10-16-2019 12:00 AM
Is there any corporate expectation of stores to get product on to the floor? While this has always been somewhat of a problem, it seems to have just been getting worse. I am not sure whether it is a decline in physical media sales or the low profit margins that have stores giving less attention to getting product on to the floor. While the main "New Release" section is almost always updated in a timely manner, the secondary new release section is often hit and miss. While I've seen this happen at multiple Best Buy stores in my area, the Waterford Lakes (Orlando, FL) store is probably the worst, especially when it comes to video games.
The Waterford Lakes store might as well just be a warehouse for .com/store pick-up orders when it comes to new release video games. The number of times I go to the store on a game's release date and actually find that game on the shelf are very close to "never". Occasionally, I'll be surprised (they did have a couple out last week!). But, most of the time I have to send an employee on a scavenger hunt and their skill at hunting varies. Some give up quickly and will feed me some story - there is one particular employee who is quick to say they don't have something that I know is there. He'll say they don't have it, I'll order it on the app for store pick-up to see what happens, then I get a notification quickly that it's ready. That's when I don't find another employee who grabs it. There are definitely employees at that store who won't give up until they find what I'm looking for - I've ran into a couple of great ones recently. But, it shouldn't take so long and it shouldn't be such a hassle to buy a game.
These new releases go straight to a cage by the registers (that I wish I could just go through myself). That's the holding pattern for Switch games, which will eventually either make it to the shelf or to a cabinet on an endcap.
The Waterford Lakes store is the only store in the area where the gaming sections are an unorganized mess. There is no order (oddly enough, the Switch games in the cabinet are alphabetized... for the most part). The other stores in the area (East Colonial, Altamonte Mall, Millenia) do alphabetize their games - some just run out of shelf space and if a game is at the end of the alphabet and doesn't go on a new release end cap, it doesn't hit the floor. But, at least they try. The cage by the registers at the Waterford Lakes store is obviously also unorganized since employees can scan it (or the carts in the area... or the boxes in the area....), not find anything, then either scan it again or get another employee to scan it before finding what I'm asking for.
I know - an easy solution would be to order for store pick-up and force someone to go grab it. I've done it when I want to prove an employee who says they don't have something wrong. But, store pick-up was ruined for me years ago when employees were forced to engrave their signatures into the cover art. I am picky enough where I am not looking for a permanent autograph from a BB employee (I have yet to figure out what purpose the signature serves - cashiers don't sign receipts, so why do store pick-up labels need to be signed?).
I'd have them shipped (and I do try that sometimes and have to do it if there is a pre-order RZ/E-Gift card bonus), but they get sent in plastic bags, also oftening damaging the cover art.
At this point, I only haven't bailed on BB for games due to Gamer's Club Unlocked and I only have about 5 months left to go.
Today I went looking for 3 games that released today. Of course, none were on the shelf at the Waterford Lakes store, despite being available via store pick-up within an hour. I am tired of having to get employees to look - I just drove to the East Colonial store where they had 2 of the 3 in stock and both were on the shelf. That store is further away, but I am probably just going to go straight there from now on or just give up the GCU discount and buy elsewhere.
10-16-2019 04:31 PM
Thank you so much for taking the time to post this here on the Best Buy Forums.
I am an avid gamer, and movie collector myself, so I can certainly understand you wanting titles available in store, and expecting them to be in pristine condition. Additionally, we expect that all of our stores be well stocked, and our employees do all that they can to assist our customers. We appreciate you voicing your concerns here, and our team here at the Corporate Campus will be documenting your feedback to be addressed by the appropriate teams.
Please feel free to follow up via private message with any further details you wish to share. Please be sure to click on the blue button in my signature below if doing so.
10-18-2019 10:39 AM
The behavior of Video Games on store shelves is really being driven by the gaming community.
I would be willing to bet better than 99% of sales of a NEW HOT TITLE are almost entirely pre-order. Stocking the shelves with a lot of games that have been out for more than a couple of weeks would most likly result in those titles sitting there for awhile.
Best Buy used to have shelves and shelves of games, movies, and music. And a lot of it sat ther for years.
I think this one of the reasons why you don't see a lot of games on the sellf anymore. And when you do it was a big title that they had on a stand alone display in the front of the store and what didn't sell got put there.
Floor space is a premium and having a lot of space dedicated to a slow moving product is not practicle.
Personlly buy a lot of Video Games. And I have dramatically noticed how few games are on the selves.
So I changed my buying habits. I always opt for in store pick up. but many games are going digital only (PC) that I dont' even need to go to a store anymore.
10-18-2019 11:11 AM
Not sure you're totally getting my issue.... this isn't a "lack of shelf space" issue. While they obviously can't fit every single Switch game on the shelf, how about "The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening"? Maybe that should be on the shelf the day it comes out?
It isn't the "gaming community" that is to blame for this store neglecting the video game section. It's just a lack of caring - and this is still one of the larger stores that has maintained an expanded media section. I don't know why. Their media section is pretty bare (I saw a cart out the other day full of stuff to put back out on the floor - the cart made it there, at least).
They actually keep the "slow moving product" on the floor and don't put the "new" product out. The "NEW HOT TITLE" you speak of doesn't get put on the shelf when it's "new". And they aren't organized in any particular order in the cage next to the cashiers for those employees to find (although, if it is "HOT" enough, the odds are they have a large number of copies and more people ask for it, so the cashiers will know where it is). It's a scavenger hunt and I'd need to get an employee who is good at hunting (and not a quitter). They aren't organized in any particular order out on the floor, either - this is the only Best Buy in the area that doesn't believe in that whole "alphabetical order" thing. The entire video game section is just a mess.
Again, this is mainly a problem with one store. Sure, all of them have not put new releases on the shelf. But, out of the 4 closest stores, 3 are pretty much gauranteed to have major releases out on the shelf the day they come out and there is a good chance the smaller titles will make it out as well. Having a new title out on the shelf the day it comes out at this one other store is more of a fluke. It happens every once in a while.
I am not sure what your store does (or if you're like most and don't care), but store pick-up is not an option for me since I would prefer my games not have the employee's signature engraved into the cover art. Unlike other stores, this store's employees will insist on signing even when asked not to (at least, the couple of times they were asked).