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  1. #1

    Words from Wal-Mart

    As most of the folks know on this site I am a manager at Wal-Mart. With that said there is nothing better than stocking fresh cases of figures on shelves for folks to find. I usually order three to four cases at a time, and although I no longer have to hunt since I work where I shop, but I still remember the thrill of the find, so I am eager to order cases for local collectors. I can tell that people find stuff when inspecting my sales.

    Well three weeks ago on 9/15 I got wave 9 of the OTC in stock. This wave has 1 of every new fig from Darth Hoth to Lando General. I ordered 6 cases and got 2 cases of the Gammorean Guard and four other cases which were old assortments. I thought I was in the clear to order a large batch of 10 cases so I could make a new endcap because with the Gammorrean wave there was only one to a case (thus no pegwarmers), and the post OTC figs on the way it seemed so sweet a prospect.

    Well they arrived over the past two days, and this is what I got after three weeks of waiting:
    3 cases of the Jawa/Tusken wave - This case comes with a bunch of old figs and 2 Jawas and 2 Tuskens
    1 case of the Admiral Ozzel wave - Thats right. This assortment is over six months old with no OTC packaging.

    Finally the big dissappointment:
    6 cases of the Han Solo AT-ST case. This case is labeled Wave 9A R1: It comes with 3 Han AT-ST, 3 General Madine, 3 General Lando, and 3 Bespin Leias!

    Since I have got 6 cases of the last group I now have 18 Bespin Leias. I have had two Leias on the shelf for over three weeks now. As a result these are now pegwarmers with the Ozzel Wave, and all the extra old figs.

    I just thought that many would find this post interesting because as a retailer it takes three weeks to get new stuff into our store. When we do get something it's always the luck of the draw on what we get. No matter how hard I try to keep new stuff on the shelves so folks around my area don't go through the web to pay more I am reguarly dissappointed when Hasbro (not our warehouse) sends us garbage. Having 18 of 4 figures just creates a considerable mess for my department manager, for the collectors in my area, and me.

    I'm sure that other stores try to keep up with this also. They do have the same hard time with this topic as my store. So the next time you go in a store and the shelves have been empty for over a month, give the person in charge hell for being lazy. But if you go in a store that sometimes get new stuff, and all the sudden they are barraged with old pegwarmers try not to think poorly of the store.

    All I can say is I wish I had the power to give Hasbro hell for their inconsiderate case assortments both for my stores sake and the local collectors sake!
    Last edited by Jaff; 10-14-2004 at 11:12 PM.
    After 11 months The BEST/WORST figure poll is still going strong.

  2. #2

    Re: Words from Wal-Mart

    Then the Target near me must have a lazy manager. There has been one figure on the peg for the past 2 1/2 weeks. There is 4 pegs and there is one basic figure. Right next to it is 3 pegs for VOTC and there has only been 3 Hans sitting there for weeks. I even checked the scanner to see if they have had any in the back and the scanner said there was none in the stockroom. It gets really frustrating checking there day after day and still nothing.

  3. #3
    DarthChuckMc's Avatar
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    Feb 2002
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    Re: Words from Wal-Mart

    At TARGET, we DON'T have the option of ordering ANYTHING. EVERYTHING in the the store is AUTO-REPLINISHED.

    We do Research once a week in our areas, but only scan "Outs", which are ZERO items on the pegs or shelves. If there are 8 pegs for basic figures, and (2) SAGA General Dodonna figures hanging there, guess what?? I'm NOT ALLOWED to scan the pegs. It goes against my Research counts if I scan items that we have IN STOCK, even if it's (2) beat to hell General Dodonna figures I've had since June.

    There is nothing I (or an other TARGET Toys/Sporting Goods Team Leader) can do at the store level, with the exception of buying the Dodonna's myself. Then, the DC will ship me (3) cases to fill the pegs back up...that is, IF the DC has enough cases on hand to send me (3), and still ship to the other 50 TARGET stores it supplies with merchandise...otherwise, I'd probably get (1) case to hold me over for a while.

    Another note....HASBRO may be the culprit in the shipping of OLD cases, but I can tell you from EXPERIENCE, from working in a DC for 2 years, that when HASBRO ships cases to DC's, they ship maybe 100 cases on a pallet at a time. When that pallet gets low, HASBRO ships another....BUT, if a few cases are left from the OLD pallet, when the NEW pallet arrives, it all gets stacked the OLD gets mixed with the NEW...and eventually, they'll make their way to stores.....They don't get rotated for FRESHNESS like food items do.
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  4. #4

    Re: Words from Wal-Mart

    Dang..that was good reply DarthChuck. Very imformative. It is interesting to see how the two differnt companies work. I wonder how TRU works? It seems like the one near me always has new stuff in every couple of days.

    Maybe I will scround up some loose change and go and buy that one last Lobot sitting on that peg.

  5. #5
    Registered Tycho's Avatar
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    Re: Words from Wal-Mart

    I don't mean offense to either of our hard-working retail managers here, so these remarks will be harsh, but not directed at Jaff or DarthChuck.

    It seems Target's policy doesn't know what it's doing.

    That being said, I've had good luck at Target for many years and wonder why my store's stock is replenished quite frequently while Dodonna (and now Lobot and Leia Bespin) pegwarm, but figures are still restocked?

    Could it be that your store, DarthChuck, is not following the same policy as my store? I'm in San Diego.

    Jaff, the same cases (Lando in new OTC packaging) are arriving in mass at my Wal-Mart. I am glad to know that Leia is in the case for only one reason: I need 2 more Cloud Car Pilots and thought I'd missed them at Wal-Mart today, only to discover from your post that the CCP's were never there in the first place. So hopefully they will come again. I'd bought 6 at Target, and my friend has got me 2 that I'll pick up one of these days.

    Today I finally decided to open some and add them to my Cloud City display. Well, I found out I liked having CCPs all over my city and I used 5 of them OPEN there, so for 3 Cloud Cars, I'll need to buy these next 2 so that I have 6 for the vehicles should Hasbro ever make them.

    While I'm sure my uses for CCPs are not very interesting, the point is that I hope my retailers will get them in again and that Leia will not discourage the case from continued shipping. Unfortunately for your store, it sounds like she might if hasbro wants her to, and you won't really have a choice.

    Also unfortunately, it looks like I'll be leaving collectors in my area more Leias and Lobots, when I get my last 2 CCPs as soon as I see their once again available.

  6. #6

    Re: Words from Wal-Mart

    What's funny is that Jaff's experiences are very similar to what I saw at my local WM yesterday, even though it's on the opposite side of the country. Hasbro is changing these cases way too much, they think they know what they're doing but they seem to be confused on a few things, like the VOTC wave 3 r1 case having an Obi-Wan in it. And now there are lots and lots of those Bespin Leias hanging around.

    BTW, the Tusken was a huge let-down when I saw it in person, weird paint job especially at the lower arms, saw 2 of them like this. Gamorrean and Endor Generals all had face paint issues, I picked through every single one in the main (pitifully-small) SW section and then on 2 different endcap-side hangers before finally getting decent ones. There were also some Slave Leias (the POTJ deluxe figure now as a basic with no big gun) and a single Vader Hoth, but I ended up passing on those.

    Sounds like Target has over-automated themselves into a serious restocking problem, I can't imagine how this holiday season is going to go over with that sort of treatment. And I must admit, in the past few months, Target has become a real sore spot for SW figures with that very same situation DarthChuck mentioned, a couple pegwarmers that never leave and no new figures coming up.
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  7. #7
    Registered Kidhuman's Avatar
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    Nov 2002
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    Re: Words from Wal-Mart

    I would consider yourselves lucky that you even saw those waves. By me I have Dagobah waves out the arse, and now they are packing up reissues again. I might not see the last of the OTC until February.
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  8. #8

    Re: Words from Wal-Mart

    Kmart is the same way. They are being auto replenished and haven't gotten any of the subsequent waves of VOTC. It's rather sad, actually.
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  9. #9

    Re: Words from Wal-Mart

    My Walmart has Madine, AT-ST Han, General Lando, and Bespin Leia falling off the shelves and on to the floor. Who is the genius who put that assortment of figures together? And we probably won't see new figures on the shelves at Walmart by Christmas because they won't order new figures and because they'll say, "Boy, Star Wars sure isn't selling well." Sorry, I already bought two Madines, two Bespin Leias, an AT-ST Han, and General Lando. I don't need more!

  10. #10

    Re: Words from Wal-Mart

    Thanks for all the replies.

    In response to Darth Chucks store opperations I am surprised that Target does no manual orders with figures. In the past I would sell two to three cases a week and although all our orders are encouraged to trust the POS (point of sale) ordering system I have manually ordered every single case that has come in our store for the past four months. However no associate under the Assistant Manager level may manually order an item and guarentee that that order goes through. Here's an example. Let's say a department manager wants to order four cases of star wars figures. Thats 48 figures. the shlves hold 36 figures. The department manager puts the order in their telexon. Later that day a manager must approve this order or it will dissapear at the end of the night (thus it will seem that the order never took place).

    Sometimes manager forget to finalize orders, or sometimes a manager will look at this Star Wars order and judge whether it should go through. The first thing a manager will look at is the rate of sale. If the manager sees that the figures have only sold one or two in the past three weeks and there is ten figs on the shelf (all probably old ones) then he or she will probably refuse this order or will lower the order to one case. This is what is going on with most stores out there. Managers do not realize that cases are assorted. If you ask me I have not noticed one new dragonball Z figure in years. They all look the same to me. However I'm sure when we get cases there were new dbz figs in there. It was just that I don't notice these figs. The same goes for managers. They just don't realize that assortments change. They see these figures like a bag of doritos. Sure there is different flavors of Doritos but they are all basically the same. On top of that if there is ten of these figs on the shelf and they haven't sold why fill up the shelf?

    It all comes down to this: It is up to the department manager who orders the figs to tell their manager not to cancel their orders, or inform the managers that they have ordered extra figures above the shelf cap to create a restocking inventory level for certain items.

    What do I mean by that last statement? Lets use the department manager example above. They are ordering 48 figures. They have ten figures on the shelf, and theshelf only holds thrity six figures. That means only 24 of the figures ordered can fit on the shelf. Right away if I did not know this product and it had a very low rate of sale I would cut this order in half right there. The worst thing anyone could do in a large retail store is clutter their backroom with overstock. It is severly damaging to have lots of freight in the back room. Not only does extra freight cause count problems, but it also causes allot of outs because when you have allot to look through in the back, it's harder to find the inventory you need to put on the floor.

    Right now my store has 175 figures. We have a wide variety and I can get away with this quantity because I instructed the toy department to make a 4-way of Star wars figures because my reasoning is that these figures are a potentially strong item that is under-utillized. I'm trying to prove in my district that this item is a good seller. Hence I have taken a leap of faith in ordering so much at this time. Thanks to Hasbro's case shipment this may shoot me in the foot because if all these new cases do not flow out of my store (as they would have if they were the gamorrean cases) I will be shot down because I have too much of this item sitting around. I will be a promoter of a dud, and this item will be treated as a whimsical item. I guess that's why I'm so upset about these cases they sent me!

    Now I'm down to a simple gamble, and I would be happy for you guys to help me out and debate my decision. In five days I will be able to order more. Hasbro orders go through on Mondays since they are Assembly items (that means they are shipped from hasbro to our warehouse, and from our warehouse to our store. That is a three week wait. So that means I have to choose to either cut my loses and hope some figs sell by ordereing nothing, or I take the gamble. I can order 36 figs to arrive around november 15th. If I order these figs my 4-way better sell down, and my sidecounter must sell down because something else has to go on the 4-way about the same time I get in these figs.

    Anyways keep this thread alive, and I will answer any questions you have about any Hasbro/shipping inventory issues with wal-mart.
    Last edited by Jaff; 10-15-2004 at 12:10 PM.
    After 11 months The BEST/WORST figure poll is still going strong.


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