I used to work at Target and that's always been the policy. I didn't always agree with it, but it was set up for inventory and shrinkage issues. They don't want everyone accessing the backroom. Have the sales floor doesn't know how the inventory works and if something is taken out and the system isn't told, the whole reordering and count is thrown off.
I, for the most part am trying to avoid all figures at the big stores and am trying to support my local comic shops and online shops. I'd rather support the little guy that cares.
I agree. However, comic shops tend to drive up the price of figures. $15 for JLU figures when they're $8 or $10 dollars down the street? Ouch!