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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:23 pm 
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Caped Crusader wrote:
No, it doesn't make sense. In fact, it's patently stupid. If you have them, sell them. If I was a Target shareholder, I'd be infuriated to know that they play the Commie game with something when a paying customer wants to buy it. Screw fair and "equal" in a toy department. First come, first served. The policy, when actually enforced, is asinine.


It is crazy and I agree completley with you on first come first serve. I can almost understand their thinking when you apply it to an extreme example, like lets say there is 10 Blue Devils in stock but they only want to put out one at a time so that 10 moms will be satisfied when they were able to find a figure for their child and continue to shop in Target as apposed to a collector or scalper comming in and buying all 10 for selling or customizing, and having the 10 moms get angry because they can never find a toy for their child. They do want the majority of their guests to be satisfied. Again, I can almost understand this sort of thinking until I use my brain and realize that the best solution is that Target should order 20 plus blue devils because obviously they are selling like hot cakes and everybody will be happy. Not only that, it makes the most money for Target and Mattel. Only good business sense i would think. But i do not have an MBA so what do i know?

And you are right, if i were a Target shareholder i'd be outraged that they are turning down paying customers.


Last edited by bat313 on Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:29 pm 
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Well, far be it from me to cast aspersions on Mattel's statement about "tell your retailer" and "we don't set case ratios" but if you ask at the retail location, you will be told that whatever company is producing the product in question sets case ratios. "We don't know why they only put one in each case, but that's what they do." I've done it, I've listened to angry parents do it, and the "message" does not get any higher than whichever floor employee you speak with, who shrugs and says it's the toy company's fault.

If toy companies think that retailers are taking that PR bullet for them, they are completely mistaken. I've heard this exchange five times (I counted) over the holidays, and each time the toy company is identified to the customers as the bad guy, by name.

I agree, Caped Crusader, that the system of refusing to go to the back is stupid, but again, I can't change it. My feeling is that it's worth the lost sale to Target to NOT have the employee drop everything and run to the back each time a customer asks. Yup, it flies in the face of good sense, but there it is.

We're kind of derailing this thread, though.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:38 pm 
You hear that? We're using CODE names...
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at least one a week :D all i need now is fire and ice but i may have to buy it on ebay :(


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:42 pm 
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bat313 wrote:
It is crazy and I agree completley with you on first come first serve. I can almost understand their thinking when you apply it to an extreme example, like lets say there is 10 Blue Devils in stock but they only want to put out one at a time so that 10 moms will be satisfied when they were able to find a figure for their child and continue to shop in Target as apposed to a collector or scalper comming in and buying all 10 for selling or customizing, and having the 10 moms get angry because they can never find a toy for their child. They do want the majority of their guests to be satisfied. Again, I can almost understand this sort of thinking until I use my brain and realize that the best solution is that Target should order 20 plus blue devils because obviously they are selling like hot cakes and everybody will be happy. Not only that, it makes the most money for Target and Mattel. Only good business sense i would think. But i do not have an MBA so what do i know?

Target isn't in the business of "equal" distribution. If you go into Target for two chairs, and there's only one on the floor, they'll go and get the other chair for you if it's in the back of the store. You won't be told, "No, we have to wait until morning to put out that chair, so that everyone has an equal chance of buying it." They don't care about disappointing anyone over a chair, so why an action figure? The store has a special policy aimed specifically at toy collectors. That's all kinds of stupid. As I said, I don't really encounter the policy being enforced here in Charlotte, but I read about people having this problem all the time. One guy even said a store manager yelled at him because he knew an item's DPCI number, telling him that he was "not supposed to know that".

Again, first come, first served. If all the stock goes on the floor overnight, and the people who are there first thing in the morning get them all, then more power to them. But if what I want is not on the shelves, and you have one in the back, you should get it and sell it to me, not hold it for someone else in the morning.

Bryan Long wrote:
I agree, Caped Crusader, that the system of refusing to go to the back is stupid, but again, I can't change it. My feeling is that it's worth the lost sale to Target to NOT have the employee drop everything and run to the back each time a customer asks. Yup, it flies in the face of good sense, but there it is.

We're kind of derailing this thread, though.

But it has to do with why you're not hunting as often. Yeah, that's the ticket!

As for dropping everything, most of the Target employees who have gone into the back to hunt toys for me offered to do it. What's the point of a sales associate if not to assist a customer? And again, they will gladly do it for anything else in the store, which is what bothers me the most about the policy.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:06 pm 
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Caped Crusader wrote:
Target isn't in the business of "equal" distribution. If you go into Target for two chairs, and there's only one on the floor, they'll go and get the other chair for you if it's in the back of the store. You won't be told, "No, we have to wait until morning to put out that chair, so that everyone has an equal chance of buying it." They don't care about disappointing anyone over a chair, so why an action figure?


Don't you think this is a matter of cost-efficiency? I mean a $100 chair vs a $10 toy (that Target is probably not making much profit from), besides that they would either have to dig through the box a)in the stockroom--which would probably require a sales associate on the floor to coordinate your request ("Ok we are looking for a six pack that has a big monkey in it, but if you have different big guy with spikes on him I will take that one also but only if he is red") on the walkie talkie, or b) they would bring the box out to you so you can go through it, but then when you are done, the overstock needs to go back to the storeroom. In any case it's not a very cost efficient use of their (Target Staffer's) time. If I was a Store Manager there I would certainly tell them not to accomodate our requests--I would guess that Customer Service is not ranked high on the Target Priority list (chances are Manager's performance is based on how much he could get done in terms of keeping shelves stocked and the store clean with as few employees as possible, so the more time spent on checking for toys, the less time spent keeping the shelves stocked and store clean).

I am a ops manager, who needs to focus on efficiency and workflow too, so I understand the thinking. Sucks for us. But in a big ass operation like that you must have your staff working on tasks that use their time efficiently and make the biggest impact overall.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:21 am 
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But in a big ass operation like that you must have your staff working on tasks that use their time efficiently and make the biggest impact overall.


Yes, that's pretty much the point I was trying to make. If it's just one or two customers a day asking, no big deal. But around here, you could easily end up with 20-30 requests each day for toys in the back. And your point about margin is well-taken -- there can't be too much profit in toys. That's why I don't get worked up about getting the runaround.

In my ideal world, TRU would step up and become the "customer-friendly" toy retailer with a dedicated and staffed service desk to allow stock checking and *gasp* preorders. But in my ideal world I'm also married to Rebecca Romijn, so there you go.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:38 am 
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Bryan Long wrote:
In my ideal world, TRU would step up and become the "customer-friendly" toy retailer with a dedicated and staffed service desk to allow stock checking and *gasp* preorders. But in my ideal world I'm also married to Rebecca Romijn, so there you go.


See if there were enough of us who were willing to pay for that conveniences then stores like that could survive. In my ideal world she was never Rebecca Romijn-Stamos.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:59 am 
Why doesn't anyone ever listen to me?
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we should be able to buy directly from Mattel.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:20 am 
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Arsenio3 wrote:
Don't you think this is a matter of cost-efficiency? I mean a $100 chair vs a $10 toy

The assumption here is that a customer is only going to buy the one product, and that's not the logic under which Target operates. So much of their strategy and store design is geared toward getting you to buy items you didn't intend to buy when you entered the store.

Arsenio3 wrote:
I am a ops manager

But obviously not a retail manager. I was. You don't say to a customer, "No, I am not going to assist you, because what you want to buy does not cost very much." You provide the assistance in the hopes that the customer will purchase that item and more, and that he/she will make return trips and continue to purchase items from yoru store. It's obviously not good business to alienate customers with enough disposable income to fund a collection of toys. Those are exactly the kind of people you want in, for example, your electronics department.

My girlfriend used to work in a Target store in California, and I know someone who works at a store here in Charlotte, so I'm 110% certain that "cost-efficiency" isn't their top priority when it comes to customer service.

Not convinced? Try a little experiment. Get some help with greeting cards, some cheap kitchen supplies, or a $6 bag of dog food the next time you go, and waste as much of a sales associate's time as you can. See how much you can squeeze out of him/her. I've had Wal-Mart managers, people paid better than a Target floor associate, spend their time helping me dig through boxes on a pallet. Why? Because they don't have a policy aimed at a specific set of customers.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:38 pm 
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I usually go toy hunting early on the weekend mornings hitting Targets, Kmart and Walmarts first then the Toys R Us locations.

When I see on the boards that new figures are out; I will Target (no pun intended) the stores they are appearing in and will increase visits until I find the figures. I have had some good luck. Anytime I am shopping in a Target, Walmart, Kmart, Rite-aid, Walgreens etc.. I will always pass through the Toy aisle.

As far as Target goes many of the stores I have visited have the newer UPC scanners which will tell you if they have the items in stock. If it says yes I will usually ask an associate to check the back and show them the info on the scanner. Most of the time they will go and check. Walmart, TRU and Kmart are not as friendly in my experience.

I agree with other posters on the boards that Mattel should follow in the shoes of Hasbro and have a direct online toy shop for DCU and Justice League. I know they have one for Barbie and Hot Wheels so it is not a new concept for them. Anyway part of the fun of the hobby is the hunt but with JLU assortments latley it has been a frustrating exercise!

GOOD HUNTING!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:49 pm 
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In my neck of the woods, Target regularly gets toys (JLU at least) on Tuesdays, not every tuesday, but generally on Tuesdays, I hit the one closest to my work when they open almost every week.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:58 am 
Why doesn't anyone ever listen to me?
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My Target is completely random with it... It's aweful.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:58 am 
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I check my Target at least twice a month when they open. It's pretty much hit or miss, last time I was there I missed Miracle cause Humanite was there. Although I can't recall ever finding JLU when there that early, it is how I found Catwoman, Clayface and recently Penguin. But several months ago now, I found the Stargirl pack around 6pm.

Also never had a problem with having them check in back if Grodd was there (still haven't found him).


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:21 am 
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I check my Target maybe three times a week...once on Saturday and maybe twice after work.

I do a "toy run" sometimes if I have a weekday off, and hit up TRU (I have 3 in easy driving distance), Target (3 in easy driving distance) and Wal-Mart (1 in easy driving distance, but it's absolutely horrible and rarely, if ever, restocks.)

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Riddle me this...????

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:30 am 
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tanglevine wrote:
In my neck of the woods, Target regularly gets toys (JLU at least) on Tuesdays, not every tuesday, but generally on Tuesdays, I hit the one closest to my work when they open almost every week.


Man! I just went on Tuesday, saw 3 full racks of JLU 3-packs and realized i had just missed Mr. Miracle because there was two Ultra HUmanite packs! Grrrr those case ratios!!!!


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