Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hidamari Sketch Inventory Update

A lot of you are asking today if we have Hidamari Sketch back in stock. The answer is -no- not yet. Due to a little, um, SNAFU at Section 23 we did not get our entire initial shipment. In fact, we only got in 10% of the qnty we ordered, which all went to whatever pre-orders we could fill - so it came and went and we have been working with Section 23 for a couple of week to get in the rest of our shipment. Section 23 has now confirmed that the rest of the order is being sent out to us, so I'm hoping we'll finally have this title in stock deep by the end of the this week. We'll post on the updates page the day the rest of those copies hit the dock.

Nothing really unusual about this for a January except that so far it's only happened to one item. :-) Usually when this happens we are able to get more copies expedited in quickly, but this time there were no copies to be had right away, which is symptomatic of almost everyone's (except for us) desire these days not to actually keep any extra inventory of anything in stock. The rule now is that you order exactly the number of copies be produced that the retailers advance order - no more / no less, and then you re-order more later as needed based on sales performance only after an item or title has proven itself to be sales worthy. I'm seeing this sort of thing duplicated on other Anime retailers sites were they clearly want to maintain a huge catalog of 'item listings' without actually stocking the products behind those listings in their warehouse. Slower moving or low sell through items will be listed on those sites with availability markers like 'we'll get it for you' , meaning we don't stock that item, but we'll see if we can get it after you order it - and if not, too bad - or 'limited availability' , which means we 'might' have some stock left, but either way it's not worth trying to restock once our initial inventory is gone. After all, who can be bothered these days to keep their supply chain well organized to fill the customers needs? etc etc.

We're certainly not perfect, but we work very hard to have an Anime store site were every product behind that site is in stock all the time, and we just don't list a bunch of stuff that we either can't get, or has gone out of stock and won't be replaced. I think that's why our customers enjoy such good fill ratios on their orders, and that we rarely have backorders or stock outs or pre-orders that can't be filled, and that product stock outs here only represent some problem in the supply chain, not some policy decision being made about which products we want to bother to keep on hand.

Anyway, this has always been our thinking here, for better or worse, I suppose, and now you know. :-)

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