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 Post subject: Re: Spring Cleaning
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:18 pm
Posts: 7480
Location: Madison Wisconsin
When we first started 10 years ago the internet shopping thing was still undeveloped and we had success with large brands like Wusthof and Henckels. Now that every department store and bricks and mortar has a website those brands don't do nearly as well. Same with ceramic knives. I think those are prime areas to trim back.

There are a bunch of low margin lines from Japan that we make nothing on like fujiwara, maruyoshi but I like these knives. We also have too many knife cases and as you mentioned there are way too many rods and redundant kitchen tools on the site that we could easily dump.

One of our biggest headaches is running out of stock on popular items. It causes a huge amount of problems for customers. If you live in Australia and have to pay a large amount to ship you want to get everything you need all at once. We have customers that wait for an item to come back in stock and in the meantime 2 other items run out of stock. This is a tough problem because some of my suppliers can't produce enough and others ship by boat and it takes 5-8 weeks to get deliveries so I don't see a way out of it. It's hard to guess what inventory you need 2 months out and guess right.



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 Post subject: Re: Spring Cleaning
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:58 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:31 pm
Posts: 87
I think it should be more of what you want to keep, instead of what to get rid of.(for entry level knives)
entry level: artifex/ tojiro dp/ fujiwara/ yamashin
mid/ higher level: trim down but with less entry level knives you can get whatever catches you eye.


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 Post subject: Re: Spring Cleaning
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:02 am 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 11:31 pm
Posts: 211
Location: Vancouver, Canada
For the customer that needs to wait for out of stock item, couldn't you enable ordering of out of stock item then fulfill the order once everything has arrived?

This way the other items on the order can be picked and reserved for that order and they don't have to worry about other items they want will go out of stock.

You can also give them a choice on order screen to wait and ship all at once or to ship in separate shipment (if they don't care about shipping charge.).

Either way, since they're charged when the item is shipped, there is no additional risk to you or the customer. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Spring Cleaning
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:17 am
Posts: 3898
This is a tough problem because some of my suppliers can't produce enough...
Not much you can do here other than keeping a standing order.

...others ship by boat and it takes 5-8 weeks to get deliveries so I don't see a way out of it. It's hard to guess what inventory you need 2 months out and guess right.
With your best selling inventory, or inventory in general, gets down to 5-8 weeks worth, place another order. You might still run out before you receive it but your customers might only have to wait days instead of weeks before it's back in stock. I don't see a reason why the Rika or a felt block should be out of stock for weeks without a major incident.
Then again, my comments may seem stupid because I don't run a retail business!



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 Post subject: Re: Spring Cleaning
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:18 pm
Posts: 7480
Location: Madison Wisconsin
Ok, we are discontinuing Kyocera, henckels, kasumi and masahiro.



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 Post subject: Re: Spring Cleaning
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:31 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:17 am
Posts: 3898
It's a start.



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 Post subject: Re: Spring Cleaning
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:59 pm 
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Location: Madison Wisconsin
Yes, more to come.



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 Post subject: Re: Spring Cleaning
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:34 pm
Posts: 330
What made me a customer is the value added service. Take Mark's expertise, plus the knowledge of the forum guys, and some of Mark's partners expertise, that is what makes CKTG shine!
As far as inventory, I think you should specialize on the Richmond line, keep expanding it. See if you can get more from Fernandez, Thomas, and the other really custom makers. Let's face it, the bulk of your customer base are in the trade, and most of them are what I like to call...lovingly, Japanese knife snobs!!
So dance with who brung you! Expand the Japanese lines, god knows there are enough manufacturers over there.
Maybe you can knock on some doors when you take your trip.

The lines that anyone can buy anywhere online or at retail could be dropped because there is really no value added to them.
Custom knife handles is another big opportunity.
Focus on what makes CKTG different than other online sources.


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 Post subject: Re: Spring Cleaning
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:30 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:01 pm
Posts: 203
+1 for phillysco. Let your uniqueness be your competitive advantage, Mark. I was drawn to CKTG via the value of blades and stones I couldn't get elsewhere. -Josh W.


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 Post subject: Re: Spring Cleaning
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:33 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:53 am
Posts: 4
I'd say drop what Amazon carries with the exception of the Shun's or knives that you really sell a lot of (just guessing). Some knife newbies (myself included), will find your site by searching for some of the key names, so you have to keep them. So keep the names that people are searching for, but continue to keep value knives.

I mostly buy Amazon, but have five knives from you (All Tojiros), one from Amazon (just purchase a Bunmei that was cheaper and 2 day free shipping), and four other from the local store. After buying the Bunmei I wished I would of stayed with Tojiro.

I really like what you did with Tojiro ITK. And some of the other value knives you have.
Maybe if you picked up some good value lines without handle, but have affordable alternate wood, for say another $20.

So if you had the knife below (which is my go to knife)
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/toitkshwa21.html
For $10 less without handle and then offered, a basic choice of unfinished Walnut, Cherry, ... woods for $20, $30 $40 .

That way the working guy could "customize" a WA style knife at an affordable price.
You narrow your inventory but increase options.


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