Well said. I've always felt that was TRU's worst problem - why keep old stuff on your pegs when you could reduce them by a couple dollars and fill the pegs with more popular items? You can't sell something if there isn't room for it on the pegs.
I just remembered something when I read your post...made me laugh. When all the ROTS figures were hitting last year one of the TRU stores I went to had a huge bin for their ROTS figures but you could still find POTJ and VOTC figures on pegs in the regular action figure aisle.
Now, why in the world would you dump cases of new action figures, that people are shopping for, into a bin instead of putting them on a peg where they present better and it's easier for the consumer to shop through? Especially when you had 1 - 3 year old stock taking up the peg space that could have easily gone in the bin for $1 each?
I have to believe that some TRU stores didn't get stocked with as much ROTS merchandise as they would have if they hadn't had older figures still in inventory. I also think that some stores won't discount SW toys because they're known sellers. Over the years there have been on-and-off reports of stores saying they won't carry a lot of SW because it doesn't sell. Yet they wouldn't discount stagnant inventory to move it because you knew
they were thinking that; "oh, it's SW, SW always sells."
There's a WM in Pennsylvania that I was just in about a month ago. They still had some Saga 12" figures like Zam and Imperial Officer with "clearance" stickers on them...$19.00. Gimme a break.
One of the worst fiascos that I can think of in TRU's history is probably Godzilla in 1998. Godzilla got a front end "store" to promote the release and they had stuff hanging from the ceiling, stuff was roaring at you when you walked by...it was as big as anything they've done for SW. Movie? Sucked. Tanked (well, cost $130 million...made $130 million. Hated by Godzilla fans.). Toys sat in stores for years before they cleared out. I actually would not be surprised to still find a Godzilla toy in a store, somewhere. Runner's up? Men in Black, Independence Day, Final Fantasy, Planet of the Apes. We were tripping over those properties for at least 3 years in a lot of stores.
In TRU's defense, though, some of them went to clearance relatively quickly, but still not low enough to actually sell. I would think at some point you have to just say fuckit and sell it to a liquidator or put the green tag on it for $1.00 and have a "half off all green tagged prices sale." (Still kicking myself on not scoring a couple 12" Van Helsing figs when they did that in January 2005)
That's one thing that Target does well. They move inventory. Sometimes almost too quickly, but they always get it out of the store eventually. Hopefully that's what this former Target guy will bring to the store. Keep things fresh, keep them moving, know when to cut and run and offer some non-toy items that will bring foot traffic into the stores.