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Direct to Consumer Shuffleboard News

McClure Tables Handcrafted Shuffleboards Sold Direct & On-Line Featured In National Hardwood Magazine

Handcrafted Shuffleboard Tables Sold Direct and On-Line made one at a time in Grand Rapids, Michigan. McClure Tables has been handcrafting shuffleboards for over ten years, and recently, they were featured in National Hardwood Magazine February 2020 print and online edition. Known worldwide for making the most elegant shuffleboard tables in the world, McClure Tables has sold tables all over the United States. In addition to they have tables located throughout the world, including Israel, England, Amsterdam, Russia, Australia, Japan, France, Hawaii, Taiwan, and New Zealand. Most of McClure Shuffleboards tables are in private homes, but you may also find in hotels, restaurants, or your company break room.
Recently featured in National Hardwood Magazine, read online here. Todd McClure, who comes from the retail side of the business of home Gameroom products, founded McClure Tables in 1991, in 2009 he began to focus exclusively on Shuffleboard tables. Having experience in the retail side buying from manufactures as well as working at one time as a manufactures representative, he found that many game table manufacturers lose their focus trying to be a one-stop-shop. They think a foosball table, pool table, shuffleboard, or Poker table are all similar products. When at the heart of the shuffleboard table is the playing surface and the requirements to make butcher block that is 3″ thick and 12 to 22 foot in length requires expertise in hardwood glue up and processing equipment. For this reason, the majority of manufacturers only make cabinets and purchase the playing boards from butcher block experts. Not wanting to leave any of the processes to outside contract manufacturing and the want to control in house McClure makes everything in their factory.
There are over 30 different designs and styles of cabinets all custom built to order. McClure Tables even makes Authentic Rock-Ola Shuffleboard tables in the art deco style famous on the original Rock-Ola Shuffleboard Tables made in 1948 & 1949. It is not unusual to use reclaimed beams or timber logs to craft the Shuffleboard cabinetry, and many customers personalize with their company logo or favorite sports team. The company is housed in a 24,000 square foot facility part of the McClure owned 38,000 square foot building.
In the past, shuffleboard tables were phased out of the arcade bar and restaurant scene for space reasons, but now the game is seeing a massive resurgence in home theater rooms and company break rooms. Owner Todd McClure confessed that while the five employees at McClure Tables like to play, “We’re more woodworkers than shuffleboard enthusiasts. We are purist, one of the few companies who make boards the old fashioned way.” The thick hardwood playing boards they make use locally harvested hard Michigan maple wood and use a durable hard polyester finish are warrantied for a lifetime at home or five years for commercial applications.
Custom handcrafted, pride in woodworking, choice in sizes, styles, and woods, aggressive pricing, and creative customers who can buy directly from the builder-These factors set McClure Tables apart in the shuffleboard realm.

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Direct to Consumer

Advantages of On-Demand Manufacturing

The general concept behind on-demand manufacturing is that a product isn’t made until a customer orders it. There are some slight disadvantageous to this for the customer such as longer production and delivery times or even a slightly higher price. However, the benefits to products that are manufactured on-demand are significant. Typically the customer receives a higher-quality good and improved customer service. At McClure tables, we’d refer to our process as on-demand handcrafting as all of our shuffleboards are created by hand and to order. With this in mind, we wanted to take some time to explain on-demand manufacturing and how it compares to mass production.

Photo taken during a Galt Shuffleboard Table Build

Benefits from On-Demand Manufacturing

There are several advantages of on-demand manufacturing for both the seller and the buyer. For the company producing the goods, there is less of a need for storing massive quantities of finished goods, and the costs associated with making something are directly attributed to a sale (you’re only making what has been paid for). The customer benefits from receiving a highly personalized buying experience and a product that has been specifically crafted for them. The purchased item is typically made from high-quality resources or ingredients resulting in a better finished product.

 

The Disadvantages On-Demand Manufacturing

Everything has a cost at some point. If you are purchasing a product that is being crafted specifically for you, you are going to wait longer to receive it. In a world dominated by 2-day shipping, waiting even a week for your products can feel like a long time. Price can also be a bit higher, but that is debatable. We’d argue that finding the same high-quality and handcrafted merchandise would be impossible to find for a lower price.


200% Apples-to-Apples Price-back Guarantee
We won’t upcharge you to cover the costs for marketing companies, local distributors, or retailers because we don’t have a retail mark up or MAP pricing. There are no middlemen so the quality of workmanship and dignity of the craftsmanship are preserved. If you can find a table like our model, with the same materials and quality of workmanship, anywhere else in the world at a lower price then we’ll refund your purchase 200%

 


The Cost of Saving

When a company mass-produces a product, they are taking advantage of economies of scale. The more raw product they buy the less each individual unit costs. The lower a product costs to make, the lower it can be priced. However, there are hidden costs to low-priced products that you might not be thinking about.

First, the product itself is produced on an assembly line designed to be as efficient as possible. Efficiency often times does not equal quality. The goal with an assembly line is to manufacture something as quickly and cost-efficient as possible, not to make it the best product possible.

Second, there are costs to the manufacturer for showcasing their goods through online retailers like Amazon and even on physical shelves. Those costs are baked into the price a customer pays. In essence, you’re paying for fees that have nothing to do with how the product is made.

So, when you purchase a mass-produced item, are you really saving?

A Note on How We Do Things…

At McClure Tables, we handcraft every single shuffleboard table that we sell. When you buy a McClure Shuffleboard, you can only buy it from us; there is no middle man. Even our “stock” inventory has been 100% handcrafted using the same exact process as our custom tables. If you have questions, you communicate directly with our woodshop and the people crafting your shuffleboard table. You’ll always receive the highest quality shuffleboard table and excellent customer service, that’s our promise.

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Direct to Consumer

How Our Employees Make A Difference with Our Customers

What’s the secret behind hiring and keeping high-quality team of woodworkers? Raises. Bonuses. Things that prove you mean it when you say “thanks for all of your hard work” after those longer days. At McClure Tables, we believe that we get what we pay for in our employees and that their motivation means better quality products for our customers. Our woodworkers make $21-$26 per hour with paid vacation days, bonuses, 5% 401 matches, great health insurance, and more. We couldn’t do what we do without our crew, so compensating them well is important to us. Some of our team members have been with us for years and they know that we are going to take care of them. They are happy, we are happy, and most importantly, our customers are happy because they get the best quality shuffleboards on the market.

But what happens when we pack up your table and hand it to the shipping company? Usually, he delivers it in perfect condition. However, not all shipping employees are compensated as well or shown as much appreciation as those at McClure Tables. This means that occasionally, there is someone out there who is not concerned about all of the “FRAGILE” stickers on our shuffleboards. You’ve seen it happen before. You order something online and your box arrives with some wear and tear… and your item inside is damaged! So what happens to your shuffleboard when the trucking company doesn’t “handle with care?”

Well, you get to see some of the best customer service in the biz. At McClure tables, we know that shipping can be rough, so we pack our tables with as much care as we put into making them. They leave our store packaged in styrofoam, boxed up, saran wrapped, covered in “fragile” and “handle with care” stickers, and already strapped down for the road. However, no matter how carefully something is packaged it can still be damaged if it isn’t transported properly. IF you see even a torn box or anything looks unusual check inspect the product do not be afraid to make the truck driver wait. Open the box and inspect the table for any damage if you have any concerns call us at 800-656-0977.

In order to help avoid any mix-ups, we send you a photo of what your package looks like just before it is shipped. This helps you see any differences or damage to packing when your table arrives. If the packaging is loose or anything is damaged upon arrival, we give you instructions on how to properly inspect and claim any damages to your table. If anything needs repair, we work with you to get it fixed as quickly as possible.

The end result? 100% satisfaction guaranteed! Oh, and a beautiful shuffleboard table handcrafted just for you.

Prestige Shuffleboard Table is shown above.

 

 

 

 

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Direct to Consumer

Why Direct-to-Consumer Businesses are Winning in the Marketplace

Direct-to-Consumer business occurs when the maker of a product sells it directly to customers (typically through e-commerce) without using wholesalers, distributors, and other resellers.

This form of business is becoming increasingly lucrative because of the benefits and extra value received by customers. Without middlemen to increase prices along the way, consumers only pay for the value of a product. The manufacturer also has the opportunity to provide a better experience for customers because they aren’t relying on someone else’s store to make policies and treat customers well

A great example of a winning Direct-to-Consumer brand is Todd Shelton. Todd Shelton is an American fashion brand that manufactures its clothing in-house with two expert seamstresses. They don’t use wholesalers or sell products in traditional retail stores. Instead, all purchases are made online and shipped directly to the person who will wear their jeans. This allows Todd Shelton to focus on quality and provide each person with premium service. If you shop ToddSehlton.com, you’ll find a free fit-recommendation tool and that someone follows up with you to ensure you’re happy with your purchase. If your jeans need to be tailored to fit better, they can be shipped back and adjusted by the same expert seamstress that made them originally. Todd Shelton also offers custom orders – something that couldn’t be done using traditional supply chains.

Did You Know? The area of Northern New Jersey where we’re located is the only area in the United States with a concentrated number of men’s shirt makers. There’s five total – and we’re one of five.

Outside of this area, we know of one shirt maker in Texas, one in North Carolina, one in Massachusetts, one in Pennsylvania, and one in Ohio. That’s all.

This past week one of the New Jersey shirt makers closed its doors. It’s sad news. With minimum wages rising to $15 per hour and no trade protections – others will fall, it’s only a matter of time. It’s getting lonelier as a clothing manufacturer in the USA.

www.toddshelton.tom

McClure Shuffleboards are also sold directly to consumers. We operate this way because we don’t want wholesalers and other stores marking up the shuffleboards and charging customers more than the tables are worth. Just like Todd Shelton, we focus on quality and offer premium customer service. We get to work with each customer to provide exactly what they are looking for. Shuffleboards can be custom made, delivered and installed. We also cover our shufflebaord tables with an unbeatable warranty, which wouldn’t be possible if we sold through resellers. Selling directly to consumers also allows us to provide accessories (wax, cleaning supplies, etc.) that are guaranteed to be safe for use on the shuffleboard tables. If customers have questions, they can contact us directly for answers. You’ll deal directly with us during the lifetime of your shuffleboard table.

Now, there are advantages to buying certain products through online and brick-and-mortar retailers. Trying to purchase toothpaste or shampoo directly from a manufacturer would prove to be difficult (although the direct-to-consumer trend is even making it’s way into these industries). However, when it comes to high-quality items like furniture, shuffleboards, or even your favorite fitting jeans, there are clear advantages to buying from a direct-to-consumer business. 

The bottom line when it comes to shuffleboard table and resellers

You’ll receive much more value when you purchase directly from the maker. Resellers will charge more and won’t have the same level of product knowledge. The reseller may not even have any warranties or provide proper delivery and setup of your items. The retailer could also sell you accessories or add-ons that could damage your shuffleboard play surface.

We support the direct-to-consumer business model and highly recommend that you consider shopping brands that do the same; especially for high-quality items. 

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Direct to Consumer

The McClure Distributive Economic Philosophy

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]McClure Tables started as a brick and mortar retail store that sold billiard and shuffleboard tables and other recreational games for 25 years. McClure Tables former name was Game Room Designs. In 1991 Todd McClure started the business in Austin, Texas. Todd has been working on Billiard tables since he was 19 years old. With his 59th birthday upon us, that is 40 years of experience in the industry!

Game Room Designs was started with the home team pride of selling pool tables made in America. Over the years most of the brands Game Room Designs sold did not have big factories and the ones that did only had a small portion of their product made in these factories. They carried companies like Gandy, of Macon Georgia, Peter Vitalie of North Carolina, and C.L. Bailey of Missouri. Todd and Judy McClure first started doing business with Charlie, of C.L. Bailey when he owned Playmaster. Playmaster later sold to AMF, Charlie 5 years to the day of his non-compete clause ending with AMF, started C.L. Bailey and sold it again a few years later. Game Room designs even won many awards with these companies: see photo to the right.

What the McClure’s found as a retail dealer of top game room brands is they all have great marketing departments and a history to create a rich story upon which they can build their name. The problem here is that beyond the marketing pitch of a genuine, authentic or even handcrafted product the brands are only making money and marketing materials. Causing these companies to have a supply chain of vendors, merchants, carriers, and contract manufactures that distribute the product but, do they stand for the same philosophy the company was built on? Therefore, McClure Tables has created its direct distributive business model. In this business model they believe in supplying directly to the consumer to control all aspects of the consumer’s experience.

McClure Tables’ Economic Philosophy

After 25 years in the retail trenches McClure’s have found most vendors and suppliers were mostly interested in selling more product. If they cannot make enough money selling this brand, then they will switch to another brand. If they cannot make enough money running their factory in America, then they shut down and use contract manufacturing. The word distributive can be scary, it sounds like I am going to start talking about social justice and how you need to share more of your things with others, when it is simply the way McClure Tables does business, the quote to the right describes this business model. By shopping at McClure Tables, you will be provided with a genuine, authentic, and handcrafted product from start to finish. It is a way of taking out the middle man whose interest do not always share the same common goals. You as a consumer simply want the best shuffleboard table, we as a company want to build the best. If we depend on others between your needs and ours in their distributive process, we have no control over their motivations.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”33930″ img_size=”1200×625″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/240579435″ title=”WoodShop Tour”][vc_single_image image=”33178″ img_size=”medium” onclick=”zoom” title=”See Our Awards”][vc_column_text]”The economic well-being of a country
is not measured exclusively by the
quantity of goods it produces but also
by taking into account the manner in
which they are produced and the level
of equity in the distribution of
income.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The McClure Shuffleboard Tables philosophy is like shopping at the local farmers market. Where you can know who grew the food even shake their hand and know your neighbor put his love care and pride into his craft. You just can’t walk into a retail store any more and find those kind of craftsmen. In fact you will pay the same price or more for a factory produced shuffleboard table than the craftsmen at McClure Tables charge for one made by hand. Why because this brand developed out of years of frustration as a retailer of brands who just wanted to sell product. They did not care about making a better widget, or how they can distribute it in a way that all parties along the supply chain benefit. We pay the craftsmen more, we use better materials and we only sell directly to the end user. So no profit or margin was figured into the design or distribution of the product for a merchant or vendor who is mostly interested in making money. We want to build the best shuffleboards to do that we have to cut out the middle men who only want to make money.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]