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  • Results 1 to 18 of 18

    Thread: Can the US catch up in the hobby?

    1. #1
      jimfish98's Avatar
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      Can the US catch up in the hobby?

      Today I was rummaging through my YouTube subscriptions and came across this new post from Cory at Aquarium Co-op. He was in Germany and visiting a place called Kolle Zoo which he notes as the equivalent of our Petco or Petsmart. This store is their flagship but other locations of their are still far more impressive than any chain store and LFS I have ever seen. Is the hobby just not that big here or does the US business model just not allow a place like this?




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      jcardona1 is offline Junior Member
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      That's incredible. I don't think the US will ever support the hobby at this level, much less businesses like this that would need to turn profits to stay afloat. We are way too cheap when it comes to this stuff. Just look at koi pond filtration options here in the US compared to Europe. We scoff at the prices of RDFs while playing with blue plastic barrels, PVC shavings and green army men.

    3. #3
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      Very interesting …. my first thought is that it will take someone with very deep pockets to create something like this in the US. As an old timer, I think back to when all the hunting and fishing stores were mom and pop type stores, or a couple of aisles in Kmart . Then along comes Bass Pro Shops and Cabelas, who spent millions of dollars on destination stores. and who have incredible inventories on hand. They totally changed the marketplace, and became very successful.
      I don't think the aquarium and koi market would ever generate the volume to have widespread success for stores like this, but I bet they would be successful in selected markets like Atlanta , New York, etc

    4. #4
      BWG is offline Senior Member
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      There have already been a few experimental stores such as this. They either went out of business or downsized to stay afloat.

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      Wow, I wish that was my local store. PetSmart around here doesn't even bother to dip out dead fish. They need to hire people who care about the condition of the tanks and will keep them clean. That is a bare minimum. Forget about having a store like in this video. It's not going to happen around here. Maybe it would be possible in a large US city. But not here.

    6. #6
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      This is Aquarium Adventure in Columbus Ohio. It is a aquarium and pond superstore division of Petland. When it first opened it was fantastic but had to move and downsize. Perhaps bad timing when the economy was down.

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      One way to look at is that Germany is about the size of the state of Montana but has twice as many people as the state of California. So you can have a giant store like this and a huge amount of people can come there to shop. In the US we are much more spread out so places like Amazon and Dr. Foster and Smith will win out because they don't waste money building a store you come to and instead they come direct to you.

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      Quote Originally Posted by tbullard View Post
      One way to look at is that Germany is about the size of the state of Montana but has twice as many people as the state of California. So you can have a giant store like this and a huge amount of people can come there to shop. In the US we are much more spread out so places like Amazon and Dr. Foster and Smith will win out because they don't waste money building a store you come to and instead they come direct to you.
      Are they also twice as wealthy? Because I'll tell you those Germans are serious about their fish hobbies and seem to drop endless amount of money on their fish friends.
      Last edited by jcardona1; 1 Week Ago at 08:07 PM.

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by jcardona1 View Post
      Are they also twice as wealthy? Because I'll you those Germans are serious about their fish hobbies and seem to drop endless amount of money on their fish friends.
      I am not sure if it is a wealth thing. My perspective is that we are shown tanks at these box stores of sick, dead, and low quality fish. Tanks are sometimes maintained and other times lack all appeal. To me that doesn't draw me into the hobby at all. LFS can beat that stigmata but I think it is harder to get someone not in the hobby into one than a store that services all sorts of pets. I think if people saw what was really out there and cared for the right way, participation in the hobby would increase and bring demand. As a hobbiest cheap prices are great, but if I need something I tend to go into the LFS to pick it up to keep them going. The extra buck here and there to keep them up and running is worth it.



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    10. #10
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      The aquarium superstore I mentioned earlier would match online prices. So competing with Amazon and Dr F&S wasn't an issue. The consumer level of interest is decreasing and not enough to support dedicated retail fish stores at this high level.
      Last edited by BWG; 1 Week Ago at 11:54 PM.

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      I don't think its a matter of matching the prices but of customer base. I could drive an hour to a store and purchase the koi food they happen to stock or I can sit in front of my computer and order any brand I want and have it hand delivered to my house within the week. Brick and Mortar can't compete with that.

    12. #12
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      Online however cannot fully compare to going in and looking around. Especially with fish, driftwood pieces, and other items. Online with those items there is a risk and shipping costs that can drive up the price. I think looking around the LFS is half the joy of going there beyond finding what you want. If a place here locally was stocked like this place I would make regular trips just to look.



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      Quote Originally Posted by jimfish98 View Post
      Online however cannot fully compare to going in and looking around.......
      I agree with that. Sometimes when I travel to my favorite store one hour away, I take a lot of pictures on the aisles I am particularly interested in. Then back at home I enjoy surfing through the pictures.

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      I drive 2 1/2 hours from my house to Columbus to go to Aquarium Adventure just because it is such a great store! I have a lifetime card to the store. It is well worth the trip, especially when they are having specials. But I have also been keeping fish for 52 years......

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      Quote Originally Posted by LadysSolo View Post
      I drive 2 1/2 hours from my house to Columbus to go to Aquarium Adventure just because it is such a great store! I have a lifetime card to the store. It is well worth the trip, especially when they are having specials. But I have also been keeping fish for 52 years......
      Next trip, pictures please and thanks in advance

    16. #16
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      I have followed Cory for a while. Here is a link to the Hong Kong Goldfish & Koi Market that he visited in April. I can't even imagine how much interest in koi,pond & goldfish there is in Hong Kong.

      It seems like from the video Jim posted on Germany and the one below on Hong Kong, the people in the USA are maybe just not as interested in fish, aquariums or ponds as some other countries.
      In my family and circle of friends no one but me has fish of any kind! No aquariums or ponds. Just my thoughts.


      Hong Kong Goldfish Market : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyShQ_js7M4
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    17. #17
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      That is why i visit genki koi an hour away. Nice quality fish and an amazing facility

    18. #18
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      The first thing I noticed in the video, was how clean all of the tanks were and I noticed Jim, you mentioned that as being one of the things that our LFS won't do. You're right, having to maintain that type of quality alone will shut down most of the stores, because workers that they hire are young, inexperienced, and really don't care. On top of that, the store's owners, wouldn't pay to hire more experienced, caring, people. I too like to visit the small stores, so that I can get waited on quickly, I can see and touch things, because I've been burned quite a few times on Amazon for small items such as plants and other decorations. I do wish however, our LFS, would not keep bettas in those small cups, I can barely stand to even go past that section, because they are so small filthy.


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