Over the weekend, we were on the way to the store and passed by a McDonald’s located just blocks from one of the largest high schools in the area. This busy location was recently torn down and a new, more modern McDonald’s is being built.
Why? Better look, more seating space and usually a second drive-thru lane is constructed. Where this McDonald’s is located is within a mile or two of 13 competitors. Imagine that. While driving down the street, one can choose one of 13 places for lunch or dinner – and this isn’t to mention the couple of white table cloth restaurants in the area.
Talk about competition!
When we got home, Mary Kay hurried to the front door to see if some of the packages she ordered this week had arrived. The phones in our house had a battery life of, it seemed, 45 seconds. By the time we answered the phone and said, “Hello,” the phone started beeping before disconnected. Earlier in the week, MK had ordered some luggage after returning from our last trip. Our old luggage was on its last legs. We couldn’t get the handle to go back in on one of the suitcases. This made putting it above our seat on the airplane impossible!
I started thinking about the company MK ordered the phone and luggage from: Cadabra, Inc. (as in “abra cadabera” – what we said when we pretended to do magic as kids.)
The company has done well since its inception in 1994. They did more than $177 billion last year. Perhaps you’ll recognize them by their “newer” name – the name they changed to in 1995: Amazon.
In 2017, we ordered 54 items from Amazon Prime. We’ve ordered nine so far this year. Can you imagine? More than 5 billion (yes, with a “b”) items were ordered on Amazon Prime last year—5 billion.
Can you imagine having them as your competition? I did more research and found out that Target, Macy’s, Staples, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Costco, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Footlocker, Toys R Us and Victoria Secrets are losing significant market share to Amazon. They are so big that they are changing how people shop and actually threatening industries such as electronics, consumer staples, department stores, book stores, grocery stores and health care.
Looks like we are good, so far, in glass.
We are fortunate. I hear people in our business lament about competition. Frankly, we have no idea what competition is!
We need to remember that we are in the service business. Our industry is not a commodity product – it is an integral part of a car’s safety. The Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC) says, “The windshield is an integral part of the safety restraint system in your car. It keeps the roof from crushing in on you in a rollover, it allows the airbags to deploy in the correct position to cushion passengers, and prevents you and your family from being ejected in a serious collision. It’s important to your family’s safety that the automotive glass in your vehicle be installed properly.”
The next time one of your employees tells you that your competition is terrible, remind them that they are fortunate to be in this business and not one of those mentioned above. Those folks have no idea what their future is. We do. But only if we remember who we are and what we provide.