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With the news of a new CEO and a company buying out The Bookstore I really hope that these stock quantity issues will soon be a thing of the past.
There’s not much of a reason that I can see for a store to carry 20 copies of a book that’s had multiple editions and been in print for 30 odd years. Sales figures are supposedly used in the system for keeping stock of titles and items in The Bookstore, where if we sold x copies of a title over a certain amount of time our store should then carry AT ALL TIMES x copies of said title. Despite the following months and years showing a nice steady sales history, but nowhere near the amount that would justify carrying 5 times the needed copies sold every month. When most of your stock is sitting in a stockroom gathering dust, what’s the point of sending more in? We sold 2? Great! We really don’t need 4 more shipped in, we’re still trying to fit the other 18 copies out on the sales floor.
Then there’s the issue with all of those garbage office supply knick-knacks. A huge amount of customers don’t work in an office, nor would they need a ridiculously marked up cardboard desk organizer. That whole gift area usually rotates out with the seasonal clearance having moved maybe at most 2 desk organizers. There’s really no need to have 16 of them.
I understand the desire to keep store shelves stocked and full. It helps sell an idea that we have more than enough to meet demand. Empty spaces look tacky and possibly give off the idea that we aren’t making too much money.
But there’s got to be a better way to measure sales to stock shelves. Those Niffler dolls have been sitting in the stockrooms of the company for close to two years or more now. They sold alright with the first Fantastic Beast movie, but after the second one we really didn’t need an additional shipment or five. We still hadn’t sold out of the first run.
I know sometimes it’s hard to predict what things sell well or not too. Hatchimals was a big thing that we had to catch up on, that Mueller Report was difficult to keep on shelves for the first couple weeks too, but with certain teen books and authors, it’s not too difficult to see the sales numbers, look at the box office returns of the adapted movies, see how many of those books wind up in used book stores or find them in clearance bins to know that no store honestly needed 200 copies of Veronica Roth’s “Carve the Mark” book.
Yeah, this whole rant was to get to this point, some of these people in Home Office are so freaking out of touch with reality it’s laughable. Roth’s Divergent series was coolly received after the first book, there’s no way that we were ever going to see any demand that matched a Harry Potter level demand, or even a Twilight level of demand for her books.
I think whoever set up that hardcover release for “Carve the Mark” learned their lesson though. The Paperback edition came out with significantly lower shipments. So at the end there is a positive, someone learned from their mistake!