During the strike, additional Cloud 9 employees from the Kirkwood Branch show up, but they’re only there to replace the striking workers, not to join the strike. Jeff shares that he will welcome back any employees who come inside and apologize, and that is when the other employees realize they are easily replaceable. These employees do not possess any particular skills that other workers aren’t capable of doing. This labor market would be rather competitive since the workers are essentially homogenous.
Glenn’s family used to own a local hardware store before Cloud 9 entered the market and put them out of business. Cloud 9 was probably able to take advantage of economies of scale and a large distribution network to offer competing products at lower prices. Monopolistic competition in the long run results in zero profits for firms, but if a small company already has relatively little profit before entry, a decrease in demand could result in that particular firm incurring losses and leaving the market. Because Sturgis and Sons specialized in hardware, some of those workers may be structurally unemployed if their skills are no longer needed in the local market. Later in the episode, Glenn finally shares his frustration with Cloud 9 and how they killed his family’s business because of their devotion to profit maximization.