Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Don't Let Me Down (Unfortunately Not the Beatles Song)

Dear Target,

Oh yes, good friend, I've got your mailers lying about the house. I have coupons littering my nightstand and even a free Band Aid or two that you have so generously sent to my children in the mail.

[By they way, that is kinda creepy that you send my kids Band Aids. How do you know that they need so many of them?]

Anyway, of course I turn to you for every need that arises.

Need shampoo? Go to Target!

Need a birthday card? Go to Target!

No need for me to illustrate the vast and numerous "needs" that lure me to your store. The fact that you send me so many mailers and coupons is evidence of my deep and adoring love for you. I fully expect a Christmas card this year in return for all that love and adoration. A'hem.

It was no surprise that I headed in your direction when my kids needed school supplies this year. Sure, I had been eyeing them in July - while there buying bubble refills for my daughter - but there was no way I wanted school supplies lying about the house for a month before the blessed first days arrival.

I prefer to purchase the supplies closer to the actual start date, even if it is the day before. That way, the goods can be organized, labeled and placed in waiting backpacks, ready for the exciting first day. It is also helpful to postpone the supply buying until the day before school starts as this greatly decreases the chances of losing said school supplies by kids who want to use the new stuff or even just look at their awesome new scientific calculator. You see what I mean?

It's not that I am a complete slacker, there are logical and sensible reasons behind my decision making process and you have never, ever let me down in the past when it comes to school supplies.

Why would I think this year would be any different?

Well, I am here to tell you that it was. It was very, very different. When my children and I rounded the corner, expecting to see shelves brimming with brightly colored displays and crayons jumping off your shelves, we were greeted with bare metal. That's right, row after row of bare shelves.

The measly selection shoved together in the middle of the Back to School area was just that, measly. There was not one box of Crayolas (or even the cheap Rose Art brand) to be found. Not a #2 pencil in sight. Nary a pack of wide or college ruled paper. Nothing.

We left your store with our heads hung low, and our pockets absent of glue sticks. We had nowhere to turn and spent the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out where we would be able to find our school supplies and still make it to 4th-grade open house by 5:30.

Lucky for us, the neighboring town has a Staples. And let me just tell you this - you have some stiff competition. If they sold laundry soap and wine, I'd be theirs. The aisles were clean and organized and FULL of every little thing we needed to prepare ourselves for school.

A disaster was avoided, however, narrowly.

I know, I know, you probably think I should change my ways and not put off purchasing the school supplies until the day before. But this has always been fun for us - the last hurrah, so to speak, before the first day of school. Maybe next year I won't wait quite so long, but there is no way I'm getting those things in July. No way.

It's bad enough that you want to clear the shelves to get the Halloween stuff up and ready . . . can't you just wait a few weeks and let us enjoy the here and the now?


Do it for the children.

The Mom Who Waits Until the Last Minute


Jen Rouse said...

I waited until about a week before school started to buy supplies (first year for us--my daughter just started preschool today!) and I went to three different stores in my town, including Target, and was not ever able to find certain items on her list. A Spacemaker pencil box and Fiskars brand pointed-tip scissors remained elusive and she had to be content with generic brands. Target did have aisle tags indicating where those items used to be before everyone else in town bought them all up, but aisle tags are not very useful when you're looking for actual physical supplies to put in your daughter's brand new backpack.

Grim Reality Girl said...

This is a particularly bad year for Target and other retailers on back to school. I'm wondering if it is because they have not made sales goals up to this point and bought conservatively as a result?

My previous retail experience tells me that they hate to leave money on the table by not having what we want when we want it. Back to School starts in July and if your school district doesn't put out the supply list early you are screwed. It sucks. Even if you do follow the early list the evil teachers seem to add to the list so we have to shop a 2nd time. Ick.

I would rather pay the school double the cost of supplies if they would shop for me... and I'm BROKE I tell you! I'd do it though... I'm not above Ramon Noodles if someone else does my BTS shopping....

okay.... I'll stop now..... sorry....

OHmommy said...

LMAO that you wrote this. I just returned from our Target and the school supply section is totally gone. The candy is out.


The Mrs. said...

Yeah whats with the halloween stuff everywhere? It is at the end of NEXT month not THIS month right?

Wanna make a bet that christmas stuff comes out BEFORE halloween this year.

Mommy Schiff said...

Great letter and I seriously think you should send it off. I mean really, do I need a 8 lb. bag of Reese's Peanut Butter cups sitting around my house for almost 2 months? I don't think so! School supplies are way more important right now.

Glad Staples could help you out =)

Every Day Goddess said...

We were so complaining about this very subject today. I had to go to three different stores, and the Office Depot lady let me know that I can not find 3 black dry erase markers in all of Washington! Can I just ask what a third grader is going to do with 3 black dry erase markers anyways!!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Next thing you know you'll be wanting to buy a bathing suit in July instead of March!

Domestic Extraordinaire said...

Last year we waited and I had never done that before....never again! This year when they give you a new list with things not on the previous list on the first day we had to scour and most of the stuff was on clearance!! Our school was the first school in the county to go back. Crazy. Lucky you were able to get it all at staples. (And check the back aisles....our staples sells limited groceries and stuff for the break can totally survive on crackers, hot cocoa and 500 count stirring sticks)

Phil said...

the candy is out because it has a high gross profit. and retailers know that if you put it out there, it will be bought. Halloween candy is not just for Halloween any longer. Just like Christmas candy is out before Halloween is gone, and Valentine candy is out right after Christmas, and Easter candy is out right after Valentine.

The life of a retailer.


Valarie said...

You took the words out of my mouth. This so sounded like us this year.

Tori said...

We had the same experience! Unbelievable! I wrote a post about it too!

The Scott Family said...

It is things like this that make me loathe Target. I mean, I really have no choice in the matter, as I refuse to shop at the other store,(the one from Arkansas, with the little smiley guy,) but honestly, Halloween candy in September and no school supplies really makes my hind end pucker.

Kyla said...

At least it wasn't the Christmas stuff yet. ;)

Kimmylyn said...

I am with Kyla.. at least it was not Christmas..

Target has been losing my love a lot lately.. it is always a mess..