With so many shopping options available these days (both brick & morter and online), it doesn’t take a lot to get me to quit coming to your store. I’ve implemented a “three strikes and your out policy” — if I get upset at your store three times, no matter how conveniently located you are or how much I want to like your company, I’m not coming back. Such is the case with Staples, located just Yukon just south of I-40 and Garth Brooks Blvd.
It all started last year, when Staples ran a sale on blank CDs. I go through a lot of blank CDs. I mean, a lot. I burn discs on a whim, making audio discs and mix CDs and give them away freely. There are months when I might go through a couple hundred blank discs, so when I see them on sale, I pick them up. So when places like Staples drop the price of their blank CDs in half as they did last year, I show up and buy in bulk. Blank CDs don’t go bad; they store just fine in the closet until I need them.
When I arrived at Staples I found they were sold out of blank CDs. The cashier gave me some great advice: “Go to Office Depot. They price match our ads.” I did just that. The Office Depot employees walked me right to their blank CD area and, even though they were marked for more than twice of Staples’, they gladly price matched the Staples ad, and I left (happily) with around 500 blank CDs.
You would think this would convert me to an Office Depot customer, but the problem is Staples is really close to my house. So when I needed a flat-panel monitor, I again went to Staples. After comparing models and prices, I picked out the one I wanted … only to find that, surprise, they didn’t have it in stock. Since I was going out of town the following day, I really needed the monitor that night. The manager informed me that he would not sell me the display (even at cost). The best he could do is order one and I could pick it up in a couple of days. “Don’t bother,” I told him. 30 minutes later I was the proud owner of a flat panel monitor, again from Office Depot. The monitor was $30 more at Office Depot, but I didn’t care. When I told my story to the cashier, she pulled a Staples sale ad from below the register, checked the price, and gave me $30 off. Wow!
And so, last weekend came the third strike. In search of a new digital camera, I stopped by Staples. Staples has 30 digital cameras on display. In stock, they had two. Not two of each model, two in all. They were out of stock of 28 of their 30 cameras. Can you guess what happened next? 30 minutes later I was walking out of Office Depot with a new digital camera.
The Staples in Yukon is clean and neat, but the best thing I can say about their merchandise is it’s a great place to go window shopping before you go to Office Depot (or the retailer of your choosing) to actually buy items. Sorry Staples, we won’t be back.