Thursday, 27 November 2008

Woolworths gone! MFI gone! Who next

The news that MFI has gone into recession came as no surprise to me.

I used to be a customer of theirs on a fairly regular basis but stopped when they introduced the stupid system of having to get everything delivered! In the good old days you looked round the store, picked what you wanted, paid for it and then waited beside a counter at the side of the building until your flat pack kitchen, chest of drawers, wardrobe, etc appeared out of the warehouse. You loaded up your roof rack and went home for a fun filled weekend (because it was usually a Saturday morning when I was at MFI) self assembling. There was always a small group of people loitering near the collections counter and it seemed the store did steady business.

However, when they closed the warehouse and everything had to be delivered that was when I stopped using MFI. The sheer inconvenience of having to wait in for delivery men who never came when they said they would, the inconvenience of waiting two or three or sometimes even more weeks for a bedside table to be delivered was just to much. I can see exactly why MFI did it. They saved the cost of the warehouse full of stock attached to each store, they needed fewer backroom staff, their cash flow as improved as people handed over their money weeks before the stuff was delivered rather than paying and getting the same day. Al fantastic stuff FOR MFI, unfortunately they forgot the basic lesson in business! It is customers who pay the bills! If you make it harder and less convenient to get hold of your products then the customers go somewhere where it is easier. Once MFI stopped holding stock at the point of sale it became just another furniture display shop. Go there, find what you want, order cheaper on line. Easy!

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