Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:
It amazes me that many people have already forgotten Stern's "future plans" so quickly.
They are/were planning on opening the "Stern Store" in PA in 2017, and had plans for other state locations next year as well.
"Test business opportunities" to see if the concept was beneficial, one step at a time.
It was not some sort of troll post, like so many people originally thought.
It was not a "franchise".
No distributor involvement there either.
The "middle man" was completely gone.
Will the prices be lowered? Highly unlikely.
Does it significantly increase profit margins? Yes.
Stern is preparing for the next iteration of the market changes in order to ensure their success, including periods of industry stagnation caused by their own decisions.
Just recognize this tiny niche world can be cutthroat due to the fickle nature of the buyers whether private or operator.
This also includes innovation, design, and electronics.
One fart in the wrong direction, can cause eventual collapse of the deck of cards, resulting in a "hibernation effect" of the entire industry.
People must give Stern credit for exploring every option to generate additional income, because happy times do not last forever.
As I stated, new collectors simply won't care what happened in the past, and it that is perfectly acceptable, not that think it is particularly smart. I like free choice, opportunities, and speech, as that is what I fought to protect regarding freedoms.
What I don't like is dismissing that "things never ever happened before in the history of pinball" in order to justify some sort of argument, purchase, or epeen. That just implies willful ignorance.
"Knowledge and education provides respect of the past, understanding of the present, and predictions of future."
If people use it, owners can avoid problems.
Unfortunately, most people that buy pinball machines simply are not hobbyist, related to the industry, on forums, or even interested in whatever developments may occur.
Less than 10% of the entire pinball owners even probably reads PinSide, even Facebook has a better audience.
It is time for many to step away from the ratrace of NIB machines again, and not exclusively due to pricing.
SO Stern are exploring the vertical model, like so many brands/manufacturers these days.
They have a long way to go before they are capable of direct relationships with customers. I hope the cost of that is budgeted into their modelling for a retail arm.