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Topic - The demise of the climbing shop?

stp - on 06 May 2014
I would much prefer to buy gear from a climbing shop. I appreciate the fact such specialist places exist and the range of products they have. However looking at the cost of buying stuff from such shops compared with online and elsewhere has made me think. For instance:

Guidebook: costs 30% more
harness: 35% more
shoes: 90% more

I don't mind paying a little more from a specialist shop but the difference in cost for me is too much to justify. This works out at roughly 60 more on just 3 items. At these prices it feels more donating to a charity.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who will choose the cheaper option here.

So I'm wondering if climbing shops have a future? Do they need to change the way they do business to survive?
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