Author Topic: 2009: Worst Distribution Year Ever?  (Read 7965 times)

Online Jeff

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Re: 2009: Worst Distribution Year Ever?
« Reply #90 on: October 30, 2009, 12:32 AM »
I don't get why they can't jsut make more distinctive packaging for the 3 lines of SW figures, though that might not help anyway.

Blame LFL.  They are the ones who tell Hasbro what the packaging should look like.  On a positive note though, it sounds like they have at least acknowledged the need to differentiate them further...  from the Q&A @ SSG last week:

We will have a solution next year to more strongly separate the Legacy product from Clone Wars and Saga Legends. We are working to also differentiate the latter two as well.


Can Jeff or anyone else speak to why Hasbro needs a separate Legends line?

The short answer is "because they sell".  As long as Legends keeps selling, it's here to stay. 

In order to get Legends into Legacy and maintain the volume of cheap, profitable, kid-friendly Legends figures that Hasbro wants to sell, you'd be looking at something like 4 new figures and 8 repacks per case.  In the end, does it really matter if the pegs are filled with Legends figures that are mis-stocked on the wrong pegs or Legends figures that came from the Legacy boxes?  Either way, you still have the problem of junk you don't want/need keeping you from easily getting the stuff you do want.
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Offline JediJman

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Re: 2009: Worst Distribution Year Ever?
« Reply #91 on: October 30, 2009, 12:53 AM »
In order to get Legends into Legacy and maintain the volume of cheap, profitable, kid-friendly Legends figures that Hasbro wants to sell, you'd be looking at something like 4 new figures and 8 repacks per case.  In the end, does it really matter if the pegs are filled with Legends figures that are mis-stocked on the wrong pegs or Legends figures that came from the Legacy boxes?  Either way, you still have the problem of junk you don't want/need keeping you from easily getting the stuff you do want.

Well, my point here was that you wouldn't end up with Legends figs blocking Legacy pegs and preventing a reorder per the story above.  True, you may have the same figs leftover on the pegs, but the reorder minimum would at least have to be higher with double the peg space and it would cut down on confusion around stocking the product in the wrong location to some degree. 

If the Legends figures are really selling well enough to support the line (I am shocked that they are by the way as I never see new Legends stuff pop up anymore), then they should sell just as well as part of the Legacy line, right?  You might even be able to mix and match better if you only wanted some of the new figs, but could grab the remaining BAD piece from a repack.  And heck, if they're part of the numbering they might even get some extra sales from hard core completists. 

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Offline McMetal

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Re: 2009: Worst Distribution Year Ever?
« Reply #92 on: October 30, 2009, 01:07 PM »
Pete - you are my freaking hero. Post of the year!

What a great story, I would KILL for an opportunity like that. Just to be able to express the myriad problems to someone in a position like that is priceless.

What a great insight into the Walmart drone mindset too. Now I am even more determined to rearrange the pegs every time I go there and leave them with a huge, gaping empty spot where new figs should be. I hope someone DOES get in trouble for that.

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Offline Greg

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Re: 2009: Worst Distribution Year Ever?
« Reply #93 on: October 30, 2009, 01:28 PM »
What a great insight into the Walmart drone mindset too. Now I am even more determined to rearrange the pegs every time I go there and leave them with a huge, gaping empty spot where new figs should be. I hope someone DOES get in trouble for that.


I also would love to speak my mind to a rep next time I see one. However, I don't see the sense in trying to get the employees punished. Frankly, that seems juvenile and makes collectors look bad. You cannot expect the employees to know and keep up with 3 barely different packages, especially when the day before they could have been working clothes or food. I'm sure even the toy managers have more to worry about than keeping Star Wars figures on the correct pegs. If Star Wars was the only toy line, there would be no excuse, but unfortunately that is not the case.

Offline JediJman

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Re: 2009: Worst Distribution Year Ever?
« Reply #94 on: October 30, 2009, 01:34 PM »
What a great insight into the Walmart drone mindset too. Now I am even more determined to rearrange the pegs every time I go there and leave them with a huge, gaping empty spot where new figs should be. I hope someone DOES get in trouble for that.


I also would love to speak my mind to a rep next time I see one. However, I don't see the sense in trying to get the employees punished. Frankly, that seems juvenile and makes collectors look bad. You cannot expect the employees to know and keep up with 3 barely different packages, especially when the day before they could have been working clothes or food. I'm sure even the toy managers have more to worry about than keeping Star Wars figures on the correct pegs. If Star Wars was the only toy line, there would be no excuse, but unfortunately that is not the case.

Agreed.  It's many store's policy to front face the pegs with product to make them look more full, cleaner, and just generally easier to shop.  While they shouldn't be putting the wrong line on certain pegs, I don't really blame them for not knowing the difference.  I like to rearrange the pegs accurately when I have time and always hope that the employees will catch on because of it, but I don't wish them any ill will if it gets messed up again.  They're just doing their job ignorant of the issue.
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Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: 2009: Worst Distribution Year Ever?
« Reply #95 on: October 30, 2009, 02:08 PM »
Agreed.  It's many store's policy to front face the pegs with product to make them look more full, cleaner, and just generally easier to shop.  While they shouldn't be putting the wrong line on certain pegs, I don't really blame them for not knowing the difference.  I like to rearrange the pegs accurately when I have time and always hope that the employees will catch on because of it, but I don't wish them any ill will if it gets messed up again.  They're just doing their job ignorant of the issue.

Yes, I flat out told the employee that I understood where she was coming from. I used to work at a Target and that was most certainly the policy - even if it meant having only one or two of any item on a peg and spreading the inventory around, you ALWAYS wanted to have the pegs looking "full". It's just the way they run their business - and the employees, WalMart and/or Target can not really be blamed for it.

I made it clear to her that I did not want her to get in trouble and I thanked her for ordering more.

Again - it really comes down to the fact that for better or for worse the "Star Wars" logo is the biggest text on the card backs. So to someone who is looking to just front face pegs, it is all the same product with the same price.

It really only matters to us the collectors.

It SHOULD however matter to Hasbro - it really should - and for them not to see that having the three lines is really hurting them is a shame.

I understand Jeff's point very clearly, but it's hard to argue that they are doing things "right" with the Legends line as well.

Why, when Plo Koon is coming shortly in the ROTS wave do we need the older version in the Legends line? Why couldn't Saesee Tiin, the ROTS Clone and the Shocktrooper have been repacks in the ROTS wave along with Commander Bacarra and Commander Deviss?

It seems to me that Luke Skywalker in X-Wing Pilot gear and the Sandtrooper could have been repacks in with the ANH wave.

Mynock Hunt Han and Chewie could have been repacks in the ESB wave.

The ROTJ wave could have had the C-3PO w/Throne as a repack.

I could go on - my point is that with 15 repacks in the Legacy collection - and 19 figures in the Legends line, it seems to me that they could have EASILY helped make the new figure Legacy waves cheaper by putting in the same repacks as the Legends line in with Legacy.

Then - there would only be TWO different assortments to order - Clone Wars and Legacy - that's it.
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Offline McMetal

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Re: 2009: Worst Distribution Year Ever?
« Reply #96 on: October 30, 2009, 03:25 PM »

I also would love to speak my mind to a rep next time I see one. However, I don't see the sense in trying to get the employees punished. Frankly, that seems juvenile and makes collectors look bad. You cannot expect the employees to know and keep up with 3 barely different packages, especially when the day before they could have been working clothes or food. I'm sure even the toy managers have more to worry about than keeping Star Wars figures on the correct pegs. If Star Wars was the only toy line, there would be no excuse, but unfortunately that is not the case.


 I see your point, and I don't really want anyone to be punished either, but I do want managers held accountable if they are choosing reshuffling over reordering, because that's just lazy. I am sure hat is the case with some of these stores.


« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 03:30 PM by McMetal »
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: 2009: Worst Distribution Year Ever?
« Reply #97 on: October 30, 2009, 03:50 PM »
I honestly don't see how anything changed, when WM's on automatic renewal like everyone else...  An employee may say they're going to order more, but they ultimately cannot.  It's out of their hands.
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Offline Keonobi

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Re: 2009: Worst Distribution Year Ever?
« Reply #98 on: October 30, 2009, 03:57 PM »
Kind of late weighing in on this, but shouldn't the real criticism be of the Hasbro reps (as opposed to the store employees and corporate Hasbro).  As others have mentioned, it is beyond the professional responsibility of a store employee to differentiate between two products that are identically priced and appear to be from the same collection (essentially the "they are all Star Wars toys" argument).  On the otherhand Hasbro has created a process where as volume is sold through at stores, they ship more, so the specific mix between Clone Wars, Legacy and Legends should be maintained.

My understanding of the Hasbro reps is they are tasked with visiting the various stores to ensure that Hasbro products are stocked, displayed and available in a way that aligns with the agreements they have with the store (chain).  Of the three groups responsible for the selling side (Store employees, company reps and HQ Head hanchos), the hasbro store rep is the only one with the specific product knowledge and retail visibilty to identify product mix problems at the retail level.

It seems the reps should know their product well enough to identify which ones are stocked in the wrong place, quickly correct that, and then if there is a stocking problem, help the store to identify it.

Or is my understanding of the Hasbro reps off.  (I understand they also do things with introducing new products and the like...)
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Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: 2009: Worst Distribution Year Ever?
« Reply #99 on: October 30, 2009, 04:11 PM »
I honestly don't see how anything changed, when WM's on automatic renewal like everyone else...  An employee may say they're going to order more, but they ultimately cannot.  It's out of their hands.

Ok - so if they are on auto-reorder, then perhaps the employee was giving me a line a bull.

I never said that my conversation really mattered or made a difference. It really just felt good to have it!
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: 2009: Worst Distribution Year Ever?
« Reply #100 on: October 30, 2009, 04:17 PM »
I think the most an employee can do is mention it to management who can discuss it with their district distribution center and things.  The only one with any power at a retailer is the store manager,a nd they often have their hands tied too.

Dept. Stores like Penney's and Macy's have merchandisers in-store still, but they're becoming few and far between these days.  It sure helps having that.  It's something that it's a shame the big box stores don't try to include one in every store I think, as it works, and they double as a manager of course.

The Hasbro Reps honestly don't often know a ton.  The regional manager of them usually knows more and does the field work like the random ones you may run into, but they're not really all that knowledgeable more often than not.  When I was way younger, and in school, I tried getting a p/t thing with Hasbro but they weren't hiring, and the impression I got was they were very much like the retailing associate.  They have a general idea, but to them they too see pegs full and are generally happy.
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Offline Pete_Fett

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Re: 2009: Worst Distribution Year Ever?
« Reply #101 on: October 30, 2009, 04:23 PM »
Well in this case - she scanned the bar code on the Legacy collection peg, saw that she had (as she put it) "12 pieces en-route" (which I took to mean that she has a case coming). She then pressed several keys and then looked up and told me "I just ordered another 24 in addition to those"

She seemed genuine in her statements. I have never really seen a gun like this at a WalMart before.

It probably was too good to be true, but if it means that some Legacy product starts to flow to my local WM, I will be incredibly happy.
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Offline JediJman

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Re: 2009: Worst Distribution Year Ever?
« Reply #102 on: October 30, 2009, 06:34 PM »
I honestly don't see how anything changed, when WM's on automatic renewal like everyone else...  An employee may say they're going to order more, but they ultimately cannot.  It's out of their hands.

Jsut because they have an auto-order system doesn't mean they can't override the process to order more stock.  It's been a long time since I worked at Target, but we could zero out the counts, effectively ordering new product as soon as it becomes available.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: 2009: Worst Distribution Year Ever?
« Reply #103 on: October 31, 2009, 01:05 AM »
Everything I've ever heard counters that, but I don't know many Target people either...  One of my best freinds is a WM manager though, and they've got no control over it except to contact distribution centers/regional and comment on the issue.  Usually to no avail.
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Offline JediJman

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Re: 2009: Worst Distribution Year Ever?
« Reply #104 on: October 31, 2009, 01:16 AM »
Everything I've ever heard counters that, but I don't know many Target people either...  One of my best freinds is a WM manager though, and they've got no control over it except to contact distribution centers/regional and comment on the issue.  Usually to no avail.

Well realistically, there are manual overrides to everything.  Would it make any sense to set up an ordering system that is 100% dependent on an automated process that couldn't be corrected in the case of errors?  As far as I know, it's not as easy as just entering a code and ordering a couple cases as the earlier story suggested.  However, at Target you can zero out your store's inventory and by default that should mean the DC is going to ship you new product as soon as they are able. 
"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason. " -Jack Handey