26 August 2009

Waiting In Line At Toys 'R' Us

I go to Toys 'R' Us (or TRU for you cool people out there) a lot...you know, for research. There is usually one local on that I frequent, but when I see one on the road, I go in and see what is in stock. In the past three months, I have been to about ten different TRU's (like that?). One thing that they all have in common...very poor customer service.

As a kid, there is no better reward than getting a toy. Every kid, including me, that walks into a Target, Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, K-Mart, etc. will run to the toy section to pick out a toy. Now, throw in a toy store such as Toys 'R' Us, that kid is in heaven.

Let me first say that bringing a kid along with you while you shop is pure torture for the kid. Kids have a short attention span...ALL KIDS have short attention spans. It is called being a kid, not that attention deficit/ADD crap! You need to purchase a little something to keep the kid quite and occupied on the way home. Hence the term "Shut-Me-Up-Toy", and industry term. It describes a toy that a guardian buys to shut the kid up, usually under five dollars. When you go to a Toys 'R' Us with a kid, expect to purchase an item at least within the fifteen dollar range. Taking a kid to a toy store and not buying anything for him/her is just cruel.

Back to my problem with TRU. Like many mass market stores, there are multiple check out lines. Your average TRU will have ten checkout stations, including at least one in electronics and at least one at customer service. Then why...WHY is there only one register open? I have seen lines with more than five people waiting, and there will be one register open with the slowest cashier on staff. (Oh, K-Mart sucks, too. But that is another post.) You have antsy kids in line with fed up parents...and there is only one line open? Meanwhile, there are other staff...wait, they like to be call "team members", just wandering about. How about you grab a register and get the next guest in line? There are a dozen registers NOT being used.

Seriously, how hard is it to work the register? I have done it, it is easy. The little bar code thingy makes it so damn easy these days. In fact, they make a toy register that you can buy at TRU, if you get to the register. Most of the time you do not even have to make change. Most transactions are made with a credit card. Even if there is cash involved, all you do is punch in some numbers and it does all the math for you. Heck, I bet the four year old in line can playing with the toy register can run the TRU one.

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