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- September 2009
Global JIT retail Giant stumbles again!
   Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:43 am
Warning signs of the next stage of collapse.
   Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:09 am
Self sufficiency is a myth...
   Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:46 pm

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Global JIT retail Giant stumbles again!

Permanent Linkby the48thronin on Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:43 am

Yup you guessed it, My favorite big box store has shown me further deterioration of the global JIT and their attempts to deal with it so that the shopper does not even realize it.

I noticed it first in Indiana at the store we actually shop at the most, I noticed it again in Oklahoma at the store we shop at almost as much as Indiana. My wife noticed it in Alabama.

The symptoms.

Many of the already spread out shelf rows are now 4 ft shorter in length making the aisles even wider. In a typical set up, there is one wide open aisle between the cash register row and the products for sale. There is another between the food section and the household articles, one separating the toys, tools, auto, and sporting goods from the cloths etc., and one across the back of the store from side to side excepting the food area. Those aisles are usually filled with palletized instant display goods, and still have lots of open space.

On the food end I noticed it first, the shelf rows were not 4 feet shorter, but the end caps were removed except for the top 2 shelves, and pallets of stockage or a few instant display items were shoved against the ends. ( Sorry Charlie it looks and works terribly). I would assume some suppliers are being ordered to develop 3 sided instant display pallets to replace the end caps, but those were not yet in evidence. I then marveled at the total lack of instant display pallets making the aisle actually a promenade open from the front to the back of the store.

I was a little confused by the extra wide promenade look, but when examining the shelving next to it ( the removed end caps etc., and making allowance for the palletized items stuffed in under the top 2 end cap shelves, I still saw too much open room. So I started looking at the actual displays in the housewares, and realized not only were they were displaying less variety of items, but in fact were shorter in length by one 4 ft shelf section.

I walked across the back of the store from side to side, the shoe section was not only shorter but also 4 complete shelves smaller. Baby clothes were spaced further apart, electronics got an extra shelf of dvds but the mid aisle insta displays and metal rack mid aisle storage items were snuggle tucked into the newer shorter shelves.

All around the store I saw the diminished number of items to choose from.

I then started shopping for what I had come for. I found American made pillows ( first sight in 2 years of them) but could not find American made mens pants. ( The store brand made in USA last year was now tagged made in Mexico from USA components.) My wife and I consulted a lot over the phone, and came to two startling conclusions. They had removed 4 feet of length from many shelves, removed at least one more shelf, and there was not one instant pallet anywhere except some few against the end caps of the hardware and food sections.

Points to ponder. From what was missing, and what was new I told my wife we might be seeing the second wave adaptation of their efforts to deal with failure of global JIT. More clothes were made in this hemisphere even tho "Made in USA" was unavailable in clothes. Selections were shrunk, and many items were in badly sold out condition waiting for restock.

The newest appearance of some products (yes at higher cost) with MADE IN USA labels represented the effort to fill empty slots caused by lack of controllable distant distribution.
The auto industry is not the only sector facing the reality of lost suppliers.

So JIT distribution to retail was failing even worse than 3 months ago, but some adaptation was being made to try to keep the store looking well stocked.

The failure however is deepening and they are not adapting fast enough.

Side note I have already predicted the Christmas rush will be replaced by the Christmas crawl as far as shipping volumes are concerned. One example I can use to show this future possibility is clearly already here.

Some stores in Ohio have had Halloween items for sale now for 2 weeks. With the official end of cook out, summer camping, etc. over labor day weekend, watch the Halloween rush.

Halloween is the second most important holiday to retail sales. Second only to Christmas, and dollar scale just second only by a few percentage points. If the retailers don't get the product delivered to and sold out the door of the stores, they may not still be in business when it comes time to sell for Christmas.
Last edited by the48thronin on Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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