I nearly pitched a fit in DSW the other day. I walked in, glanced down the rows and rows and ROWS of shoes in every conceivable size, and saw no W’s at all. So I asked the manager if they’d stopped carrying wide width shoes, and he said, “We still carry them. They’re the ones with W on them (Yes. I know). But we don’t get many. I can order for you, however.” Gee thanks. Because that’s why I go to an actual store instead of the internet, so I can order the product I need in a less convenient way, not so I can try it on to see if I like it. Ahem.
I know this sounds like another of my rants about the agony of having size 11 wide feet (my walking shoes are an 11 4e), but it’s not. It’s a rant about retailers who can’t see the forest for the trees. Aren’t we in the age of computers, when retailers can track your every click on their pages? Why can’t they tweak their ordering using a computer? What am I missing? Because it seems to me fairly obvious that if you actually CARRY something and it sells out immediately (like, for example, wide shoes), then YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH OF THEM! GET SOME MORE!
But apparently, this is obvious only to me. For example, my favorite clothes store is Chico’s, but when they get something in that’s really popular, it sells out right away and they never order any more. Never. It seems to be a business practice with them. I bought some travel pants and went back a week later to get one in another color, and they were all gone. When I bought them, they were brand new in the store. The website had comment after comment by consumers saying how great these pants were, but there were none to be had already. Apparently, the old rule of supply and demand doesn’t function the way it used to, not at Chico’s, anyway.
And it doesn’t just happen with attire . I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked for an item in the grocery, found it sold out, and asked about it, only to be told, “Yeah, those are really popular. You have to get here on the day we stock the shelves to get them.” Seriously? They’re “really popular” so instead of ordering more to fit the demand, you’re asking customers to SHOP ON A DIFFERENT DAY??? What’s wrong with this picture?
The story about the shoes does have a happy ending. The good news is that in desperation I went online to the manufacturer of the one pair of sandals I have that DOES fit me (the ones that I’d worn out), discovered that they still have them, and ordered one in each color. Take THAT, DSW! But I was lucky. That rarely happens.
Am I the only person who has this problem? Are my needs THAT strange? Or do I just not understand how retail works? What item do you have to jump through hoops to purchase because retailers can’t be bothered to keep up with demand?