FrankGould
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Opening a brick and mortar store in Orlando

Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:18 pm

I am curious if it is possible to open a brick and mortar store to sell Raspberry Pi products. I know there will be a price difference due to overhead costs but it sounds like a good idea to have physical product to show and sell. I searched online but there doesn't appear to be any stores with merchandise to shop for different products.

I sent an email to info@raspberrypi.org (I think that was the email address) but didn't hear back since week ago. So, I thought I should ask here.

Heater
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Re: Opening a brick and mortar store in Orlando

Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:20 pm

Sure. Anyone can open a store anywhere. Buy the building or pay the rent and away you go.

Have you calculated how many Pi and accessories you would have to sell every month to cover the rent?

Do you know there are so many thousand potential customers in Orlando to support such a shop? Seems unlikely.

There are 2 or 3 brick and mortar stores around here where I can by Pi but they are all old established concerns than sell all manner of electronics and components.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

FrankGould
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Re: Opening a brick and mortar store in Orlando

Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:04 pm

Thanks Heater for the response and your questions are indeed those that need to be determined. I am more interested in learning what kinds of quantity discounts and business requirements there are for different products so I can determine a margin to cover said monthly costs.

As you questioned and determined unlikely, Orlando has one of the most successful and large colleges focused on STEM. I figured both local high school and college students could benefit from physical example projects that would give them hands-on experiments to learn. I would also like to carry other inventory, like from Adafruit, so that students can purchase products to take home with them to start projects. I know in my current project, I have to stop for a week waiting for hardware but I’d prefer to spend a few more dollars to not have to stop making progress for some obscure part.

Why I’m asking on this forum is a start to learn any barriers or joint marketing opportunities and branding requirements. I figured other manufacturers are working with the foundation and that would be a wealth of knowledge. I’m trying to reverse the trend away from brick & mortar to see if this technology might bring like-minds together, physically. Thanks to anyone for any suggestions.

Heater
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Re: Opening a brick and mortar store in Orlando

Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:33 pm

FrankGould,
I am more interested in learning what kinds of quantity discounts and business requirements there are for different products so I can determine a margin to cover said monthly costs.
These are questions for the manufacturers/suppliers of the Pi not the Pi Foundation or this forum.

Given that the price of the Pi is kept very low I would expect margins to be razor thin. I have no idea what rents are like in Orlando but I can easily imagine you would have to sell thousands of Pi per month to cover it and suspect that is very unlikely to happen.

As I said, there are two or three brick an mortar stores in this city that sell Pi off the shelf. They don't rely on a quantity discount from the manufacturers much. On no, they sell the 35 dollar Pi for 52 dollars. A mark up of almost 50%.

That is a lot but when I don't want to wait that is where I get Pi.

Perhaps it's wise to take a lesson from Louis Rossmann https://www.youtube.com/user/rossmanngroup/videos. One of his pearls of wisdom is to try and get the business going first then, if it's working, think about renting the shop/workshop/whatever. Start out in your bedroom or garage first. Otherwise you are laying down a lot of money which is most likely going to be lost.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

Paul Hutch
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Re: Opening a brick and mortar store in Orlando

Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:52 pm

Another thing to consider is that the Pi3B is being sold by Target for $34.99 (with free shipping for $35 orders) and they often have one in stock at my local stores. So adding a markup to cover your shipping/handling/inventory holding costs may cause many potential customers to go to Target. https://www.target.com/p/raspberry-pi-3 ... A-53349740

You can get a quantity quote via the Newark web site, I believe its parent company is one of the manufacturing partners. http://www.newark.com/raspberry-pi/2773 ... p/49AC7637

Then of course most people interested in these type of products are very accustomed to buying online from vendors who can live with razor thin margins.

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liz
Raspberry Pi Foundation Employee & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Foundation Employee & Forum Moderator
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Re: Opening a brick and mortar store in Orlando

Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:50 pm

I'm sorry to hear you didn't receive a reply to your email; it's possible our spam filter ate it. Could you please try again and resend your email to info@, and copy me in - it's liz[at]raspberrypi.org.
Director of Communications, Raspberry Pi

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Burngate
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Re: Opening a brick and mortar store in Orlando

Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:25 am

Since the Pi is produced by Electrocomponents (RS components on this side of the pond, Allied Electronics on your side) and Premier Farnell (Element 14, CPC, Newark, etc.) it might be worth enquiring of them what discounts might be available.

It's also worth while thinking about p&p - even Amazon offer savings in that area if you can buy in bulk.

So, rather than inviting all those unwashed students into your bedroom, buy yourself a bike.
They order from you over the web, you offer them delivery within the hour!
Who else can offer that level of service?

FrankGould
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:00 pm

Re: Opening a brick and mortar store in Orlando

Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:24 pm

Thanks again all for your suggestions. I really liked the "unwashed students into your bedroom" line!

I've also contacted Liz as requested and it appears she is right about their spam filters. She found mine in their spam report and I'm trying to make progress using a different email address.

Heater was right when he responded that I should ask "manufacturers/suppliers of the Pi not the Pi Foundation or this forum" because I had forgotten raspberrypi.org redirects buyers instead of selling/shipping products. Thanks for redirecting me.

As for the business model questions, yes, those are definitely the next to answer. I am starting off at the beginning here to understand why there aren't more local distributors, like what are the barriers to entry. If this is a mail-order only product, I think they would best answer that question, not like another vendor whose interest is selling their products to me.

As for the Target store suggestion, I visited our Target online store to find they had two in stock at that store. I visited their store and one employee had no idea what a Raspberry Pi was but found it should be on the shelf. After that rep contacted another because we couldn't find it, the other rep found it had been moved off the shelf to the storage inventory and could be retrieved for sale when asked. My main objective was to learn what accessories and other products (like Adafruit) they sold. I learned they have no other products for Raspberry Pi configurations, like PWM HATs or cases.

These are the questions I appreciate you all asking. The value-add I am hoping to offer is a one stop shop for a myriad of configurations and projects. I also think having a store that sells air drones where you can learn then test to fly one before you buy has value, but there are a lot of issues about this that I'd prefer to delay for now.

Paul Hutch
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Re: Opening a brick and mortar store in Orlando

Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:23 pm

FrankGould wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:24 pm
As for the Target store suggestion, I visited our Target online store to find they had two in stock at that store. I visited their store and one employee had no idea what a Raspberry Pi was but found it should be on the shelf. After that rep contacted another because we couldn't find it, the other rep found it had been moved off the shelf to the storage inventory and could be retrieved for sale when asked.
Thanks for the current info on Target's offering. I suspect they only started carrying it when they added the Google AIY kits (first models used a 3B, now they include a Pi0). It never seemed likely to me that the sales volume would be large enough to keep Target interested and judging from your experience I suspect Target may drop both product lines once inventory gets low enough. Although if Google wants they could make them an offer so good to continue carrying the Pi0W AIY kits that they would keep those.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Opening a brick and mortar store in Orlando

Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:02 pm

Another minor data point... I was in Fry's Electronics (a leading Bay Area discount electronics retailer) recently and intended to by another Pi while I was there. After looking where they'd been previously, I asked where they were "hidden". Turns out that they had been moved to a box on a high shelf because they had a tendency to walk away when placed in an accessible location. They had both the Pi3B and Pi3B+, both priced the same (list) at $35.

It is rather disappointing that people would stoop to stealing Pis...but I surmise that that points to their popularity.

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