A new Hobby Lobby opened near me today. This is exciting only in that my local Michaels is not one of the fancy stores; in fact, it’s pretty bad. I went to Hobby Lobby to see if there were any opening day specials, etc. Didn’t notice anything spectacular, other than that the store was clean. And the clearance section was stocked with random things that they wanted you to buy, things that shouldn’t have been clearanced. Like the cute little chicken that will sit on my kitchen counter soon.
Here’s the weird thing about Hobby Lobby. And when I say “the” weird thing, I mean the one that bothers me the most. Why don’t they have bar code scanning cash registers? They put out a flyer every week and the cashiers have to figure out what you’re buying and whether or not it’s on sale this week. That makes perfect sense for a store that just opened its doors on October 22, 2009, right? If only that technology was available. Soon, I hope.
Now, let’s discuss a policy at Michaels that makes my head want to explode. This first came to light about two months ago when my friend Tracy was at a Michaels and a bunch of items from their clearance section rang up at .01. That is not a typo, that’s a penny. Items at Michaels rang up as a penny. Tracy thinks this is wonderful, of course. Until the cashier says “you can’t buy these things, when something rings up at a penny that means it needs to be thrown out.”
Yes, I did say “thrown out” and Tracy clarified that the term meant what it sounded like it meant. They THROW THINGS AWAY RATHER THAN SELLING THEM OR DONATING THEM. What a strange policy.
So… Tracy and I are at Michaels a few days ago, on the elusive search for a Martha Stewart punch, and something rings up as a penny. We just look at each other, we know what’s coming next. It doesn’t come. The cashier lets us buy this item, a Sizzix die. For a penny. Yahoo!
Since the Cashier seems friendly, I inquire about the “throw out the clearanced items” policy, and she does confirm that that is the official policy. Items cannot be sold, they must be thrown out. I ask why the items aren’t donated to a school, or a senior home, etc. She says it’s because people will return the items for credit or refunds. I suggest they could take the items out of the packaging, and donate them “naked”. She pretty much looks at me like I’ve grown a horn out of my forehead.
I then go on to suggest that they could donate the items out of the country, where stores don’t exist so they can’t be returned. Now it seems that my horn has changed colors. She says “it’s a weird policy, I don’t agree with it, it just is.” End of conversation.
What do you think of this policy? Wasteful, right? Poor economic choice as well. Why not just let people buy the items?