May 1, 2000

Who Wants to go to the Store?
   by stacy <>

Last weekend, I went to a store that belongs to a well-known office supply chain which shall remain nameless (although its theme song is "Takin Care of Business"). I wanted to buy a computer desk. While I was there looking at the desk, I decided to get a matching bookshelf. I really liked both of these items, certainly more than any others, they seemed very well made, and I thought they would go well with my other furniture.

Silly me. As it turned out, the warehouse this particular store used had none in stock and had no plans to order more. The employees couldn't give me any alternatives except to call the warehouse directly and ask that they order more. One slight possibility was that the line had been discontinued and perhaps I could get the floor model for a discounted price.

This was a little unsatisfying. You'd think that the stuff they are pushing very hard on the floor, and believe me, there was this one saleswoman trying her best to get us to purchase this desk and bookshelf and all the matching accessories. That they don't apparently coordinate with their warehouse very well is disappointing and rather PFFT! worthy.

Fortunately, all was not lost. A few days ago, my friend was at the Office Depot website (oops, did I just give the name away?) where he looked up the desk and bookshelf I liked. He clicked the order button. It told him he could expect delivery by the next Monday. He told me all this, and lo and behold, it was delivered the next Monday. There was a happy ending after all, but why do I still feel so unsatisfied by the whole affair?

I don't know what system the website uses, but obviously it is better than that used by the actual stores. It would make sense to use any combination of nearby warehouses, especially if the one they normally use doesn't carry a certain item at a given time. Nobody said this chain has to make sense, however. And next time you feel the need to go buy something, just use the net and save yourself a trip to the store.

Published: May 1, 2000
Editor: stacy

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