Monday, February 16, 2015

Keeping it local

Spouse & I decided we wanted an electric space heater.  

This was last Fri, Feb 13, still very much wintertime, even here at the beach.  So we went to Lowe's, where we'd seen heaters before, but they had none on this visit.  Next we went to Home Depot, but they had none either.  Finally we went to Walmart only to find they had none as well.

As I mentioned, its mid-February and still very much wintertime, yet no space heaters were available for purchase.

But do you know what they had in the store where the space heaters had been??

Grass seed.  Fertilizer.  Patio furniture. 

Remember that its winter and the temperatures have been below freezing at least at night.  There is no point in spreading grass seed on frozen ground, and it will be at least 2-3 months before anyone around here will be able to use outdoor furniture.

The same thing happens in other stores.  A few years ago I tried to find a pair of navy shorts in early July.  Nearly all the clothing stores had their winter coats and sweaters out.  Not a single pair of navy shorts in any size to be found.

Last Sept I went to the Dollar Tree and they had Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas merchandise in the store all at the same time.  In Sept.  This rushing of the seasons is equally annoying to me.  Who wants to buy Christmas cookie tins and have them sit around for 3 months?

This begs the questions:  Why do stores insist on selling out and not replenishing seasonal items when they are still in season?  Why do stores insist on filling up the shelves and isles with merchandise people can't use for 2-3 months?  Whose interests does this serve?  Certainly not the public's.

So Fri night Spouse & I returned home and I ordered an electric space heater from  There were multiple brands and models to choose from, and with our Prime membership the shipping was free and they promised delivery by Sun.  It arrived on Sun as promised.

I normally try to shop locally because it invests in retailers who provide local jobs for people in my local community.  But I couldn't help but think about the fact that my local retailers don't seem nearly as concerned with providing me with seasonal merchandise as I am to support their stores and employees.  

Maybe this is the new reality.  Maybe brick-n-mortar stores will just provide next season's merchandise for those who really want to plan ahead, and those of us who want in-season merchandise will just obtain it from afar.  I hadn't been thinking that way, but I am now.


anne marie in philly said...

I don't get this merchandising mentality either.

last summer, a friend of mine wanted to buy a fan. his local stores (in ohio) had snowblowers/shovels/salt/etc on display. this was in AUGUST! I pointed him to, where he found what he was looking for.


Mistress Maddie said...

I'm in retail and it drives me completely nuts as well. I only buy to use or wear now. But I do know in retail they have short selling seasons on certain merchandise, and want to sell full price instead of taking a cut in sale or clearance merchandise. Now in our store, pretty high end, we had woman asking for swim suits in December, most likely for a resort trip. Our customer is usually a season ahead and want the I had it first feel. Our winter coats are just on sale now, but the selection is minuscule. But your not the only one this drives crazy. The decorations thing drives me more crazy than anything.

Travel said...

The stores down't want to mark down at the end of the season or carry over seasonal merchandise until next year. The MBAs number crunching has taken over and overrides customer service.

Ur-spo said...

I despise stores selling things so soon.
One has to shop for the holiday months ahead of time, otherwise there is nothing left.