[AZ-Observing] More Astronomy Shoppe

  • From: Tom Polakis <polakis@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 01 May 2001 21:39:58 -0700

I was dismayed to learn that The Astronomy Shoppe is closing its doors.
This leaves Phoenix with only two low-volume telescope stores, a large
camera shop, and countless irrelevant department stores which happen to sell
telescopes.  The Astronomy Shoppe was one of those stores like Wide World of
Maps that I visited periodically with no particular item in mind to

I spoke to a friend who worked there a couple years ago.  He indicated that
Dick Jacobsen is closing mostly just to retire from the business.  He is
looking forward to doing other things, and he still has a separate business
to run.  It's not just burnout that caused him to call it quits, though.
Selling telescopes is a low-margin business, apparently lower than you could
imagine.  Dick had the place up for sale for quite a while.  Interested
parties would look at the books and say, "you've gotta be kidding!"  I get
the impression that anybody who sells telescopes for a living has to really
love them.

Everybody on this list knows that commercial telescopes aren't cheap.  How
many times have you been asked how much scope can be had for two hundred
bucks?  The majority of customers want the Mercedes of telescopes for this
money, and they're stuck with purchasing marginal optics on a shaky mount.
Now the retailer is stuck with supporting that product.  Or worse yet, a
potential customer uses a few hours of The Astronomy Shoppe's time only to
purchase the same equipment for twenty bucks less from JC Penney.  I wonder
if Phoenix will see another large store that sells only astronomy equipment.



Tom Polakis
Tempe, AZ
Arizona Sky Pages
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