Friday, November 27, 2009

Poke me with a Fork...Part two

Evidently I already have a post entitled "Poke me with a Fork", so we'll just call this Part Two in the saga.

You'd think that my 7 years experience working in retail would swear me off of Black Friday forever and it has, but we needed some laundry soap and a few other items so early this afternoon we headed over to Target. Their sales flyer had a number of items that I really wanted to take advantage of, some nice sheets, reasonably priced towels and other items.

You know the outcome of this story before I even begin. Nothing....NADA.... zip..... ZILCH. Target did not have a single item I'd placed my list. These were not "Power Hour" items or "Doorbusters" or items that were only available during certain hours. Neither were they listed as items with limited quantities.

The thought process seems to be, "We'll put 10 on the shelves and when they sell out the customer will pick something a higher price." WRONG. I left the store with nothing.... not even the essentials I went for in the first place.

NOTE TO RETAILERS - If you are not going to carry enough merchandise to get you through one day of sales, don't waste the ink that's required to print the flyer.

Target is not one of my primary shopping venues and I'll guarantee you that it will be a long, long time before I return.

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Let's talk about Kohl's.

I've found some nice things in Kohl's. It's crazy that it seems like the entire store is perpetually "on sale" but I suppose that's what they're known for.

The Farmer got a Kohl's charge and we use it occassionally. He schedules his credit card payments online through his bank. This month he mistakenly scheduled the payment to process after midnight on the due date so technically he was one day late with his payment.

The result? A $39 late charge on a $150 balance.

The old school loan sharks from the old neighborhood (think Godfather) didn't charge those percentages! We're done with Kohl's. Just because the law says you can charge those rates doesn't mean you should.

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Joann Fabrics takes the cake today. I figured I'd follow everyone's advice and shop online, avoiding the crowds for the supplies I need to finish all my Christmas projects. No wasted gasoline, no parking lot wars, no long lines........

NO WEBSITE! Poof the Magic Dragon...gone, down, toast.

Joann had online coupons and sales that started yesterday. There were problems right off the bat. I spent time loading things into a cart, the prices advertised didn't seem to be reflected, the coupons wouldn't load and I got bumped out. We had to leave for dinner at my sisters and I figured I'd shop again when I got home. Things were worse when I returned to the website.

This morning the entire website crashed and burned. Not only has Joann not made their sales goals for today, they've made NO SALES whatsoever! They are promising that everything will be honored when the website comes back up but seriously, think about it..... the original customer base crashed the site, the number of customers wishing to avail themselves of the offers will only grow exponentially.

I'm trying to imagine that the management team didn't have a meeting in which the IT team was grilled as to their preparedness for the onslaught of business. Retailers have no business whining about lagging sales if they can't even prepare themselves for the business that DOES come their way.

It's totally ridiculous.

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Tomorrow I'll post a review of our totally wonderful Thanksgiving day.

The only downside to going to someone else's house for this holiday is.....


Maybe that's why I'm cranky. Nah, it's the retailers fault.


Susan said...

All these crazy retailers did not have MONDAY MORNING STAFF MEETINGS!! That is what makes everything work!!!!

Laura said...

I think Black Friday has become a liability to consumers and businesses. I wish they would discontinue the event. Wasn't it last year that a Wal-Mart worker was crushed to death by the crowds? I refuse to leave my house on black friday. If I run out of TP or something essential, I figure out a way around it. :)
If the Kohl's thing happened to me, I'd call them and ask them to remove the late fee. If you've been a good customer for a while and always paid your bills on time, there is no reason they shouldn't do it. And if they didn't...then I'd tell them they just lost a customer. If we as consumers don't start standing up for what is right, we're going to get screwed even worse down the road.

ps...i left the retail industry after 14 years so glad i'm not working for a big box store anymore. :)

Anonymous said...

Am so with you! I NEVER do Black Friday--it would have to be delivered to my home for free for me to participate. Ads so misleading, I have no empathy for the retailer whinners crying about lagging sales!

~ Sara ~ said...

I had to chuckle... My mom and I made a 37 mile trip to Hancock's today. I wanted to pick up some flannel and polar fleece. After all the fleece was 75% off and the flannel was 1.99.

We got to the store... no one there... at least not roaming. they were all waiting in lines to get cut!. OK, shouldn't you have more than 2 girls cutting??? there was space for at least 6. Sheesh... I was going to try doing it online also... every pattern of fabric I wanted was out of stock... GRRRRR It will be a LONG time before I go back.

It does make a person wonder about retailers and what were they thinking?!

Therese said...

I don't do Black friday either, but I did run to Joann's for some items for some was CRAZY! Next time, I am waiting!

Farmchick said...

I don't do Black Friday. I just don't have the patience for the crowds.

Cherrie said...

Store's opening at 3:00 a.m. No way!! I don't want anything that badly. Stayed home today and enjoyed myself! That is terrible that Kohl's charged that, I would be done too!