Re: So Cal Dive Industry

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Posted by Musicalmike on September 27, 2007 at 09:19:49:

In Reply to: So Cal Dive Industry posted by Firewalker on September 26, 2007 at 17:44:19:

I would say the industry is far from dead! There are some problem areas, it is by no means a burnt out shell. It is a very small industry with the potential to overtake many others at any moment. It is a fairly unregulated industry with power struggles within it. Just like all others. There are great people in the industry who have great community visions and those who stand for themselves. Just like the others.
Dive stores can and do compete with Sports Chalet. Growing up here in Los Angeles and manufacturing diving equipment for the last 25 years, I have seen just as many stores and boats rise, as fall. While I agree that the internet has made it more difficult for the dive store to make a reasonable margin, it does not take the power away from them to compete. I can give you a large list of names of "full service dive stores" who are taking advantage of the internet rather then sitting back saying it's killing them.
You will never get away from the human nature of trying to get the best bang for your buck. Why are divers cheap? Maybe it's because they just spent $500 to get a plastic laminated card and a snorkeling set-up. Whoopee!! Now they have very limited funds to purchase the rest of the gear and pay for a boat dive. I can buy ski’s, boot’s and poles and be skiing in not time for that kind of cash. But what sport would I rather do?
For me what it comes down to is where do I want to spend my money? While I do take advantage of what the internet has to offer. I would prefer to purchase my high $$$ items from someone who can service it after I bought it. You did hit the nail on the head with loyalty though. Some of you had some great points on the stores attitude on sales marketing and most importantly.....friendliness.
PADI has been teaching this way for a while now, and things haven’t changed. The only difference is the time wasted in the classroom watching the instructor lecture and show slides or videos. You still need to complete the pool and boat dives. Yes it is, and has always been possible to do your pool or boat dives in a tropical destination. Why would more people want to do that now then before? They won’t!! IMO people will continue still seek a professional store to answer their questions because it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy coming from a warm human, rather then a 21” monitor.
My 14 year old son (the next generation) knows where his local store is at.
Oh yea……..Elaine, it’s all your fault.

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