Saturday, September 22

The mysteries of Guam retail

We drove by the new Home Depot this afternoon and it looks like they will actually be ready to open on schedule next month.

So you might be thinking that all the local hardware outfits would be shaking in their flip-flops -- rethinking their customer service strategies, dropping prices, running customer appreciation specials... But it's almost as though they haven't noticed the concrete box under construction just below the airport.

I suppose they've seen enough American companies come and go that they don't get too rattled. They're probably betting that Home Depot will go the way of Bank of America, Safeway, Sizzler, Baskin Robbins, 7-11, Costco... -- all formerly on Guam.

Will Home Depot join them or will Home Depot become another Kmart style success?

Given the growth projections of the island I am betting on success. Maybe they'll even draw some other power center businesses to the island.

Tim would like a Starbucks. I'd get excited about Jamba Juice. And am I being overly hopeful to wish for a Staples, OfficeMax, or Office Depot for Guam?

We do have some good sized stationery suppliers here. But they're crammed full of over-priced paper, envelopes, pens, erasers, and waste baskets -- so much so that it's a hazard to maneuver through the claustrophobia inducing aisles. (Is OSHA asleep out here?)

The irony, though, is that they usually don't have what I want -- perhaps 30% of the time. How can they have so much stuff but rarely what I need? How do they stay in business with so much stagnating inventory?

Oh, the mysteries of Guam!

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