F*ck stores that rearrange themselves!

I went to Staples, CompUSA, and Borders today, and they had all rearranged all their shelves and merchandise since the last time I had been in them, just a few weeks ago.

Apparently some genius in marketing realized that if you do this every few months, shoppers who planned to run in and get one or two items would head over to where they thought the blank CDs were kept, find that now there were iPod accessories on that shelf, and buy some of those in addition to the CDs.

CompUSA was the first store I noticed do this, starting a couple of years ago, but now many others are getting into the act, as my little trip today demonstrated.


I’ve got better things to do with my life than wander around your 50-acre store trying to figure out where you’ve hidden the paper clips this week. I hate this manipulative bullshit.

May you all burn in hell. Jerks.

(I’d try to make this a funnier and more eloquent rant, but it’s too close to bedtime.)

Yeah, why can’t they keep the iPod stuff where they had it ten years ago…


Walmart does it twice a week or something like that, in each department. I hate it, I can never find anything. And I don’t feel like trekking through every freaking department to find where they’ve hidden the yarn/cranberry juice/printer paper/whatever.

I bet the staff love it juuuuust as much as you do.

A video place we frequent did this between visits. ARRRGH.

Would one of your better things to do include asking someone where the paper clips are? I would agree that there is no reason to rearrange a store every week, but a store can’t stay the same forever…

Yet no one ever seems to go elsewhere.

They have bought your willingness to suffer for the price of a discount.
Sooner or later, someone is going to figure out the percentage off retail that will allow them to kick each customer in the crotch, and there will be lines outside that store like it was a Star Wars premiere.

“Would one of your better things to do include asking someone where the paper clips are?”
That would imply that there is enough staff working there. Figure THOSE odds.

I spent two years working at a retail company that rhymes with “Rears.” Approximately 1 7/8 of those years were spent rearranging the departments on my side of the store. We’d just get it so we (the staff) had a good idea where the stuff was now, and they’d tell us to change it. I have no earthly idea what good this policy did. It confused the customers and the staff. As far as I can tell, it just made for busy work, which prevented us from doing our real work, which gave the management all the more reason to give us a hard time because stuff was backed up. Hello? We can’t get the merchandise unboxed and put on display if we gotta spend all freakin’ day taking the paint off the shelves and turning them around to face another direction, and putting the paint back!

There’s a gas station/convenience store near my office that does this. I go there two to three times a week, usually to get a soft drink after my lunchtime workout. For the past four months, every single time I walk in there the place is in disarray. They move the display racks around, they get a new Smoothie machine, they take out the Smoothie machine, they get new racks to display donuts, they change their coffee station around, they move the hot-dog station …

It’s like their corporate office keeps coming up with a new floorplan every week, and forces the franchises to change. I cannot imagine the amount of busywork that staff has to endure moving things around all the time.

This isn’t one of the Qwik Shop stores, is it? I’ve got 4 of those on my bi-weekly magazine route and I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out where they’ve moved the magazines to THIS time.

Our grocery store does this about every month. Drives me nuts. They don’t change the soda aisle, but change the location of each brand of soda within the aisle.

Nope, it’s a RaceTrac.

Au contraire! The Giant supermarket nearest me has had exactly the same layout since I moved to town 36 years ago this month.

Changing the whole store around periodically is the opposite of customer service: making things harder for the customer, wasting his time, forcing him to spend more time in the store than he’d like, just to generate more sales.

It certainly destroys any sense of loyalty I might have had for a retailer. If I can’t walk into the store I used to frequent and immediately go to what I’m looking for, I have a greater impetus to go to its less familiar competitor.

There’s a retail theory which posits that changing around the merchandise increases sales. The idea is that the merchandise looks “fresher” to frequent customers.

Secondly, moving the chainsaws to where the sweaters used to be forces the sweater-seeking customer to look at a chainsaw, no matter how briefly, thus announcing that the store carries them. In turn, this is supposed to make the customer think of that store when they find themselves in need of a chainsaw-- the memory sticks out because it was surprising to find that item in a new location.

It also defeats the grab-and-go customer-- they are forced to look at other merchandise, and might pick up a thing or two that they hadn’t come in for but look good once they see it.

Major retail chains carefully study traffic patterns, and deliberately put things in the way of quick traffic flow. The longer you stay in the store, the more likely you are to purchase extra items. A customer who becomes too familiar with the floor plan can navigate their way to quickly grab a specific item and be out of the store within minutes. A customer who has to wander around or look for assistance is one who has to stay longer. (Nor is it particularly beneficial to have employees quickly locate specific items, so training employees where things are is not a priority.)

Some theories insist that even a somewhat negative memory of a store is beneficial. Most people don’t get pissed enough to refuse to ever shop in a store again. Think of it along the lines of annoying commercials. You remember them because they’re so irritating, and talk about them with your friends. You remember the business which made the commercial, which is their all-around goal. In this case, you will remember your confusion and irritation, but likely, that won’t stop you from stopping there again when you need something.

Like I said, the opposite of customer service. The customer would like to be in and out quickly, and off doing other, more important, things. The store is working against this.

I deeply resent being treated like a rat in their maze.

The problem is that if they all do it, you can’t threaten to take your business to a competitor. You can only threaten to use online sources instead of brick-and-mortar stores (not always a viable option), and the same retailers have virtual monopolies on many of those online sources, anyway.

This is why I despise capitalists.

Which retailer would that be? I can’t think of one that has an online monopoly.

I’m a grab-and-go customer. My policy is to never let the wheels of the cart come to a complete stop. If I can’t just grab it or sweep it into the cart on the way to the register, I didn’t need it in the first place. So store re-arrangements are not so much of a bother to me. If I don’t find what I need on the first pass, I just don’t get it. I might get it next time, or I might go somewhere else and find it. I don’t buy into chicken-shit retail store bullshit. If you make it too difficult to navigate your aisles at a brisk pace, or put the stuff I want where I can’t find it, I just go somewhere else. And to all you ‘label-reading while your stupid cart is in the middle of the aisle’ assholes, and ‘can’t make up my mind so I’ll stand here with my finger up my nose’ ashats – Screw you and get the hell out of the way!

Hey, don’t ask me to produce facts, I’m too busy ranting! :smiley:

Okay. Ordinarilly, I would have posted, “That’s why capitalists despise you too,” and be done with it. But in the spirit of turning over a new leaf and all that…

The whole point of capitalism is to generate wealth so that you can grab your share of the crap that you seem so pissed off about having to look for. Were you to have your druthers, and institute socialism, you would always find the toilet paper in the same place. It would be really shitty toilet paper. It would be one of the few things the store carried. And you would wait in line for hours on end to buy it. That is, assuming you were of enough value to the state and had enough contacts in high places to have a job that actually paid a dependable salary on time.

It just really galls my ass when prima donnas like you bitch about there being too much. If you think your idea is better, then formulate a business plan, go to a fucking investment capitalist, and open yourself the store of your dreams.

Oh yeah. The grocery store I worked at until recently loved to flip the store around every few months: change the aisles, bring in new items, get rid of other items. It got so bad that even the staff couldn’t tell the customers where things were or if we even carried certain items.