Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

One less retail store to buy equipment - bummer

  • Please log in to reply
42 replies to this topic

#1 rexowner

rexowner

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 547
  • Joined: 13 Aug 2017
  • Loc: SF Bay Area, California

Posted 04 April 2021 - 03:31 PM

I was driving by the Orion Cupertino store, and took this picture.

 

When I was starting out years ago, not sure I would have gotten started without having a physical

location to go ask dumb questions.  It's where I got all of my "beginner" gear.  They were pretty

well stocked, and b4 Covid, would stop by there reasonably often to pick up some accessory

or whatever. 

 

Usually one of the in-store staff was the running the "chat" function on the Orion website,

e.g. you could ask a quick question from the website instead of calling on the phone.  I

don't see that function on their website unless I'm missing it.  I called to ask if the

store was coming back, but didn't get through, so I don't know officially if the store

is closing permanently, but pretty sure it is.

 

Thank goodness for Cloudy Nights and the ability to learn from others on this site, and

good on-line vendors like our sponsor etc.

 

Bummer, though.

Attached Thumbnails

  • OrionStore.png

Edited by rexowner, 04 April 2021 - 03:35 PM.

  • Illinois, payner, ShaulaB and 4 others like this

#2 MikeHC8

MikeHC8

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 149
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2018
  • Loc: San Diego

Posted 04 April 2021 - 03:55 PM

While I hope they will make it online, this is sad overall to ask questions in person, and check out that item before you buy.  I feel this is not the end, but the beginning trend.  I wish them the best of luck.


  • JS999R likes this

#3 khursh

khursh

    Viking 1

  • ****-
  • Posts: 920
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2018

Posted 04 April 2021 - 03:59 PM

I purchased many things there over the last 25 years. Sad indeed.



#4 LDW47

LDW47

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,647
  • Joined: 04 Mar 2012
  • Loc: North Bay,Ontario,Canada

Posted 04 April 2021 - 04:02 PM

Up here where I live our astronomy store has / had about 6 - 8 scopes on display, its their whole stock and they have about 12 eps on the shelf their whole stock, then there are a few accessories and 2-3 pairs of binos ! And when you stop in to talk to them they ask you the questions about this and that but they are a great bunch of guys although basically non astronomers, their forte are cameras. Thats what our city of 50,000 has to offer astronomy wise so I would love to look in the window of the former Orion store shown in your photo, just to window shop at nothing, lol ! Just kidding, you have a bummer situation !  PS:  But it is true about my local astro shope.


Edited by LDW47, 04 April 2021 - 04:03 PM.


#5 GalaxyPiper

GalaxyPiper

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 862
  • Joined: 20 May 2017
  • Loc: Sacramento, California

Posted 04 April 2021 - 04:03 PM

Sad to see this. COVID -19 has taken it's toll on many businesses that survive on floor traffic.



#6 rexowner

rexowner

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 547
  • Joined: 13 Aug 2017
  • Loc: SF Bay Area, California

Posted 04 April 2021 - 04:03 PM

I forgot to mention another reason I enjoyed going in there.  They had a a few shelves and sometimes

larger piles of "Space Junk" -- not the "seconds" they sell on the website but broken stuff and random

parts.  I wasn't really looking for anything at the time, but one day they had a 114mm Newtonian tube with a

mirror but a broken focuser, and some other size tube with a working focuser and no mirror.  We put the two together

into a working Newtonian at the counter, and I paid just a fraction what even a small beginner scope

would costs.  Works great, learned about collimation etc.  A fun experience.  IIRC they had some

6" and 8" mirrors for low cost I'd like to get my hands on now, but that's not going to happen.


Edited by rexowner, 04 April 2021 - 04:44 PM.

  • GalaxyPiper likes this

#7 Bill Jensen

Bill Jensen

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 901
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2004
  • Loc: Springfield VA

Posted 04 April 2021 - 04:13 PM

per this note, both of their retail locations were closed as of 3/17. 

https://www.telescop...ion&src=footer2


  • Jon Isaacs, Retired Dave and teashea like this

#8 RalphMeisterTigerMan

RalphMeisterTigerMan

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,832
  • Joined: 01 Nov 2016

Posted 04 April 2021 - 04:23 PM

Unfortunately the Novel Corona - Covid 19 Pandemic has had wide spread repercusions. Patients slowly filling Hospitals and resources getting streched to the limit combined with the tragic deaths of so many people is bad enough. No one thought about the chain of event consequences. 

 

Domestic and overseas factories have lost much of their workforce due to the pandemic forcing people to stay home thru no fault of their own. So,  Astronomical equipment isn't being built. People who normally transported this equipment to the various Ports of departure have had their numbers also slashed for the aforementioned reason. The People loading the various container ships have also "disappeared".

Then you have the crews manning the container ships, they are also suseptible to the virus and could concevibly spread it world wide.

 

So, all this equals stores with empty shelves. The owners cannot afford to keep pay leases/morgatges for stores that are not making money.

So what choice do they have? Close stores or go bankrupt.

 

I not only feel for everyone waiting for overdue purchases but also those whose livelyhood depends on having stock on hand to sell.

 

So, more people than we can imagine are affected by the pandemic.

 

Yeah, it sucks!

 

Clear skies and keep looking up!

RalphMeisterTigerMan


  • wrnchhead and EricSi like this

#9 GalaxyPiper

GalaxyPiper

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 862
  • Joined: 20 May 2017
  • Loc: Sacramento, California

Posted 04 April 2021 - 04:23 PM

per this note, both of their retail locations were closed as of 3/17. 

https://www.telescop...ion&src=footer2

I was looking at that too!

But was that 3/17 this year or last?



#10 james7ca

james7ca

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 9,841
  • Joined: 21 May 2011
  • Loc: San Diego, CA

Posted 04 April 2021 - 04:35 PM

Oceanside Photo and Telescope (OPT) closed their walk-in retail location a few years ago and I don't think I've purchased a single thing from them since. They've gone total internet, although I think you use to be able to schedule appointments at their warehouse in Carlsbad California (but, they may no longer do that, maybe COVID related).

 

Prior to the close of their walk-in store I purchased thousands of dollars of equipment from them over several years running. In fact, I visited probably once every month just to look over their used equipment or to purchase something new. Now I usually order from Agena Astro since they seem to have a lot more equipment in stock and I know that Agena ships very quickly and they aren't very far away from my home (Agena is just north of here, toward L.A.). Plus, Amazon is carrying a good amount of simple stuff and I'm already an Amazon Prime member and I can often get things in a single day through Prime.


  • GalaxyPiper and teashea like this

#11 rexowner

rexowner

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 547
  • Joined: 13 Aug 2017
  • Loc: SF Bay Area, California

Posted 04 April 2021 - 04:42 PM

per this note, both of their retail locations were closed as of 3/17. 

https://www.telescop...ion&src=footer2

Yes, 3/17/2020.  I drive by often because I go down their street for other reasons,  and it's been

over a year.  A few months ago, they still had the shelves in there, but now it looks empty,

and I only saw the "For Lease" signs a couple of weeks ago for the first time.


  • GalaxyPiper and teashea like this

#12 ian408

ian408

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 65
  • Joined: 01 Aug 2020
  • Loc: Silicon Valley

Posted 24 April 2021 - 06:41 PM

I just drove by their Cupertino store hoping they'd be open again. All of the signage is gone now. Nothing but the weathered reminder of a sign to indicate where they once were. 


  • Cali likes this

#13 rexowner

rexowner

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 547
  • Joined: 13 Aug 2017
  • Loc: SF Bay Area, California

Posted 24 April 2021 - 07:05 PM

I just drove by their Cupertino store hoping they'd be open again. All of the signage is gone now. Nothing but the weathered reminder of a sign to indicate where they once were. 

I saw that too.  Little hope of a local retail store coming back.  


  • ian408 likes this

#14 GalaxyPiper

GalaxyPiper

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 862
  • Joined: 20 May 2017
  • Loc: Sacramento, California

Posted 25 April 2021 - 09:18 PM

I saw that too.  Little hope of a local retail store coming back.  

 

 

With supply chains still in the lurch, don't expect things to snap back after COVID.

A lot of businesses are still smarting and some may not come back. At least not right away, those that depended on floor traffic...

 

Bryan


Edited by MJB87, 25 April 2021 - 09:22 PM.

  • CowTipton likes this

#15 alphatripleplus

alphatripleplus

    World Controller

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 124,166
  • Joined: 09 Mar 2012
  • Loc: Georgia

Posted 26 April 2021 - 10:50 AM

Still remember getting those glossy Orion catalogs in the mail... I probably still have a couple somewhere.


  • ShaulaB and Steve Cox like this

#16 SteveG

SteveG

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10,052
  • Joined: 27 Sep 2006
  • Loc: Seattle, WA

Posted 26 April 2021 - 04:27 PM

Still remember getting those glossy Orion catalogs in the mail... I probably still have a couple somewhere.

I saved the first one I had, from 1989. The founding owner Tim Geisler on the inside cover. Much has changed since those days.


  • ewave and nemo129 like this

#17 Dana in Philly

Dana in Philly

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 398
  • Joined: 28 Jul 2018
  • Loc: Delaware Valley

Posted 26 April 2021 - 04:38 PM

Change is the only constant. The world will be a different place after COVID-19. Climate change will alter things even more substantially, as it begins to torque into us in the coming decades, I fear.

 

Try to support what matters to you through the changes.


  • JS999R, Bean614 and EricSi like this

#18 Tom K

Tom K

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,020
  • Joined: 19 Jan 2010
  • Loc: Escondido, CA

Posted 27 April 2021 - 10:07 AM

The cost to support a storefront operation to serve a very small niche market is simply a bad business proposition.   You have to pay folks to be in the store to have "customers" come in to check out gear and then go home to search out a lower price online.   This is not to mention, rent, utilities, etc.   Folks in the astronomy market are, by and large, quite adept at navigating the digital world, so it makes sense to reach them where they are.   At the end of the day, while the loss of some of these stores is sad, in reality they only served a small percentage of the market who were close enough to visit. IMHO, the most important thing is for the industry itself to remain viable to serve our niche market with the things we need.  Internet sales are the only way that is going to happen.


  • doctordub, weis14, russell23 and 3 others like this

#19 CowTipton

CowTipton

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 301
  • Joined: 27 Jul 2020
  • Loc: NW Chicago Suburbs

Posted 27 April 2021 - 11:11 AM

With supply chains still in the lurch, don't expect things to snap back after COVID.

A lot of businesses are still smarting and some may not come back. At least not right away, those that depended on floor traffic...

 

Bryan

Even those that do not depend on floor traffic.

I run a B2B manufacturing business.

Our normal lead times are 7-10 business days.  Now it's 21-30, if we can even get the parts we need for that.  Plenty of orders cancelled as people do not want to wait.

We've lost two large vendors in the last year and are waiting 6+ months for some parts to come in from others.

 

It's gonna be another year at least before things get back closer to normal as far as supply chain/inventory go.  And expect prices to go up on everything.

It sucks but at least we survived.


  • JosephR, weis14, davelpg and 2 others like this

#20 Virtus

Virtus

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 319
  • Joined: 09 Mar 2021
  • Loc: SE NC

Posted 27 April 2021 - 11:20 AM

Even those that do not depend on floor traffic.

I run a B2B manufacturing business.

Our normal lead times are 7-10 business days.  Now it's 21-30, if we can even get the parts we need for that.  Plenty of orders cancelled as people do not want to wait.

We've lost two large vendors in the last year and are waiting 6+ months for some parts to come in from others.

 

It's gonna be another year at least before things get back closer to normal as far as supply chain/inventory go.  And expect prices to go up on everything.

It sucks but at least we survived.

I am hopeful that this whole situation will lead to a rethink in manufacturing and supply chains but the pessimistic (realistic?) side of me knows it will all go back to the status quo as soon as it's able and we'll be subject to the same vulnerabilities as before...


  • PatrickVt and CowTipton like this

#21 alphatripleplus

alphatripleplus

    World Controller

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 124,166
  • Joined: 09 Mar 2012
  • Loc: Georgia

Posted 27 April 2021 - 11:37 AM

Cloud Break Optics does also have a retail location  and showroom (closed during the current situation), but they say they are operating curbside pickup at the moment. I'm guessing most of their business is via internet sales, but at least there are a few combination internet and bricks and mortar astronomy/telescope stores left.


  • CeeKay and EricSi like this

#22 EricSi

EricSi

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 210
  • Joined: 16 Apr 2021
  • Loc: Seattle, WA

Posted 09 May 2021 - 04:25 AM

Cloud Break Optics does also have a retail location  and showroom (closed during the current situation), but they say they are operating curbside pickup at the moment. I'm guessing most of their business is via internet sales, but at least there are a few combination internet and bricks and mortar astronomy/telescope stores left.

 

If you're referring to the one in Seattle, yes, they are operating curbside pickup. I just bought a Televue Ethos 17mm from them last week and picked it up. I like having an in person store nearby, and will support them by buying from them rather than online when possible.


  • JS999R likes this

#23 StarWolf57

StarWolf57

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,164
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2014
  • Loc: Granada Hills (Los Angeles), CA

Posted 09 May 2021 - 11:30 AM

I don't see how any astro store can survive without a significant on-line operation. To generate enough foot traffic, you would need to be located in a fairly large community. The downside is that those locations will tend to be expensive to operate in (rent, taxes, higher wages, maintaining "show" inventory, etc). The astro community is just to small to support a business based primarily on foot traffic. If you're on-line only, so can be located anywhere and keep your costs down.


  • ewave, PatrickVt, gwfbmd and 1 other like this

#24 CarolinaBanker

CarolinaBanker

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 330
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2020
  • Loc: Eastern North Carolina

Posted 09 May 2021 - 03:04 PM

I don't see how any astro store can survive without a significant on-line operation. To generate enough foot traffic, you would need to be located in a fairly large community. The downside is that those locations will tend to be expensive to operate in (rent, taxes, higher wages, maintaining "show" inventory, etc). The astro community is just to small to support a business based primarily on foot traffic. If you're on-line only, so can be located anywhere and keep your costs down.

It’s like that for most specialty retailers. They require a critical mass and because scopes are durable goods even a committed astronomer may only buy every few years. Unfortunately the urban areas with population density that will support a specialty retailer also have Bortle 8/9 skies which means they probably have fewer astronomers per capita. With an incredibly dispersed hobby online has to be the key strategy for a retailer to survive.


  • helpwanted likes this

#25 ram812

ram812

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,117
  • Joined: 10 Dec 2014

Posted 09 May 2021 - 04:13 PM

So.. does this mean no Orion at all, or just online? Just curious..
CS, Ralph


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics