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Ok, not everything, but a big number of sets are sold out - and have been for several days, and some for several weeks. What's the story? Are things really selling that well, or did TRU totally under stock their inventory? Perhaps on purpose even - to get people into their B&M stores? Dunno.
I know they've had sale after sale after sale, but you would have thought they'd plan and stock up for this week after Thanksgiving. Where's the Fire Brigade, Pet Shop, Maersk Train, Diagon Alley, and MMV? Some sets are sold out just about everywhere - GE, IF, EN, AT-AT. But, what about the Death Star? You'd think they'd want to be selling that big ticket item this time of year. Target and Amazon have it in-stock. Is TRU unable to acquire them from LEGO to keep up with the demand? Are they purposely not stocking to avoid losing money during the BOGOs? Dunno.
They had the VW Van in-stock for a very short period of time, and the Winter Post Office for even shorter. I don't think I've seen SSD in-stock yet. Were those just listed prematurely?
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What's the markup like at that Times Square store? Do the other big stores (downtown Chicago, Disneyland, Disneyworld, MoA) carry the big items as well?
So keep that in mind if ship to store is not an option and you know the local store has it in stock. Some promotions are online only, that is the only thing to be mindful of.
There is no TRU at the Mall of America if that's what you're referring to. There is one about a mile away, but it's just a regular TRU and doesnt carry any of the big sets.
For example, the MOA store has a Birthday Party Room, a kids construction area, and a circle of about 8 computers where you can see a design on the screen and make it with bricks in front of you. These are non-purchasable items, so it's more for the fun of it.
I don't know how you can "plan" to almost constantly have a BOGO50 sale going on. I expected Bricktober to be highly promotional, November to be pretty "quiet" (except Black Friday), and then December to be highly promotional again. It seems, though, that they've gone hyper-promotional.
I'm not sure how they expect to sustain the sales momentum, unless they come out with a B2G1 in December, which would certainly get me to bite.
My local TRU stores are pretty good on inventory. The problem is, they don't carry the bigger sets (modular, Tower Bridge, etc.). There is literally a limit to the number of Log Cabins and Lighthouses I can have ;)
During Bricktober, I found that my local store had BOGO50%, and sent a blast out to a couple LUGs in my area. Needless to say, that promo was specific only to my store, and in all actuality, probably wasn't even supposed to happen. The registers didn't relfect the BOGO50 pricing, and I had to manually have each item adjusted to get the proper sales price.
But, they had signs up, indicating valid dates, so it was an easy fight.