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Author Topic: GRAW - Out Tomorrow in Many Stores  (Read 3883 times)
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Cleric7
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« Reply #40 on: March 08, 2006, 01:11:47 AM »

Quote from: "Sarkus"
Quote from: "Cleric7"
This is 2006
GRAW is one of the biggest games of the year.
There are warehouses, there are trucks, there are shipping manifests. At any point in time, any competent company would be able to pinpoint where their product is and exactly when it will arrive in stores.

EB can never -- NEVER -- tell me with any degree of certainty if a title will be in-store the following day.

This is nothing but faulty infrastructure. My own company ships dozens of shipments a week to up to 200 hundred different customers across North America. A little process called "scanning a bar code" makes it easy to track where any given shipment is at any time. We can tell a customer within hours when their shipment will arrive.

I have stood in my local EB while the manager goes on the phone to his head office and is told -- by head office, mind you -- that they have no idea where the item is or when it might arrive!

That is bad business, plain and simple.


I'm glad you're so convinced that your company is exactly like retail!

Here's the reality from a former GameStop store manager: Most games don't show up at the corporate warehouse until the day of release.  Until they show up we can't say for sure that we will have it the following day because sometimes they don't actually show up.  When they do show up they have to be shipped to the stores.  Mistakes are made.  The shipping company makes mistakes.  Since when have FedEx and UPS been perfect?  There were more than a few cases I personally experienced where a game shipped overnight didn't show up in the store due to shipper error.  Stuff doesn't get picked up sometimes, other times there are weather issues, who knows.

When you add in street dates to this mix you just add another level of confusion.


I respect your position on this. And if you were a store manager, you were, in my opinion, one of the good guys. But I do have a question. Up until the point that a game shows up in the corporate warehouse, your corporation has no contact -- and no way of contacting -- those delivering the game to your warehouse? No way of tracking their progress on a daily basis? I admit my company's not in retail, but there are some common business practices that apply across the board. You form good relationships with your suppliers and you have constant communication with them. EB clearly doesn't have this!

And you know, it didn't always use to be like this! A few years ago EB was incredibly reliable at getting games in-store on time. If my local store manager said a game was going to be in on Wednesday, it would be in on Wednesday 99 times out of a 100.

Something has changed. And I'm not sure what it is but my strong suspicion is that it's at the corporate level. The store managers in my area are, without exception, great folks. They run their stores professionally and they are great to their customers. But pretty much every single one of them has unending frustration with the way things are handled at the corporate level. When they phone Corporate Headqaurters they get thrown a line that -- half the time -- later turns out to be a deliberate lie. And it's the people on the front-lines who have to put up with the angry customers that they (unwittingly) lied to!
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Clanwolfer
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« Reply #41 on: March 08, 2006, 03:02:38 AM »

Damn.  I want this bad now.  I'm tempted to do the unthinkable and head out to Ye Olde EBGames on 34th street, on the off chance that they actually have any copies that weren't preordered.
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Chaz
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« Reply #42 on: March 08, 2006, 03:10:55 AM »

Speaking from an EB manager's perspective, the info we get at the store is generally a day behind.  With most major titles, this usually isn't a problem, because the games ship overnight the day before we're told they're going to be in, and the next day, we can then pull up a report that shows the content of shipping cartons.  

The problem is in the way the info gets to the store level.  It gets updated once, at around 3 AM.  If Ghost Recon ships out today, it gets to the warehouse today, and goes out to the stores overnight to be here tomorrow morning.  When I go in tomorrow, then, and only then, will I have access to tracking info, know how many I'm getting, or even be able to confirm that the game will indeed be in my hands by around noon.  Again, this usually isn't a problem with major releases, and the info is accurate, however, a smart manager never guarantees anything, and warns people to call before they come down.  Doing that takes the heat off me if something happens along the line.  Most of my customers know this, and if something happens, they deal with it.

The problems happen with the smaller titles.  Two from this week, Galactic Civilizations 2 and TOCA 3, had problems.  They were slated to show up on the Wed of the week.  Come Wed, they were still on the Coming Soon list, with a date of that day.  This is when your local manager will say, "I don't know where it is" because honestly, he doesn't.  In cases of smaller titles, I believe they get moved back in the shipping queue.  If a situation like this occurs, it means that the item hasn't been delayed, but also hasn't shipped, because once they ship, they leave our coming soon list.  

Again, no updates until the next day, so now we're into Thursday.  Hopefully the problem got cleared up, and it comes in an overnight shipment that day.  With smaller titles, they usually don't spring for next day shipping, so they put it in a 2 or 3 day box.  The only way a manager would know this would be if they looked at each individual incoming box for that title, something not many of us know to do.  At that point, they can tell you when the title will arrive.

The reason that a lot of them tell you there isn't any information is that most of them are too new to have figured out the tricks.  I've been there three years, so I know to look at incoming boxes, and I know the patterns.  The bigger problem is the the corporate office doesn't send out company-wide updates about the smaller titles that tend to get jerked around like this, so it's difficult to keep on top of everything.  

Don't be too hard on your local managers.  They're (hopefully) doing the best they can, and the new owners are making things as difficult as possible for all of us.  If they're like me, they're also working on finding new employment, because they're not liking the direction the combined company is going.
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Sarkus
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« Reply #43 on: March 08, 2006, 03:11:38 AM »

Quote from: "Cleric7"
But I do have a question. Up until the point that a game shows up in the corporate warehouse, your corporation has no contact -- and no way of contacting -- those delivering the game to your warehouse? No way of tracking their progress on a daily basis?


I'm sure they do. Once the title ships from the manufacturer to the retailer's warehouse I'm sure they know exactly where it's at and have a pretty good idea of when it will be in stores, assuming everything goes as planned.  And, most of the time, it's in the stores at that time.  However, the store has to rely on what's communicated to them from above and make guesses about in-store dates based on release dates listed in the computer (more on that later) because in most cases we only got information in emails that listed what was expected in that day.  

Street dates add an additional issue.  First, the corp office has to know there's a street date they have to follow and there are times when that changes at the last minute.  Second, that street date has to be communicated to the stores.  When I was at GameStop they did that through emails only store management had access to and/or by adding it to the end of a title name in the computer.  In theory you could look up a title for a customer and see that it had a street date, but this wasn't always clear due to title length issues in the display on some screens.

Truthfully, the last minute street date stuff started happening a lot in recent years.  I can't remember all the times we were told we could sell it as soon as we got it only to find out the day before that we had to hold it for another day.  That's why I stopped promising anything and started telling people to wait for the official automated phone call.

Quote

And you know, it didn't always use to be like this! A few years ago EB was incredibly reliable at getting games in-store on time. If my local store manager said a game was going to be in on Wednesday, it would be in on Wednesday 99 times out of a 100.

Something has changed. And I'm not sure what it is but my strong suspicion is that it's at the corporate level.


The big thing that has changed is that it no longer makes sense from a 4000+ stores point of view to overnight every title to every store.  Some titles are rated "B" titles and they are sent in slower, cheaper shipments (sometimes five working days or more) or only sent to stores that do enough volume to justify carrying everything.  The problem with this is that there is no system that makes it clear what is "A" and what is "B" because that can actually change at the last minute.  So, I could look at my computer and see that mid-demand title XYZ is supposed to be here this week and not know if it would be Wed, Fri, or next week.  Although they never said it, I actually don't think they wanted us to know this info because it's easier to get a reservation on something if you say "oh yeah, we should have it day one" (notice how I didn't promise anything) instead of saying "it looks like the game you are really excited about has been deemed minor so we shipped it to arrive about a week after release, but I doubt our competitor will have it by then anyway."  In the age of the internet, you would just buy it online if you knew it wasn't going to be in stores for a few days.
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Punisher
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« Reply #44 on: March 08, 2006, 12:57:41 PM »

Quote from: "Sarkus"

Although they never said it, I actually don't think they wanted us to know this info because it's easier to get a reservation on something if you say "oh yeah, we should have it day one" (notice how I didn't promise anything) instead of saying "it looks like the game you are really excited about has been deemed minor so we shipped it to arrive about a week after release, but I doubt our competitor will have it by then anyway."  In the age of the internet, you would just buy it online if you knew it wasn't going to be in stores for a few days.


And actually, due to the lack of reliable info, a lot of people I know have stopped buying at the stores and ordering online. Many places have cheap or free overnight now and some people have been getting titles before the street date. This is even more true with PC titles, which all my nearby EB/GS stores have slowly shrunk down. The most they have now is about 2 and 1/2 racks and They don't always get everything quickly. Hell, the Walmart near me has gotten some things quicker. (Plus they are more likely to break street date. smile )
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« Reply #45 on: March 08, 2006, 02:08:32 PM »

Quote from: "Sarkus"
Looks like a street date/miscommunication scenario.  Games will show up in the GameStop system with an actual ship date but it's not always clear if there is a street date as well.  It's possible that either corporate didn't know there was a street date or they didn't make it clear to stores.

As for stores telling everyone the date in their computer, that's why I always told people to wait for the automated phone message.  I can't remember a time when the game beat the phone message.


Sarkus, what happened in this case was that we received an email late last week saying the game would arrive in stores on the 7th, which left us confused, since that had been listed previously as the ship date. Honestly, I think that was simply a typo.

As far as I can remember (I've had the last couple of days off), there was no street date on this one.
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Cleric7
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« Reply #46 on: March 08, 2006, 05:29:42 PM »

Just got back from my EB with GRAW, Burnout 360, Shadow Hearts and Pokemon Trozei!!

What a day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


(where am I going to find the time to play these???)
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Hetz
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« Reply #47 on: March 08, 2006, 05:45:16 PM »

I picked up GRAW and Burnout at Gamestop.

They only had enough GRAW's to cover the preorders. They had to turn away 4 pissed off people while I was there getting the game.

They had a line outside the store this morning for GRAW when they opened. Looks like this is the first "killer app" for the 360!
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« Reply #48 on: March 08, 2006, 05:56:08 PM »

Release some fookin' 360's, Microsoft, now is the *PERFECT* TIME!

(plus I want Graw)
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« Reply #49 on: March 08, 2006, 06:26:00 PM »

I hate everyone here at GT.

Costing me another unplanned $60 purchase.  I picked up Fight Night never expecting to play it.  Now I'm going to have GRAW.  That's $120 on two games I never in a million years expected to purchase.  I blame Fight Night on myself but you guys get the blame for GRAW.

Now 60 of you people please send me $1 each.

Thankyou!

 :wink:
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« Reply #50 on: March 08, 2006, 06:31:07 PM »

Quote from: "Hetz"
I picked up GRAW and Burnout at Gamestop.

They only had enough GRAW's to cover the preorders. They had to turn away 4 pissed off people while I was there getting the game.

They had a line outside the store this morning for GRAW when they opened. Looks like this is the first "killer app" for the 360!


Hey!  That's me!  I'm not waiting for Ubi to send the game to me (who knows when that'll be) so I'm trying to buy it.  From EB I got "Pre-order only, sorry".  From Gamestop I got "Can't hold it, first come first serve.  We have two...so hurry"  Uh...no.
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« Reply #51 on: March 08, 2006, 06:33:41 PM »

Picking mine up in exactly 3 hours.  

Shifty... if we were all as rich as you, we would pick up 4 copies and give 3 away out ot the kindness of our hearts, so don't even start!

 Tongue
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« Reply #52 on: March 08, 2006, 07:03:21 PM »

Quote from: "Knightshade Dragon"
Quote from: "Hetz"
I picked up GRAW and Burnout at Gamestop.

They only had enough GRAW's to cover the preorders. They had to turn away 4 pissed off people while I was there getting the game.

They had a line outside the store this morning for GRAW when they opened. Looks like this is the first "killer app" for the 360!


Hey!  That's me!  I'm not waiting for Ubi to send the game to me (who knows when that'll be) so I'm trying to buy it.  From EB I got "Pre-order only, sorry".  From Gamestop I got "Can't hold it, first come first serve.  We have two...so hurry"  Uh...no.


I was at GameStop when they still had 2 copies left... I didnt' have my trade-ins with me so I had to pass. It hurt a little bit, but I had promised myself I would wait for the demo... and now I am! This does tell me I *really* need to get a pre-order in on Oblivion.
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« Reply #53 on: March 08, 2006, 08:04:15 PM »

I will be playing mine in about 10 minutes...almost every store here was sold out or only had preorders left. This game is selling well today at least.
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« Reply #54 on: March 08, 2006, 08:25:56 PM »

Quote from: "Calvin"
I will be playing mine in about 10 minutes...almost every store here was sold out or only had preorders left. This game is selling well today at least.


Yeah, same story here for the couple of Gamestops that are nearby.  The guy at one said I should try other stores, but I really don't feel the need to try and hunt this one down even though I really want to play it.


You'd think Gamestop would send their stores more copies for 360 games beyond what is pre-ordered, especially if there is a Best Buy right down the block.
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« Reply #55 on: March 08, 2006, 08:52:39 PM »

just picked up my copy at BestBuy...they still had at least 15 more on the shelf (in grand rapids, MI) Cool
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« Reply #56 on: March 08, 2006, 08:55:17 PM »

Caught the BB floor monkeys unpacking, by the time I had mine in hand there was a cluster of people lined up for the rest.  I think they sold out post haste, so I'm lucky I got mine.
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« Reply #57 on: March 08, 2006, 09:01:42 PM »

I should be picking up my pre-order after work (whenever that is), I just don't know when I'll be able to play it.
One of my favorite clients had their server crash this morning and I'm trying to get that back up, then I have to go on a 2 hour drive tommorrow morning at 7 for some network troubleshooting, then I'm going away for the weekend.
I might just end up bring the 360 with me on the weekend though..
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« Reply #58 on: March 08, 2006, 09:19:57 PM »

got a msg; both burnout and GRAW are waiting for me at EB Games (in Canada!!!) Wooooooooot.
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« Reply #59 on: March 08, 2006, 11:11:45 PM »

Quote from: "CeeKay"
Quote from: "Calvin"
I will be playing mine in about 10 minutes...almost every store here was sold out or only had preorders left. This game is selling well today at least.

Yeah, same story here for the couple of Gamestops that are nearby.  The guy at one said I should try other stores, but I really don't feel the need to try and hunt this one down even though I really want to play it.

You'd think Gamestop would send their stores more copies for 360 games beyond what is pre-ordered, especially if there is a Best Buy right down the block.

Forgot to preorder (rare for me), and my usual store didn't have any extras. Thankfully, Best Buy had plenty on hand, so I took my business there.
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« Reply #60 on: March 08, 2006, 11:28:23 PM »

Picked my copy up at Walmart last one too struck out earlier in the day at Ebs and gamestop on my lunch break this game must be really hot.
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