Retail statistics question
February 20, 2018 12:34 AM   Subscribe

In a retail chain with multiple stores that are judged by sales statistics, how do returns and exchanges work? Say I buy something from Store A. Then I change my mind and return it at Store B for store credit. Then I buy something using that credit at Store B. Does my money end up going toward Store A's totals, or Store B? Both?

The reason for this question is really dumb and mostly irrelevant. (no, I am not planning some sort of elaborate retail statistics gaming scheme.)
posted by btfreek to Work & Money (6 answers total)
 
Store A gets credit for the sale. Store B gets dinged in their daily sales for the return, and then gets that back if you spend your store credit. So it ends up a wash for them and Store A is the one coming out ahead. At least that's how it worked for the national retailer I worked for.
posted by nothing as something as one at 3:55 AM on February 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


Everywhere I've worked they've just included everything that happens in that store - no matter whether it's an exchange from store B or anything. It sucks if someone comes in with a massive refund that wrecks your stats for the day, but c'est la vie.
posted by london explorer girl at 3:55 AM on February 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I imagine there might be some retailers that do things differently, but the two I have knowledge of did things as explained above. When I worked at a certain large blue electronics retailer, we often jokingly discussed buying items at our store and then returning them elsewhere to be sure we hit our numbers.

At the time, selling protection plans was very highly incentivized, but the only way for customers to "return" them was by calling some centralized location to cancel the plan, so we never got dinged for those returns. We very strongly suggested people buy the (terrible, imho) protection plan with their new computer and then said "if you think better of it in a couple of days, you can always just call the number on the form and cancel!" I do not look very fondly on my retail days.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:57 AM on February 20, 2018


Store A gets the sale, Stote B grts dinged for the return, and then gets credit for the store credit...but depending in how they count it, store credit may be a ding in its own category (store credit comes out of margin sometimes because it’s sometimes discretionary.)
posted by blnkfrnk at 6:21 AM on February 20, 2018


The same thing happens on a lower level in a retail establishment where retail employees are compared to each other. It is not uncommon to have a pushy sales associate who is very good at generating sales on the floor. However the people who are embarrassed or manipulated into buying things bring them back later. At that point the person bringing the item back into the store will avoid their original sales associate if they possibly can lest they get argued out of the return or forced to exchange it for something else they don't want; the pushy associate is avoiding them too. So they approach one of the other associates and make the return - and that associate is the one who gets dinged with the return counting against their sale.

This of course tends to lead to a quick turn over in sales associates who cannot make their sales goals due to the high scoring associates returns and leads to the pushy sales associate being firmly ensconced and praised for their high sales figures. This deadly situation destroys a company, as if you experience buyers remorse it strongly reduces your chances of coming back to the same supplier again. Meanwhile returns are very expensive for the store.

The problem does not just apply to retail establishments.
posted by Jane the Brown at 9:33 AM on February 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


Yep, this was a long running problem when I was a manager for a national electronics chain (Radio Shack, why be coy about it?) Other managers at stores in my district would make up return requirements to discourage customers from returning items at their store. So of course those customers would take the five minute walk to my store to return the item. Since I didn't make up reasons why they couldn't return the item when it was in fact returnable by company policy, my store sales would take the hit.
posted by runcibleshaw at 10:21 AM on February 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


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