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Coming to an ASDA near you !


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Over the past few weeks had several customers asking if we could cut them a key , nothing unusual about that ! , however the tag line from them when we said yes was " the new automatic machine at Asda said it could not be cut " . Our nearest ASDA ( Minworth , B'Ham) , a "Walmart Superstore" is about 15 minutes drive away , so last week on a quiet moment i popped over ( in plain clothes ! ) to check them out.

Nice new Yale Laser Machine positioned inside the entrance , staff handing out leaflets, ideal spot to catch you either on the way in or out , remember you had to drive there so keys are normally in your hand at this point.

I spent several minutes examining the machine , and looking at the stock of keys in the adjoining cabinet , which by chance someone had left open and unlocked ! , before being approached by a nice man with a big smile wearing a "Yale" sweatshirt, he asked if i needed a key cut and told me how easy the machine was to use and it could cut virtually any Key , so i happily gave him my bunch , one of each i said , he then took a few minutes taking 5 keys off the keyring and started loading them into the reader box .

Lots of messages started appearing on the screen on the machine , operative started to overide prompts , and scratch his head , what are these for he asked , so i told him , one was a Patio Door , one was a Padlock , one was the Back Gate , one was my Car Key ( New Chrysler Voyager , even Davenports could not help me with this one ! ) , and finally the only one they could cut was a standard 1a Yale , so i told him not to bother and walked away , whole experience took about 15 minutes .

Not too worried about the prices they are charging , £3.95 for a Cylinder, £4.95 for a Mortice , we are £1 cheaper on Cylinder and 50p on a Mortice , or the fact that they are only 15 minutes drive away , big problem is that they intend to site one in nearly every Asda , and they are just about to start building a 24 hr Shop just 500 yds from us !.

Obviously due to the nature of the big Supermarkets they are bound to catch a few punters for keys , all that could have been either coming to me or you for a key , whilst the B&Q siting of these machines may have had little impact on trade , we can be certain that the supermarkets will do much better .

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Its interesting how we have heard about B&Q now Asda, yet we pass this off.

 

I see this as a real threat (potentially) to trade. With so much investment in the machines, tea shirts, leaflets and blanks these big companies are not going to want it to be going wrong.

 

They will invest considerable amounts of money into these services, so its time for us to sit up and take note! you can rest assured these companies are reading this topic already. So what do we as a trade now do, to make sure OUR customers don't wander else where?

 

Lee

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Same as B&Q only as good as the staf that operate the machine, and when staff rotate on a 24 hour system chances are that the trained guy wont be on duty when the real test keys come in and the customer gives up. Still , they may take some of the cream though.

you cant complain as you have been doing the same for years off the Locksmiths and Ironmongers. :wink:

Time to worry is when the multiples go into Asda. I forsee that this is the way most of the service trade will be done as more and more shopping is done out of town.

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Yes it is the Laser Machine , looks like a great system when it becomes fully functional and they iron out teething troubles , the operatives will probably get better the more times they use the machine , and become aware of which keys the machine will let them cut , appears to be a problem not having the correct blanks availiable on the system , but i am sure Yale will sort this out in the near future.

Once Asda can see what the operation can earn from a small footprint in the shop , i am sure they will also look at similar systems like the "automatic" pet tag engravers , luckily our local pet shop does not have the sense to put one in , and seem happy to point anything up to 50 customers a week in our direction , again this may only be a matter of time ! .

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This topic is all doom and gloom.

Asda might follow in the same footsteps as B&Q and I don't think they will be anymore successful.

 

Have you ever looked at the entrance to these stores. Its hard enough to get in with everyone with there kids coming out, Then when you finaly get in you have all there sesonal items(fast sellar's that month or special occasion items) to fight thru before you even start to get the weekly shop.

 

So they put a key machine there, Once the kids start playing with it thinking its the latest toy and break it, Ok so they put a counter in front of it, Thats more precious space lost. Then you will have to find a member of staff that can work it as I cain't see them having a full time member of staff just waiting incase someone needs a keycut. So they call for a member of staff to help you. Just to be told o we cain't cut that key.

 

These stores all work on the same theory how much they can get out of every square foot, They try differnt things and when they realise they cain't make the sort of money they want, They will slowly dissapear.

the time and effort to cut one key for £3.95, Won't pay the returns they would want, Then there is all the keys they will get returned!!

 

Yes it might harm us in the short term.

 

But there is one thing we all offer that the big stores cain't. That is customer services that is second to none. :D :D

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  • 1 month later...

hehe, had as lad in from b and q today having a cylinder key cut.

 

i asked him why he didn't have one cut at work and he made a comment about the new fangled machine they have cutting some of the keys in half after it had fuinished cutting the differs :lol:

 

i am quaking in my stylish but affordable shoes at the thought that b and q may pose a threat to my business after hearing that :lol: :lol:

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  • 4 weeks later...

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