Over the past week or so we've had to deal with a handful of local suppliers who have let us down, and let our customers down. As a customer-focused company, it's frustrating to say the least.
First up was the NZ “launch” of the PlayStation Move. Mighty Ape has been collecting pre-orders since the announcement of the device several months ago and we've managed to secure a reasonable number of pre-orders on our usual promise of day-one delivery.
We kept Sony informed of our pre-order numbers, placed our order, and when the device was due to ship, were given only a fraction of our original allocation leaving many of our pre-order customers high and dry. Meanwhile, our CEO Simon Barton is out shopping with his family in the weekend buying Playstation Moves off the shelf from JB, EB etc at full retail price trying to fulfill our own pre-orders.
We think that's poor.
Now we've received the news that Mighty Ape will receive no copies of the Collector's Edition of Star Wars Force Unleashed II. Once again, we've been collecting pre-orders for this product from eager customers expecting day-one delivery. This time around, the supplier concerned has bowed down to pressure from a foreign-owned retail chain with 40 stores (no prize for guessing who) who are, presumably, using their market power to demand exclusive rights to the Collector's Edition in New Zealand. Of course, now that they've granted an exclusive they'll keep the price at full RRP and consumers will have nowhere else to turn.
We think this sucks.
As a small locally-owned operation we find it difficult to compete with larger foreign-owned companies who use their size to control the market. Suppliers who pander to their demands ultimately starve competition and limit the choices available to the consumer. Make no mistake, consumers will be paying more for their Force Unleashed II Collector's Editions than if Mighty Ape were also in the market selling the game. And this is just one of a growing number of games…
It's hard for this post to not come across as a giant whinge, but frankly we think many of our customers would be shocked to learn how much of this goes on, and how we have to fight day in day out to compete and carve a place for ourselves in the local market. In fact, even yesterday we received news that EA is about to grant yet another exclusive to the same foreign-owned retail chain. Here we go again…
At Mighty Ape we're working our tails off to create a great NZ-owned company with a focus on excellent customer service, fast and reliable delivery with some fun and personality thrown in for good measure. It's frustrating that some suppliers attempt to thwart our efforts in their attempt to shift the greatest number of units for the least amount of effort possible.
If you've read this far, thanks for shopping at Mighty Ape. Your support means a lot to us and we appreciate you joining us on our journey to creating a world class online shopping site for New Zealanders.
What do you think of suppliers who grant “exclusives” to a single retailer? Are you happy for suppliers to remove competition and keep prices high?