If I remember correctly, you work at TFP, one of the largest on-line/catalog stores. What they sell items for is often less than a small lfs
can buy the item for through a distributor. Your company deals directly with the manufacturer for many items while the smaller lfs
must buy through a distributor. That adds additonal shipping and a middleman to the picture.
Your employer is located in an area of low property taxes and low rents vs. the city store where the rent is high, the taxes are high, the basic cost of doing business is high. Twice the price at a NCY store? That's just the economics of retail.
I have a lfs
that deals in livestock for 90+% of it's business. They have great variety and I've never experienced a loss from them. The other lfs
's are typical of retail locations. They try to sell you more than you need, the prices are high and the livestock is, well, I have not anything survive qt
from these places.
So I go online for dry goods and buy livestock locally (95% of the time).