making a profit and staying open even with a p&h a mile away. Why? Because that one guy that comes in and buys a bigger filter, more food , and more expensive fish than most people would in the current culture , pretty much in one hit means they could close for the day after a single visit. He wont kill his fish, he isnt a thicky chav who needs to be told a fish will die unless in fully cycled and stable water, and we want more people like him.

He spends more money than 30 people in a day buying mollies and goldies in stupid little tanks with stupid tiny equipment, his food bill alone is more than that of 20 other people, he buys the best, and buys a lot of it. He will go on the net rather than a p&h, on principle alone. He doesnt kill fish.

So the way I see it.The long term business plan especially if theyre going into marines means that they have to temper rampant profiteering with a little investiture in creating the market, and to do that you have to create new keepers who can keep a fish alive longer than a week, full guarantee or not.

There are very few people seriously willing to serial kill dozens of fish year after year with total fishkeeping ignorance, and their current sales tactics kinda makes an assumption that people will do that. Its a mistake. Even someone who has real morality problems doesnt like to feel useless, and lets face it , when a fish ldies, you feel pretty useless no matter who you are. Even a sociopath would feel fairly inept after a sequence of fish deaths. People give up the hobby all the time, whereas if it brought them more joy, more satisfaction, they would probably keep on going.

People remember too. If someone at a p&h, or any other store for that matter tells them inadequate care info, people feel lied to, treated like idiots, disrespected, and insulted, often , they feel intensely angry. That is without a doubt one of the worst customer service experiences ever. In this age , no-one wants to be a fish abuser, even unintentionally because they are inexperienced and have been misguided. Ive seen people handle corrective advice extremely badly, because they have a realisation that it was they who killed the fish, and they take it really personally, many people psychologically retreat from it immediately, lie about it, and thats how much of the fishkeeping anticulture you may see here and there on the web springs up. Even run into a few people over the years who deliberately misinform people because they think its funny, its abused child syndrome, they did it to me, ill do it to you sort of crap.

Thats not the fishkeeping culture I want, and any major retailer has to realise that simply by being a supplier, they are part of fishkeeping culture.If the sales info is crap, fish die, and morally it affects us all. When animal lives are cheapened, humanity is cheapened.

You know what, theres a handy p&h just about everywhere. It would be the easiest thing in the world to just use a p&h as your LFS, pop in and be happy about doing so, but theres something getting in the way of that.

Its called corporate attitude, dominion on staff opinion as part of employment conditions, and letting the accountants by proxy , make welfare decisions for animals, which frankly is not something that should ever, ever happen.

Integrity and animal keeping are fundamentally indivisible. Without the first , you cant do the last.

What does in my little head most of all, is that with the wisdom to change the business plan, you can keep your morals intact, do the right thing, make money. Perhaps a lot more money.

TBH though youll see it everywhere you go, corporates sourcing out helplines to people who barely speak english with degress in evasive tactical bullshit, managers who cant do anything except manage, hence dont manage bugger all, too busy trying to control peoples free will rather than be a quality employer, accountants with too much power, and the law, and trade comissions who sit on their arse, governments and councils stripping infrastructure to make short term gain, its the same all over.

First company to break the chain and do the right thing will make a fortune, because the customer experience for most people will be like coming up for air.

I really dont care if I shop at or work at an independant or a corporate if the truth be told, as long as their dealings are honest, based on fact, and Im not constantly having to fend off attempts by stupid people to tell me how to think.

Companies should not tell you how to think, and if they try you should never let them. Ever. Especially if its a lie. A lot of people who work in petshops and indeed many other trades should ask themselves if thats happening to them. I think being forced into a position of animal abuse is still something you are personally responsible for. Only a weak willed, pathetic fool would go along with it. Fact. No money is good enough for that. I wouldnt want a house or BMW built on a million fish corpses. Takes an ill person to want that.

Maybe its true in this society that you can get away with murder, get away unchallenged for almost anything you do wrong as long as you have the cash, but im buggered if id wanna live that way. Besides, if you actually have a brain, or even the remotest conscience, its very easy to do otherwise.

Its a crazy world when people cant see the profitability in doing the right thing.
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buggy buggy
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  • Posted on: 18/1/2008 8:06
Re: Job interview at LFS #12
Do you know? I could almost cry reading that! I can feel a deep and passionate hatred for all big chain fish stores now.
longhairedgit longhairedgit
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  • Posted on: 18/1/2008 9:18
Re: Job interview at LFS #13
Well, I can see how it might. Certainly it keeps me awake nights, but it all comes down to one thing really. The unions in this country may have been weakened, but employees feeling put upon to sell fish inappropriately do have the right for industrial action. Its not haggling for pay, its about morally doing the right thing and not becoming part of, or encouraging needless animal death. Cant think of a better reason.

Besides, the corporates may well have damaged the image of fishkeepers everywhere, and in the UK , by no means is our industry bad compared to the far east, it is important to remember that fishkeeping does not belong to the corporates. Its ours. Fishkeeping and all the good things that go with it, the knowledge of animal behaviour, the willing acceptance of true responsibility and care for an animals life, the advancement of the hobby ethically, humanely and compassionately is yours. As long as there is a good fishkeeper out there, as long as we write, make amends, correct errors, provide guidance, write books, and use our collective influence to ensure that the most people possible know the truth about fishkeeping, and have the actual correct data to keep their fish alive, healthy and happy, this hobby is and will always remain ours. The good fishkeeper owns this hobby.

A lot of us have lived a little in the dark about it is all. We got a little complacent. Things really dont have to be this way. We can do something everything about it. Its like battery farming issues and the superstores on tv lately. We can change it if we vote with our wallets. Not only with our wallets, but our personal integrity, and loudly spoken opinion. If nothing else, corporates have repeatedly proven that they will ride roughshot over the silent majority. If they really claim to give the customer what they want, then perhaps all we have to do is ask a little louder, and be very aware of the processes and decisions behind every fish in a tank in your LFS.

Remember all fish are a luxury item. Its not a £2 bargain chicken for those who have to eat on a budget. If you dont like the way your fish supplier does business , dont bloody buy a fish. A wait for a pet to you can be a crashing multiple monthly market crash for them. If they wont wise up, its the easiest thing in the world for a fishkeeper to show his or her displeasure. Remember the purchase of a fish is a measure of want, not need, even for someone as addicted as me! No one has an excuse.
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draw01 draw01
  • Just can't stay away
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  • Joined: 19/9/2007 20:19
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  • Posted on: 21/1/2008 21:22
Re: Job interview at LFS #14
I don't know if this has been posted anywhere else here but here's a link to the PFK forum about finding which shops actually give the correct advice for cycling tanks and you can all help.

PFK

My local one at Porton in Wiltshire told me the correct info so was impressed reading through these.
natterjack natterjack
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  • Posted on: 21/1/2008 23:40
Re: Job interview at LFS #15
[quote]
gwa84 wrote:
there is only one way forward for you LHG and thats to open your own store and lead by example {quote]

If everyone here pool in resources/cash/ become shareholders, we would have a succcessful business and set an example to others!! Hopefully we can lure all the entire pet homes store customers away and ruin their businesses. Long shot though..

Natterjack

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gwa84 gwa84
  • Cichlid Adviser
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  • Joined: 20/10/2007 2:04
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  • Posted on: 22/1/2008 2:45
Re: Job interview at LFS #16
naw that would be heaven could you imagine it fk uk fish store with LHG running it all awsum
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TetraLinz TetraLinz
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  • Posted on: 22/1/2008 8:34
Re: Job interview at LFS #17
I'd hate to be the guy who dares argue that goldies can be kept in a tiny, unfiltered bowl though
T.L
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longhairedgit longhairedgit
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  • Posted on: 22/1/2008 15:32
Re: Job interview at LFS #18
Ill keep a special bulletproof goldfishbowl and a cricket bat for customer related proof experiments. It will be labeled "for use on customers only" of course

Still no word BTW. Im assumming they elected to go with some 12 year old kid who was only allowed to do metalwork at school.
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cathie cathie
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  • Posted on: 22/1/2008 21:19
Re: Job interview at LFS #19
I'm trying to remember who it was (she's not been on forum for ages) whose local fish shop owner would almost never sell her fish - kept very properly sending her away to bring in more water samples, not selling her fish she first thought of, only letting her have one or two at a time of those he deemed suitable. Magnificent regard for fish welfare, but she thought he must have a private income.
[url=http://www.bigfishcam
furiousferret furiousferret
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  • Posted on: 22/1/2008 22:07
Re: Job interview at LFS #20
i wonder if someone should phone the like of watchdog on the telly and see if they would investigate the poor conditions/lack of knowledge etc, and maybe even scandalise the superstores or embarrase them even into changing their ways.

i think (and ive said it before) that one of the major issues is that the sspca and the rspca are unable (unwilling?) to do anthing because aquatic life is not covered by the current animal laws. imagine the outrage if syrian hamsters were left in filthy cages and left to fight each other to death because the staff cant be bothered to separate them when they mature.

of course public opinion doesnt help - its only a fish etc which very often causes me much anger, but how do we begin to alter that?

my lfs is a very good one, im lucky enough to have 2 actually local to me - the indepenent one and dobbies which i rate very highly. ive been in 3 stores in scotland over a decent geographical area and they are first rate in my opinion. and as far as i know the staff in the fish keeping dept are dedecated and know their stuff. i witnessed the one in ayr training a new start who didnt know a thing and a few months later knew a lot more.
however i also have 3 branches of Acorn pet stores local to me and they are frankly terrible. the fish are almost always dead and the tanks are disgusting.

my local dobbies on the other hand refused to sell me cichlids until i could prove my ph was adequate. and they remember what your stock is.
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