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TRU is relatively hit-or-miss, I would suspect largely due to their near-constant BOGO50 sales.
I'm interested to see how the stores look after this weekend. Saturday is likely to be the biggest shopping day of the year...
I am quite surprised how out of stock some websites are, especially Target.com. That could definitely drive some traffic into Target stores this weekend.
Well, I live on the far western reaches of the Twin Cities. We are obviously hitting different stores. I frequent Buffalo, Monticello, and Saint Cloud (sometimes Hutchinson). Where and what stores are you finding these at?
My local Targets, Walmarts, and Fleet Farm have very limited supply - and what they do have in stock seems to be sparse in the varied stock (no new releases).
Targets in my area have new Ninjago but that's it. The TRUs have most all the 2012 sets except Superheroes.
Walmart never has much for "new" LEGO until well after Christmas.
I think this most recent BOGO50 sale has hit stock pretty hard, since this particular store was relatively well-stocked as recently as Monday.
This store had one box of CMFs on a clearance endcap but they were not on clearance.
Walmart has been doing this for years - shrinking inventories while still increasing sales and profits even more than sales. Target has been getting into this frame of mind for the last 2-3 years.
This is part of the reason why you generally see less clearance at Walmart too.
People who have never carried inventory don't appreciated how expensive the carrying cost really is, capital is not unlimited and using borrowed money is always risky.
Can Walmart borrow an "unlimited" amount of money to carry inventory? For all practical purposes, yes. They could probably borrow $100 Billion tomorrow if they really wanted to, but the interest charge on that, even as low as it would be, just a few basis points above US Treasuries, affects the bottom line. At some point the additional sales are not worth it.
20+ images here:
Have never seen a TRU shelf looking like that, but then I haven't been to a TRU in the US. :o)
On a side note, I really hope they have decent pick-a-bricks after Christmas. Right now they do but in past years its been nothing but crap pieces :/
If anyone is looking for the Target Lego gift card, make sure you ask an employee. I was just at the Willmar, MN, store yesterday and could not find this card. A staff member was busy restocking other gift cards, so I asked about the Lego one. She thought a few were on the floor, so I went to look. Empty in that location.
She said no problem, asked how many I wanted, and brought them out of the back room. She had not restocked them yet, but they had 80 in the back room (20 per box). Might be that stores are conserving employee hours for Thurs/Frid/Sat rush?!?!
My local TRU's shelves are EMPTY. About the same, maybe a little bit worse than @brickupdate 's store.
My LEGO store is in similar condition. Well-stocked, not a ton of repeats, but most of the "probably after-Christmas sale" items are gone.
I haven't seen LEGO disappear off store shelves like this ever before.
If parents are buying 95% of them, no problem, but if that number swings towards people like me, it could be a sign of a bubble...
Much easier to just call the store and place a phone order...
Er, did I say that out loud just now? :)
So empty shelves in the Lego aisle... I actually expect it. I walk through the other aisles, and I am not seeing the empty shelf phenomenon. It is good for all involved when the food chain is healthy and supports new appetites :)
Now my big question, will Lego finally show up at Garage/Yard sales in the next few years?
As for garage/yard sale LEGO, it's always been there, most of the LEGO from my youth was garage sale finds... Not as many folks DO garage/yard sales anymore...
Visited both a K-Mart and a Target today, Lego shelves were empty empty... walked through the other toy aisles, fairly full at Target, but not at K-Mart. It was an odd odd feeling :(
It seems the Big Box stores decided not to purchase a lot of LEGO this year... Hopefully they have learned their lesson.
This is sad for us AFOLs looking for deals this year - but I am guessing the way that LEGO sold out so quickly, we will see an abundance next year as they try to balance out sales. People are interested in LEGO - and there was not enough to go around - so we may see some increase in LEGO next year... my fingers are crossed.