Some Black Friday Advice for Retailers

Just a few short weeks ago we made a trip to Lowes, but came home unsatisfied. (Read all about it.) So, with Black Friday just around the corner, we saved ourselves a Home Depot shopping trip for the weekend after Thanksgiving. In preparation, I did some showrooming at the store just before Thanksgiving, and found that they had a toilet and a stand up shower that I liked for prices within our budget. Awesome.

Saturday after Thanksgiving, we packed up the kids and headed out to the Home Depot with full intent to blow $700-$900 and light our Home Depot credit card ablaze with red hot deals.

We get there - I pick out some new christmas lights to replace some that had gone out on me this year. (If I'm paying for big purchases on my card and already getting 0% financing for 12mo's, why not?) I also find a faucet on sale that I decide I will use to replace the more expensive one we previously purchased at Lowes. So far, so good.

Mike is already in the shower section. I left him there earlier after pointing out the shower I like, which is on display and priced at $515. But when I return to him with my cart already half full of goodies, the problems begin.

He doesn't like that stand up shower kit - says it's too flimsy and he feels like he can bend the walls with just a firm bump. After a short argument, we decide to look for it anyway. For the price, we'll give it a shot. Maybe it's just poorly assembled in the display.

There's no box. We can't find the item anywhere. An HD associate is actually nearby and we ask him to look for us. Come to find out that this item is no longer available and has been discontinued - no other store even has it. The discounted $515 price was a final closeout from who-knows how long ago.

Now we're getting really aggravated. The kids haven't eaten dinner. We haven't eaten dinner. It's getting late and there we are in the aisle trying to decide what to do about this shower situation. There's another stand up shower kit that they have plenty of... it's the right size and everything. Trouble is, the display is 10' over our heads. Yes, there's a standup shower kit assembled and displayed 10' up. That one's even less expensive, but Mike doesn't want to buy it without experiencing the display, which he can't because for some reason some ding dong thought it was a good idea to put a display waaaaaaay up on a shelf that nobody can access.

Mike wants to go back to Lowes. I, who have already picked out several items with a toilet yet to go, want to buy something here and now so I can get my 0% financing for 12mo's and Black Friday pricing on my faucet and lights.

But I'm also tired, hungry, and not in the mood to argue. Especially with a tired and hungry 3 1/2 year old and 3 1/2 month old in tow. "If we don't get a shower, we're not getting anything," I finally exclaimed. "Come on, let's go put all this stuff back."

And we did.

And as we're walking out of that place with the empty cart full of kids, I'm thinking to myself, I'm a customer who came into this store with the intent to spend around $800 on the store charge card and now I'm walking out with nothing because of improper displays. (The first being the discontinued kit, which was still on display long after they had all been sold. The second being the replacement kit, which was displayed so high up that we couldn't look at it.)

So here we are, over a week later, and Mike and I are still to flustered to discuss it. We still need to go back to the HD for the toilet. The great faucet prices will have probably passed by now. But we have no idea what to do about the shower kit. Back to Lowes, I suppose? There are some local stores we could try, but I hate to say it, I imagine that they will be much more expensive.