Grandfather clocks

Grandfather Clock Showroom

12.02.10

How many grandfather clocks do you display in your showroom?  Will I see the complete line of Howard Miller grandfather clocks and Ridgeway grandfather clocks when I visit one of your stores or locations?

These are questions we get very frequently.  Some want to see the entire line of the Howard Miller Presidential Grandfather clocks such as the Eisenhower grandfather clock, the Reagan grandfather clock, or the Taylor grandfather clock, which are the most popular floor clocks.  Others want to see the JH Miller Howard Miller Grandfather Clock or the tubular chime JH Miller II Howard Miller Floor Clock.  May just want to look and compare the woods and quality of different clocks and grandfather clocks by brand and by type.  Some just want to hear the Westminster Chimes, or hear the chiming of the Schubert Ave Maria Chimes or the Beethoven Ode to Joy chimes that are on the Howard Miller Eisenhower II Grandfather Clock or the Howard Miller Clayton or Howard Miller Stewart grandfather clocks.  Hermle grandfather clocks and the Ridgeway grandfather clock selection are also eagerly sought to be viewed by clocks shoppers.

No matter whether it is a limited edition grandfather clock, a contemporary grandfather clock, one of the classic traditional grandfather clocks, or even our antique grandfather clocks, customers frequently naturally want to touch and hear and feel these clocks before they make grandfather clock purchases of thousands of dollars.  This is true whether one is offering the best grandfather clocks on sale or deepest grandfather clock discounts.  Or whether they are interested in grandfather clocks or grandmother clocks.

And beware the exchange policies of many grandfather clock retailers.  The most savvy consumers who actually read the fine print will find that the “no hassle” money back guarantee is actually void once the grandfather clock’s container is opened.  And even if no restocking fees are charged, watch out for the Return Shipping Fees for which the customer on his or her own will sometimes be responsible.  This can easily amount in many instances to around $1,000 plus or minus a few hundred dollars.  All the more reason to want to see before you buy.

Herein lies the rub!  The challenge many grandfather clock shoppers will face is that the grandfather clock showroom as it used to exist, and with the location frequency that used to make them prevalent throughout the country, is very sadly mostly an artifact of the past.  The economics of retail real estate and clocks manufacturing and retail sales, not to mention rising and falling consumer demand for clocks of different kinds, has led to almost an evaporation of the grandfather clocks showroom as it used to exist.  An example is Fortunoff, which years ago had grandfather clocks in their Manhattan Fifth Avenue location along with wall clocks and mantle clocks.  Years passed, and grandfather clocks were nowhere to be found at the Manhattan location, but could be found in the Woodbury Commons Shopping Mall a drive away.  The Fortunoff no longer carried even wall clocks and mantel clocks in the Manhattan Flagship location.  And then a few years later they filed for bankruptcy twice, the second time, at least for now, seemingly putting them out of business for good.

Now while clocks were a very small part of Fortunoff’s revenue and profit, their history does correlate with that of many clock dealers.  At our Grand Central Station Store, we always aimed to have 3-4 grandfather clocks on display.  And I believe we had the largest display in Manhattan, with 3-4 grandfather clocks.  That by itself says a lot!

So what is a serious thoughtful grandfather clocks shopper supposed to do?  It can be a vexing and difficult question.  We work with grandfather and grandmother clock shoppers to help make sure they understand what the best alternatives are, and address their questions and concerns as best we can.

While we believe we do a very good job in making that happen for our grandfather and wall and mantle clocks customers, there is absolutely no doubt that the times, they are a changing.

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