This alert just came over a mailing list I'm on. For us nerds, the closing of the Boeing store would be a calamity of major proportions. This store is a national treasure. Please spread this message around and drop a note to the persons listed.
I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I have learned that Boeing Surplus's retail store will be closing permanently at the end of this year. The last day for retail operations will be Friday, December 21st. This decision was revealed to the employees on July 13th. Boeing has, for unknown reasons, made no apparent effort to publicize it.
The news left me in shock when I first heard. Boeing's been operating that store for at least 30 years, and it has become something of a local icon for the region.
I have spoken with some contacts I still have inside the company, and have been told that the "official" word is that it was costing more to run the store than it was bringing in. I'm not at all certain I believe this -- If true, I think it would have happened a lot earlier on, and certainly with more frequency. The surplus store is cyclical, just like the manufacturing side, and I don't see how its possible that they could run into a perpetual downward trend.
The excuse was also made that the volume and variety of equipment going through the retail level was falling too far off to justify maintaining the store. There is, to my mind, a simple answer for that -- Simply route more equipment through retail, rather than selling it off in bulk to the big-dollar wholesalers! This is especially true where test gear is concerned.
In short: I don't believe that this is a smart move by Boeing. Quite the contrary! I think it's the dumbest stunt they've pulled since selling off their commercial avionics unit to BAE.They have a very loyal customer base, and a large core of 'regulars' for the surplus store, myself included, and I for one do not intend to let this issue simply die off without a fight.
If you agree, and you want to make your voice heard on this issue, I ask that you do two things.
(1) SPREAD THE WORD!!!! I have no clue why Boeing hasn't made this more public, but my speculation is that they know, full well, how loyal a following the store has and they're trying to avoid a public backlash. If that is the case, I would like nothing better than to see that plan backfire!
(2) Make a POLITE contact with the office of Mr. Tim Copes, president of Boeing's Shared Services Group (they're in charge of all surplus programs, companywide), and ask that the decision to close the store be reversed.
Mr. Copes' office can be contacted at: (425) 865-7501
If you wish to mail a letter, you can do so to this address:
Mr. Tim Copes Boeing Shared Services Group Mailstop 6R7-01 PO Box 3707 Seattle, WA 98124
Will it work, if enough noise is made? Who knows? Honestly, I don't think there's much chance of saving the current store in its current form, given the time it has left.
HOWEVER -- If enough voices are raised, it may convince the company to provide a meaningful alternative, or perhaps even open another store down the road a stretch.
Thanks for reading.
-- John De Armond See my website for my current email address