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Redpaths – My part in their downfall

By johnboy 26 August 2008 53

In some small, possibly sad, way buying my boots at Redpaths in Civic has been a part of my own self-identity for more years than I care to remember. 15 years maybe.

A series of ten-hole Doc Martens was followed by a love of black RedBacks. All lovingly fitted and often worn out of the poky little store on Garema Place. Even before I had the money to buy my own boots I can remember pressing my nose against the glass of the store and marveling at the booty goodness while waiting for my bus home.

And then a couple of weeks ago the glue holding the sole on my old RedBacks went for the last time, I realised the worn, dog-toothed leather was drinking polish, and it was time for a new pair of boots.

The homing instinct kicked in just right. I drove towards Civic unthinkingly. But then I had to park and the Canberra Centre parking was so very convenient.

And then, making my way on the top level towards Garema Place I walked by the Rivers store, and a pair of their boots caught my eye, and I bought them instead.

On the one hand it’s just a store. It’s not like I’m the only consumer in the world. Redpaths boots are hardly locally made.

On the other hand I feel like I’ve betrayed a good friend.

But I also think the Garema Place traders have been very badly done down by the changes wrought on the city in the latest re-configuration. My superb new boots and I are part of the problem.

I don’t like that very much.

What’s Your opinion?


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Redpaths – My part in their downfall
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Deano 8:56 pm 27 Aug 08

peterh said :

and if you don’t want all your money going to a Bunnings mega hardware store, try shopping at Magnet Mart. Started in canberra, owned by canberrans…

I would bet that there are more people in Canberra who are owners of Bunnings (through Westfarmers) than there are owners of MagnetMart. So then isn’t it better to buy from Bunnings because the profits get spread around many owners instead of from MagnetMart where the profits go to just a few?

As for Rivers’ shoes, I have a pair I have practically worn daily for over 5 years now and are still in presentable condition.

AngryHenry 12:01 pm 27 Aug 08

um they’re shoes, you can break this down as much as you want but personally it’s not the retail outlet and where it is located that influences my decisions on what shoes I would buy.

One, I have to be able to afford them so price is the big factor. And two, where they were made…

If some asian child under the age of six years old hasn’t sweatted it out for at least 18 hours in a stifling backwoods Chinese factory for no more than two cents a day, then I am just not going to feel comfortable walking in those shoes.

JUST DO IT!

swoosh!

peterh 11:53 am 27 Aug 08

Skidbladnir said :

RE: only returning for legendary service…

I have previously had to go back to the same place as gave me shit service in the past, as I have a size 14 extra wide foot, and most places seem to think that if your foot is bigger than a size 12, you don’t exist.
They just refer you to Big & Tall Menswear, who are routinley crap at service.

Or they decide its not worth ordering in stock for you because only X percent of orders ever get picked up, despite you wanting a pair of reasonable looking and comfortable shoes to go with the suit you’re currently paying cash for.

what canberra needs is a shoe store that caters to the larger sizes in both men and women. I know of a couple of people, my wife included, who buy based on size, not style. She has commented many times that a shoe store that caters for all sizes with a focus on the larger end of town would do very well.

Skidbladnir 11:43 am 27 Aug 08

RE: only returning for legendary service…

I have previously had to go back to the same place as gave me shit service in the past, as I have a size 14 extra wide foot, and most places seem to think that if your foot is bigger than a size 12, you don’t exist.
They just refer you to Big & Tall Menswear, who are routinley crap at service.

Or they decide its not worth ordering in stock for you because only X percent of orders ever get picked up, despite you wanting a pair of reasonable looking and comfortable shoes to go with the suit you’re currently paying cash for.

Whatsup 11:35 am 27 Aug 08

shiny flu said :

Don’t worry, your Rivers boots will fall apart in a year or less- planned obsolescence.

My Rivers shoes and boots have out lasted other brands… but these Redbacks sound interesting.

Maybe Johnboy can offer us a road test report comparing the products after a year of use.

peterh 11:09 am 27 Aug 08

johnboy said :

And yet in Civic we have Government planning driving consumers away from independent stores and into the arms of the large chains.

Also it’s not just the consumers who are on the most part dumb.

Living in the aftermath of bankers giving mortgages to hobos and then on-selling the mortgage as a triple-A rated security we can safely assume that the big end of town is tending to extremely short sighted greed with a large dollop of stupidity on top.

In that environment most economic models, no matter how elegant, start to creak.

and you have an apple?

did you buy it locally from the fledgling superchain of mac one or at another department store chain – myer, DJ’s, HN, Domayne, Harris Tech?

or perhaps one of the small stores that eke out a living on value, not price?

the market for retail in canberra is woeful. people are closing down, selling up, changing companies, being merged, etc, etc. And this is the IT industry only (I have no visibility of the others).

As for your choice of shoes, I have never bought based on the little retailer or the chain. I go back to the same people for new shoes only if they have provided me with legendary customer service.

and if you don’t want all your money going to a Bunnings mega hardware store, try shopping at Magnet Mart. Started in canberra, owned by canberrans…

jakez 10:23 am 27 Aug 08

johnboy said :

And yet in Civic we have Government planning driving consumers away from independent stores and into the arms of the large chains.

Also it’s not just the consumers who are on the most part dumb.

Living in the aftermath of bankers giving mortgages to hobos and then on-selling the mortgage as a triple-A rated security we can safely assume that the big end of town is tending to extremely short sighted greed with a large dollop of stupidity on top.

In that environment most economic models, no matter how elegant, start to creak.

That’s absolutely right. The operative word in both topics, is Government.

I will say though, the Canberra Centre doesn’t have an ‘anti independent’ policy though. I’d say for many, it would be a rent thing.

To get back on topic, I agree with Mr Evil. Johnboy what were you thinking? Rivers, jesus.

johnboy 10:16 am 27 Aug 08

And yet in Civic we have Government planning driving consumers away from independent stores and into the arms of the large chains.

Also it’s not just the consumers who are on the most part dumb.

Living in the aftermath of bankers giving mortgages to hobos and then on-selling the mortgage as a triple-A rated security we can safely assume that the big end of town is tending to extremely short sighted greed with a large dollop of stupidity on top.

In that environment most economic models, no matter how elegant, start to creak.

Mr Evil 10:14 am 27 Aug 08

You gave up Redbacks to switch to Rivers: what were you thinking????

I love my Redbacks.

jakez 10:10 am 27 Aug 08

fnaah said :

Yes and then you wake up to yourself and buy something from Nitro Records and not Sony.

I can’t say that I’ve got the figures on hand, but I think it’s fairly safe to draw the conclusion that based on which company is making more money, the number of sleeping sheeple out there vastly outweighs the people enjoying waking life. 😉

I’m not saying this is a good thing, nor am I saying the situation is necesarily getting worse, just that it is there, and is not necessarity the fault of the consumers themselves. People and markets are easily manipulated, and big companies know this. Little companies may also know this, but the more agressive manipulation takes resources they don’t have.

Blergh, I’m probably talking nonsense. I’ll shush now. 🙂

No not at all, I totally agree.

I’m just not arrogant enough (and I’m not suggesting your or anyone here is) to believe that the Government should step in to further my preferences.

jakez 10:05 am 27 Aug 08

fnaah said :

Your points are valid jakez,and yeah, the internet has made tiny niche products available to anyone who cares to look, anjd that’s a great thing.

Consumers are idiots. But only if you generalise, which I was guilty of doing also.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not Captain of the Generic Squad. Like I said earlier, I love Landspeed BECAUSE of it’s atmosphere and the products that they have. I choose to pay extra for that.

I disagree with a lot of Walmart’s policies. Their music policy is gradually getting better but I still think it’s silly. That’s a product of their genesis though, they always had a slightly religious and conservative nature. They are also responding to their target market by not selling certain products. These are opportunities for others and when you get down to it, Walmart has greatly reduced the cost of good quality products for some of the poorest people in the USA, while INCREASING the diversity of products available.

No company is perfect, and you find that when a company starts to get a lions share of the market, that’s exactly when it starts to fall. The great example of an ‘evil monopoly’ is also a great example of they fluid nature of the market. Pacific Oil once had I believe about 90% of the energy market at one point in the US. However by the time the US brought in the antitrust laws, that share had dropped down to 40-60%. During the time that Pacific Oil had a ‘monopoly’, prices also fell hundreds of percentages. They got to their position because they had the best product, and when they tried to jack up prices, they lost market share. It’s all about the barrier to entry and with many things, the internet has opened up a cornucopia of opportunity.

fnaah 9:59 am 27 Aug 08

Yes and then you wake up to yourself and buy something from Nitro Records and not Sony.

I can’t say that I’ve got the figures on hand, but I think it’s fairly safe to draw the conclusion that based on which company is making more money, the number of sleeping sheeple out there vastly outweighs the people enjoying waking life. 😉

I’m not saying this is a good thing, nor am I saying the situation is necesarily getting worse, just that it is there, and is not necessarity the fault of the consumers themselves. People and markets are easily manipulated, and big companies know this. Little companies may also know this, but the more agressive manipulation takes resources they don’t have.

Blergh, I’m probably talking nonsense. I’ll shush now. 🙂

fnaah 9:47 am 27 Aug 08

Your points are valid jakez,and yeah, the internet has made tiny niche products available to anyone who cares to look, anjd that’s a great thing.

Consumers are idiots. But only if you generalise, which I was guilty of doing also.

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