I've had that happen plenty of times; they don't stock what I need at the time, and they say they can special order it for me. I tell them I can order it too, but I wanted to give you first crack at it. Thanks anyways. I get that sometimes things go out of stock and new stock hasn't arrived yet, especially these days of Covid, but when its a normal item they usually carry but didn't bother to stock it... tough noogies.Mismanagement and indifference is a far greater threat to local hobby shops than ecommerce. A couple of weeks ago I needed paint to finish up a project. Rather than order online, I decided to favor the local guys with my money.
The paint racks were half full. Most critically, they were out of white spray paint. White spray paint! An inquiry at the front counter about the possibility of additional stock in the back room was met with a suggestion that they could "special order" it for me. That's right, a special order on, of all things, white spray paint.
That's not competition from online sources. That's poor business execution.
I'm done with that noise. I'll just order online and plan ahead.