[PATV] Monday, July 18, 2011 - Penny Arcade: The Series Season 1, Ep. 5: Retales… (4th Panel)

DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
edited June 2012 in The Penny Arcade Hub
image[PATV] Monday, July 18, 2011 - Penny Arcade: The Series Season 1, Ep. 5: Retales… (4th Panel)

<p><a title="The actual comic can be found here!" href="/comic/2009/11/27/">The actual comic can be found here!</a></p>

Read the full story here

Dog on


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    RagingR2RagingR2 Registered User regular
    I liked the comic and I like this episode. :) Nice to see how things come together.

    Not to be nitpicking though, but a lot of stores (especially supermarkets and department stores) do have 'a back' where they keep their stock before it's loaded into the shelfs. So how The Myth of 'the back' came to be is actually pretty simple; a lot of stores (the stores where people come most often) do work that way.

    A lot of smaller stores like game stores don't have 'a back'; supplies come in through the same door that customers use and all they have in the back is maybe a toilet and a small office. But obviously customers can't see that unless they have X-ray eyes. ;)

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    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    OK, I hate to contribute to this nonsense of fake threads for year-old videos cluttering up the forum, but...as someone who spent two holiday seasons working at Toys R Us himself, I can tell you that there is a whole separate crew of people whose job is to come in after close during the night, unload trucks, and put new stock on the shelves, and other people who are supposed to be checking the inventory system throughout the day to see what items have been depleted from the shelves which more backstock exists for.

    If there is none of an item left on the shelf and there is more "in the back," it is either because somebody screwed up (which, granted, is possible, as I can attest that especially during the second holiday season I worked for Lord Geoffrey, our overnight crew was not worth shit) or the store's staff is simply too overwhelmed to keep up.

    That's the case for less popular items, anyway. During the holiday season, with "hot" items, there is almost never any backstock at all. We could get a shipment of, say, two dozen of the new LeapFrog system on the overnight truck, put them on the shelves, and have them all sell literally within fifteen minutes of opening in the morning. Why would we intentionally keep our most in-demand items hidden away where we can't sell them to people? The only rare exception was for situations like the Black Friday sale, we would sometimes get excess stock ship specially earmarked for that sale which couldn't be put on shelves until then. And believe me, we fucking hated when that happened because it meant extra stuff sitting around in the storeroom in the way, because it meant we would have to not be entirely truthful with customers, and because there would ALWAYS be some new or simply half-witted employee who would not get the message and sell somebody something out of the Black Friday reserved stock or, worse, tell someone on the phone we had the item, resulting in them driving in from BFE and then angrily wanting to know where their promised stuff was.

    Otherwise, believe me, we were putting as many LeapPads and Teacup Piggies and shit as we had on the shelves for you to buy as fast as we damn well could. We understand a lot of people feel like they have to ask about "the back" just in case, but there were definitely some customers with this mindset of suspicion - where they were sure that for some reason we were intentionally withholding the stuff they wanted to buy, which even a little common sense and dispassionate consideration would show to be a completely absurd thing for any business to do, the rare specific circumstance I described above aside.

    And when we did have more "in the back," people failed to understand that it probably wasn't going to be what they wanted either. Especially in the case of things like action figures, those items would be shipped and classified in the inventory as "assorted." What this means is that they all have the same SKU/item number - a Darth Maul figure has the same item number as a Tusken Raider figure which has the same item number as a C-3PO figure - and would be shipped in boxes with, say, 50 random figures to a box. The computer may say we have 134 more figures in the back, but there is no way for us to tell if that 134 includes the specific one you want, and if there are already 162 figures on the pegs, we aren't actually even allowed to bring out more. Backstock only gets brought out when the stock on display is depleted - the store, quite understandably, doesn't want employees spending literally the entire day opening up superfluous boxes helping you look for specific varieties of an "assorted" item.

    tl:dr - "The back" is possibly worth asking about, probably not worth getting your hopes up over, definitely not a means of intentionally hiding the merchandise you want out of pure malice.

    Gaslight on
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