Distribution

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Grandum, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. Grandum

    Grandum Well-Known Member

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    I know, I know - we have loads of threads on this topic, but I don't think we have any from this angle, so here goes:

    Why is it that TF distribution sucks donk... ...ls? I know a lot of people say that Hasbro are not the ones to blame, but I'm not convinced. To me it seems like all the other major brands are successfuly distributed. As a kid I never struggled to find the lego kit I wanted for example. It was just a case of going to the toystore and there it was.

    As an adult TF collector I've done things like going to maybe 16 different stores three times a week over a period of 4 months in order to get certain toys (Armada Starscream and Tidalwave for example) It also seems like the Transformers is one of the few brands to get an abundance of shelf/pegwarmers compared to other brands.

    Again - lego, I can't recall ever seeing 5-6 of one type of kit and none of the others.

    I do have my own theories as to why this is, but I wanna know what you think. Why is transformers distribution so horrible?

    And as a follow up question - if you blame the distribution on for example wal marts internal distribution, then logically it has to be as sucky for Lego, right? So...is it?
     
  2. Deszaras79

    Deszaras79 I ♥ Brickformers

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    Probably Lego is the most established European toybrand and has higher sales in Europe then Hasbro/Transformers? So stores will order more/higher variety of this brand?
     
  3. 03Mach1

    03Mach1 Reason Has No Voice

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    Your combining two different issues. Distribution and assortment. Distribution is in the hands of the retailers. Hasbro sells them the product and it's up to the retailer to get it on the shelves. The assortment is up to Hasbro. Since the kiddies like Bumblebee and Prime, they get a higher ratio in the case assortment.
     
  4. Grandum

    Grandum Well-Known Member

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    I hear what you're saying, and I understand your argument (a store has transformers on the shelves ie it is not a distribution problem) But I'd respectfully disagree.

    I can't blame assortment, because, well Hasbro does have a wide range of toys. (You know ppl would get those two confused)

    and when it comes to the case assortments I would say that that is a part of Hasbros distribution tactics, so it should fall under distribution.

    And what it all really boils down to is why "robot xyz" isn't being sold the toystore I want it to be, which is a distribution problem of a specific toy.
     
  5. Grandum

    Grandum Well-Known Member

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    I guess that expanding on that it all depends on who you think should be responsible for the toy distribution. I say Hasbro, and here's my logic why:

    A kid walks in to a toystore looking for a specific transformer - the store doesn't have it, but it has an abundance of shelfwarmer a and shelfwarmer b - Is it then the owner of the toystore who is to blame for it?

    I say no - there is a demand for a Hasbro product, but the store owner can't sell it beceause in order to do so, he would have to order shelfwarmer a and shelfwarmer b in order to do so, which wouldn't be financially sound. If he can't make money on ordering a new case of transformers, then why should he?
     
  6. 03Mach1

    03Mach1 Reason Has No Voice

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    Simple. The store you want to buy from either doesn't have a wholesale acount with Hasbro or chooses not to buy Transformers from them. Neither of which can be blamed on Hasbro.
     
  7. Ceric Neesh

    Ceric Neesh Well-Known Member

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    LEGO is a poor analogy. Stores generally have to either take all of it or none of it (with some specific lines being optional), and there's only two "waves" per year; a summer wave and a winter wave, each of which is shipped for roughly a full year. Furthermore, it is MOSTLY independent of any other trends happening (TV shows, movies, etc.). Transformers and action figures in general are shipped in individual waves, but because the stocking system stores use cannot tell the difference between a healthy variety of figures and a dozen Bumblebees and Primes and nothing else, large stores can't effectively manage their stock and order more. Furthermore, even smaller stores will sometimes have this problem; as even though their stock is managed by a person who can see what does and doesn't need replacing on shelves, if they're sitting on a bunch of old stock of a few specific figures that are also in the incoming boxes, they're less likely to order them. I think the best solution would be for Hasbro to start shipping twice as many boxes that are half the size, and using volunteers such as us, the fans, to report what is and isn't moving instead of their own limited workforce. Then they can directly communicate with warehouses and let them know where they think specific product needs to go, and smaller cases (not smaller waves) would allow Hasbro to send a box that's half Bumblebee to a store that regularly clears them out, while a store in, say, the middle of a college town in Kansas with few kids might move collector-oriented product more quickly and can restock a one-of-each case instead, and avoid clogging pegs with unwanted figures without preventing them from showing up completely.

    As a specific example: Wave 3 consisted of the following four figures: Nitro Bumblebee, Laserbeak, Mudflap, and Thundercracker. While I don't know the exact breakdown of the wave, my suggestion would have the half-cases looking something like this: Box 1: 1 Nitro Bumblebee, 1 Laserbeak, 1 Mudflap, 1 Thundercracker. Box 2: 2 Nitro Bumblebee, 2 Laserbeak. Then, as stores saw what was and wasn't moving, they could either order one of each box, or two of one box to replenish what was moving.
     
  8. and2ng

    and2ng Examples, Stupid!

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    Distribution issues should be the onus of the major retailers. Hasbro only sends their products to the retailers' central warehouse locations. It is the retailer who distrubutes them down to their outlet for sale.

    Hasbro has no control over how the retailers distribute their products to the various outlets around the country.
     

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