Company Stores versus Independent Retailers

Roy Turner at Surf Expo turned me onto this interesting read about company or manufacturer stores versus independently owned specialty shops. http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=2363 Basically the article states that both company stores and independents can co-exist in the market place and that company stores typically charge more for their goods then they retail in a specialty shop, therefore giving the independent the competitive advantage. I guess the idea is that company stores naturally price themselves out of the market (which makes no sense as a business model). There is also some discussion around whether independent shops benefit from location when a nearby company store spends mucho dollars on marketing. The article is pro co-existence of company and independent stores. No matter your opinion, it is an interesting read...