Thursday, December 22, 2011

Barney's Scrambling to Fill Custmer Orders

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.


Anonymous said...

The other thing about Barneys is that their personal shoppers pull merchandise from the floors even before sales so they have no control over their inventory. Shopping at Barney's can be frustrating, because even at full price the item may be sitting in someone's office.

Lila Delilah said...

That happens at any department store though.

Anonymous said...

This is EXACTLY what happened to me and I didn't get an apology or anything. After waiting for over 1 month for my order and waiting on hold for over 30 minutes at a time, they said the item I ordered was damaged and had to be returned to the manufacturer. Then 2 weeks after they cancelled my order, they emailed me and said it's available again.
Truly horrible customer service and I didn't get offered a gift certificate, let alone one for $100!!!
And seriously, let's face it, their website sucks! It's so slow and doesn't sort by size in clothing. How stupid!

Anonymous said...

You're right about the other stores. Very true