When we posted about Barney's second markdown, we also warned warned online shoppers that orders on popular items are often canceled. Going to the store is virtually the only way to guarantee you get your purchase.
Even without having a crystal ball we were pretty accurate about the future for online shoppers. According to Racked, the luxury department store emailed customers' that their orders were canceled and that they would not be receiving their purchases.
While doing some last minute holiday shopping we spied dozens of "corporate" employees scurrying throughout the store to pull product to fulfill online orders. We questioned a well-intentioned employee who told us that skinny on Barney's antiquated inventory and fulfilment system.
There is warehouse that houses all the products you see online, our source explained. However, there is only one inventory system and when the warehouse runs out of an item the product is pulled from the shelves of the Madison Avenue Barneys. The problem is that in-store shoppers often purchase the item before it actually gets pulled for the web order. In these instances the online shopper loses out.
For now, we overheard that Barneys was offering disappointed online shoppers $100 gift cards and personal shopping assistance to pick alternative holiday gifts. We think that everyone would be much happier if Barneys spent a little less time creating Gaga installations and updated their technology infrastructures to, lets say... 2009!
Photo: A bag of shoes being pulled from the shelves for online shoppers.