As someone who works for a local Raleigh tack shop, this is not awesome!
Don't freak. Stay current, well-stocked, and have quality options, and you'll be fine. Until our local tack shop lost a manager who knew the hunter/jumper stuff, they were better than the Dover store. Granted, I've never been to one of their way-up-north stores, but as I said before, if it's like the C'ville one, you'll be fine. Again, they're neat, but not the begin-all, end-all.
I've been to a few Dover stores. They're definitely big, and they're pretty with really expensive fixtures. What they carry they have a lot of, like if they carry a brand of breeches they'll often have in in every size and color. But they're pretty limited if you want to get stuff. They run out of merchandise a lot and they can't order anything that's not in the catalog, like something in the catalog in a different color or size (ask me how I know!) And it can be a major argument to get them to honor catalog sale prices. You'll have better luck getting other stores in the area to match Dover prices than getting Dover to match their own catalog prices. Not impressed by knowledge of sales staff. So if there's a good store in your area you're probably better off with them. I really don't get the excitement about Dover, I'd rather support a retailer who knows what they're doing and will support my community
M and M will be fine due to its excellent customer service. The one going out of business did not deliver on customer service (my personal experiences) and moved to a very "out of the way" location. It doesn't surprise me that they are shutting their doors.
Does anyone know where Dover is planning on opening?
Random guess... whisper down the lane from the store that's closing? The store said something to customers like "we're closing because we can't compete with the big retailer tack stores. Like in Atlanta, where Tack Tavern went out of business and Dover moved it... it's like that" and some customer heard that and turned it into "Dover's moving here too?"
That seems strange that they would just lie. I wonder if Dover is just being quiet about it?
Or if it's not a done deal yet?
Dover just opened a new store here in PA and things were VERY MUM about it until suddenly there were a zillion emails (spelling wrong, among other words-- the word "PHILADELPHIA"!!!!!!) about it all in a flurry. There wasn't a lot of "hey get excited" preliminary emails abot the store opening. Silence and then suddenly "we're opening!"
I worked for another shop years ago that was bought by Dover. No one knew about it until it was done. It is a slower process when there isn't a storefront and staff already in place to simply re-brand.
You always have to check the prices when you shop at Dover,,,many items, like gloves, ulcergard, fly spray, etc have as many as three prices...store, catalog,and web. If you mention the lower price the store will confirm it and ring it up, but if you don't check the prices you could be paying lots more. It is a pain.
it's surprising to read some of the comments on here. One of the things Dover prides itself on is its excellent customer service--100% satisfaction guarantee, just like LL Bean. If you receive anything less from a store, the manager should make it right and if not the manager, then corporate will.
If there is an item that isn't in the store that is carried in the catalog and still available, if you order it from the store, they will waive shipping charges.
And if it's something they don't put in the catalog, and they can get it, just put in a product inquiry and they will get it for you. I've done this for the blue sticky leg wrap things that people use as no-slip pads, charles owen items not carried, gigantic davis bell boots, ordering pieces out of "jump sets" that they carry in the catalog...you name it. Sure there are some brands they don't carry that I'd like to see a wider variety of (like bridle makers) but they do try to make an effort to get items they don't carry, when they can.
And as for the catalog sale prices versus store, they don't go around the store and re-label items when they go on sale because that would be labor intensive and drive prices up, but if you simply tell the clerk you believe the items are on sale in the catalog, they can simply key the register to ring up the catalog sale pricing and the coupon prices will be honored. From time to time there may be a glitch in the system, but if you call back when you get home and find an error, just call the store and they make it right.