The parents of a seven-year-old took him to Walmart this weekend to spend his saved birthday and allowance money on a pretty awesome looking swimming pool & slide combo. They’d checked online first to make sure the item was in stock—and Walmart said it was, at three different locations in fact.
If the problem was just that Walmart’s “approximate” store inventory system sucks, it wouldn’t be that much of a story. But what really ruined the family’s experience was that at the Walmarts, it took either a small army or a 51-minute-wait to find out that the item wasn’t there.
By contrast, Toys R Us managed to save the birthday shopping trip with a smile:
On our happy way, we surfed the Internet on the phone found the item also in stock at Toys R Us and frantically called them. We were immediately transferred to a bubbly manager whom raced, not waddled, to the shelves to check if the product was in stock. It was! Even though they had four in stock an associate dragged the fifty pound box to the front counter and attached a HOLD note to it. Do you know how valuable it was not to drag three children through a toy store trying to locate the seasonal department? Or wait? Priceless.
We drove halfway across Cleveland with a tired toddler and one devastated customer to pick up the item. Parked our minivan next to another minivan in a different color and stepped inside Toys R Us. The skies parted and the angels sang.
Three point two minutes later: One very satisfied customer making his first big purchase with his savings, a purchase he will always remember. Not taking place in Walmart. Heh.