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Discussion Starter #1
I want one of those floating antique dolls and our Spirit store doesn't have any and when I asked if they'd be getting any, the girl I talked to said they have no idea what is showing up, they don't order anything they just get sent stuff?? Is that true or is she just clueless.

Oversize shipping puts it out of my budget online.
 

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Monster Collector
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I have been told as well by my local Spirit that they have no control over what they get or when they may get it.
 

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Same here.

The only difference is when someone who runs a store has multiple stores and can check stock in a few of them. This was my case a few years ago when Larry, not in any way related to HF Larry, told me he had something like 5-6 stores in the area. He was wonderful and on more than one occasion came up with an item I had asked about, even two discontinued ones. Sadly he got out of the biz and I have to say I miss him. Wonderful guy, who's son and maybe other kids worked in the stores, and he really loved halloween.
 

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Dawn of the Dead
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This may be a new way of distribution of late. I've heard that from Spirit and Party City. The Party City folks were annoyed by it because they were told to put up all of their displays and then had nothing to display on it but empty shelve.
 

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I can tell you that you can order at the store and they will ship it to the store for free. My store has a big sign up.
 

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Wouldn't it be wonderful if all the Spirit stores had webcams setup so you could see if they were actually opened before you went there and see when the put new props out?
 

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The Spirit stores seem to be behind the 8 ball this year. Props are showing up very late and they are still interviewing for staff. I interviewed last week for part time work. I must be crazy!!
 

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Crypto Hunter
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I can tell you that you can order at the store and they will ship it to the store for free. My store has a big sign up.


This is true.
I saw the same sign in my local store up at the check out counter
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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These Halloween stores are seasonal popup retailers operating under a franchise program. A few who operate multiple franchises actually put the time and effort into selecting stock. However most of the time....

The franchise owner simply pays a flat fee for a store package. This package is a fixed retail stock package along with rudimentary branding material like store banners. If 10 stores ordered a $25,000 store package, all 10 stores would open with an identical stock of merchandise. Most chains offer store packages on multiple price levels, plus packages to equip the store with registers and shelving. They also force the end of season discount sale, because old merchandise is discontinued in the register system during the off season.

The side effect of this is that franchise owners who go with this package system have to stay in the package system for the season. The only way they can possibly restock is to buy another package. Not all merchandise is included in all packages. That means if a franchise owner started with a $250,000 package, he would have to order another $250,000 package to ensure he was able to restock anything he opened with, and doing that is quite often not cost effective for the store owner.

The package system is preferred by the Halloween chains because most of their merchandise is produced by part time manufacturers who will retool their factories to produce Halloween goods for a certain period of time before moving on to the next contract job. This manufacturing happens well in advance of the sales season. Forcing the package system means they can place orders for fixed quantities without needing to worry much about shortages or restocks.

Probably 90% of the Spirit stores are operated under this system. Of the 10% who customize their ordering, most of them allow Spirit to handle inventory tracking and restocking remotely, rather than doing it themselves. Even in that situation, restocking cannibalizes web sales inventory, rather than coming from a dedicated restock inventory.
 

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I work for my local spirit, and unfortunately this is actually the case. We receive our main shipments, and a certain amount of each item (can vary store to store), and after that we do get filler shipments, but they do not tell us what we are going to receive. At any spirit store you can ask the employee to check their Sku Book to see which other local stores may have the item. You can also order using the in store kiosk and have it shipped to the store for free.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'll see about ordering it to the store. I know online, you can get the economy shipping free but the oversize shipping is still charged to you and it's 25 dollars. If the store lets me use the 20% coupon and shipping to the store is free, even if I have to pay for the oversize shipping it won't be so bad. I love her and honestly, if they'd have had one when I was in there, I'd have paid full price.
 

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I've asked and have been store employees that you can't use the 20% off with free shipping. The free shipping might be entered as a coupon and you can only use one coupon per order.
 
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