View Full Version : Rockler vs. Woodcraft

David Prince
11-30-2011, 11:22 PM
Every time I get a sales ad from Woodcraft I get one from Rockler. Usually similar items are on sale. Are the two in bed with each other?:confused:

It cannot be that much of a coincidence!

David Weaver
11-30-2011, 11:30 PM
It might be what the distributors are offering that determine the sales.

John Aspinall
12-01-2011, 12:39 PM
The phenomenon is real, but it doesn't have to be cooperation to explain it. This happens all the time with competitors. Let's say Manufacturer A wants to goose its sales of bandsaws, and plans for loss-leader bargains in blades and accessories as part of the promotion. But Manufacturer B gets wind of the plans, and rushes out bargain blades and accessories two weeks earlier. Now the market is saturated. All of us bargain hunters have stocked up with enough blades and accessories for the next 3 years. Now guess who doesn't make their sales quota of bandsaws?

Or, as David Weaver points out, it's the same distributor trying to play one retailer off against another. Distributor tells the retailers "free trip to Vegas for the sales staff at the first store to sell 1000 router bits". Guess what's on the front of the next flyer from _all_ the local stores?

Jim Rimmer
12-01-2011, 1:08 PM
I agree with the other comments that it is coincidental competition. Probably the result of commercial espionage. :D Collusion is paramount to price fixing even if it's a lower price and is illegal.

Jim Koepke
12-01-2011, 2:35 PM
It is just like grocery stores.

When there are carloads of grapefruit, every store will have good prices on them.


David Prince
12-02-2011, 11:03 PM
It just seems like coincidental competition happens too often to be coincidenal. :confused:

John Coloccia
12-02-2011, 11:34 PM
I can almost guarantee that Woodcraft and Rockler aren't cooperating with each other. LOL.

It's almost like they should just merge and get it over with, but then we'd all be upset that we have no "choice".

I can tell you that by and large everyone is really making a decent effort to keep prices down. Having brick and mortar stores is expensive but no one is trying to screw their customers (at least not Woodcraft as far as I can tell, and I work there part time so I should know). When you get deals, you pass them on. My local store has mail order competitors not too far away, but most keep coming back and don't mind paying the small premium for outstanding service, honest and knowledgable opinions, and a stable staff with low turn over that remembers you from week to week and is really interested in making your projects successful. We see the same customers week after week, and we're all woodworkers...some have our own businesses and just need to get out of the shop to keep from going nuts (like me)....some are retired....some take on side jobs. We all live on our reps so we can't afford to BS or give bad advice.

Anyhow, I don't know for sure why the deals follow each other, or even if they do, but I'll bet my front teeth that if they do it's because the manufacturer either cut them a deal or they both have a great network of industrial spies that keep tabs on each other.

Or maybe I'm just naive :)

Dave Lehnert
12-03-2011, 12:22 AM
Manufactures will offer the same deal to retailers but not always at the same week. They will do things like offer the store rebates for every unit they sell in a given week. Store "A" this week, store "B" next week. Very rare a store just marks an item down without some kind of backing from the manufacture or distributor. If they do, it was built into the price to begin with.

tom coleman
12-03-2011, 3:03 AM
I almost bought a woodcraft franchise some years ago. Stumbling bloc was a $400K inventory investment and nervosness about competing with a parent company who was in the mail order business. It is a very tough, narrow margin business with high operating costs......store front and labor.
The Sarasota, FL store folded last year, good location, upscale geography, lots of retired woodwroker hobbyists. They had a great staff, were very helpful but bottom line was they couldn't make money

Kenneth Crisler
12-03-2011, 4:16 AM
Whatever they have to do to keep the lights on, doors open, and all of us safe from the ubiquitous Orange Goblin is fine by me! ;)

Kent A Bathurst
12-03-2011, 6:24 AM
If a manufacturer supplies two large retailers, and were to offer a special deal to one, but not the other, I can assure you that their top execs would be hauled on the carpet at "the other". In fact, if retailer A puts the product out on a special deal, all on their own, the execs will STILL be called on the carpet by Retailer B - who immediately suspects/accuses them of giving A a deal that was not offered to B - and there is a lot of convincing that has to take place.

No retailer wants to wake up to a competitor's promotion that undercuts their business by X%. Not only do they lose the sales traffic on that item [and associated purchases] for that period, but in the back of consumer's minds will be the thought "When I needed a brass Left-Hand Widget, A was 10% cheaper than B. Now that I need an Adjustable Thingamabob, I'm going to look at A first."

That is no way to live for a manufacturer - especially if there are other producers of left-hand widgets.

Phil Thien
12-03-2011, 8:57 AM
I will say that within minutes of receiving a promotional E-Mail form Rockler, I will get one from Woodcraft, too.

Me thinks they subscribe to each other's mailing lists.

David Prince
12-03-2011, 9:03 AM
I will say that within minutes of receiving a promotional E-Mail form Rockler, I will get one from Woodcraft, too.

Me thinks they subscribe to each other's mailing lists.

This is exactly what made me bring this up!

Maybe the internal spy theory isn't too far off.:rolleyes:

David Prince
12-04-2011, 9:32 AM
This morning I received a Woodcraft email and about six hours later I received the Rockler email. What a coincidence!

John Shuk
12-04-2011, 10:47 AM
It might be what the distributors are offering that determine the sales.
I agree. Jet and Powermatic sales for instance are usually going on at many retailers at the same time.

Steve Costa
12-04-2011, 5:25 PM
The Albuquerque NM Woodcraft store went out of business in 2011. Everytime I went in there were fewer items to select from as the inventory continued to shrink. I began to notice this in 2009.