MEGATHREAD Hang Me (The Softlines Thread)

Joined
Jun 23, 2012
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I was recently presented with the opportunity to make the jump to Softlines. I haven't even started my training yet, but a search through the forum led to many people in my position and a minimal guide or two. Inspired by the Presentation and Signing threads, I think softlines could use its own dedicated place to vent, opine and share experiences that help each other get through the daily grind.

I don't know how other stores are lately, but my new team couldn't even be described as blood red. That would be too generous. We consistently do not finish neither zone nor reshop with our team of 2 closers. Our presentation team spent an entire day recently helping set adjacencies that were a month old, because we have had no TL for 2 months, and no brand TM for the past 8 months+. Half the team is brand new(hired within the last week) and the other half has been with target 5+ years and are burned out. No hipos. I'm basically tasked with rebuilding a very broken process in a dept I know nothing about. Fun times ahead.

Any advice from others, anyone else want to share their horror/success stories?
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2011
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What does it mean when I scan a shirt, go to its location, and the label is in that spot, but is for a different shirt? Then I ask a SLTM (brand?) and they look at me like I'm stupid because I didn't know the shirt was on a completely different table then what the PDA said.
 

mrknownothing

purveyor of things
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
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What does it mean when I scan a shirt, go to its location, and the label is in that spot, but is for a different shirt? Then I ask a SLTM (brand?) and they look at me like I'm stupid because I didn't know the shirt was on a completely different table then what the PDA said.
Don't even bother scanning. It's easier to find the location by eye than to try to find the correct fixture. Scanning is really only useful in shoes and infant hardlines.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2011
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That's why people that don't work in SL will continue to just hand the shirts to SLTMs. If something is tied to a location, it should be there. Just like HL. I agree with shoes and basics, those are pretty much HL. They're hard too.
 
Joined
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scanning in shoes works to find the right location but my store pretty much just flexed shoes all the time, any attempt at actually zoning was ruined in a day by guests who dropped shoes wherever they felt like it or moved it to another location/flow overpacking and leaving no room to put the item in the right location
 
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
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Yep. We just barely avoided being a considered ULV last year and if sales continue the current trend, we definitely will be this year.
 

RightArm

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scanning in shoes works to find the right location but my store pretty much just flexed shoes all the time, any attempt at actually zoning was ruined in a day by guests who dropped shoes wherever they felt like it or moved it to another location/flow overpacking and leaving no room to put the item in the right location
My STL said she considered shoes to be MPG all the time. >< It does get set right, but it's not just a guest issue that causes them to be in the wrong location from what the PDA says. Sometimes it's a clearance issue (as in we don't have enough space for the clearance and have to move things around to make sure we're not putting them out front) OR it's an issue of corporate/warehouse did not actually send us the shoes OR they were offloaded from the truck to the wrong store. Can't have holes... so we flex in what we do have in stock and just do our best to keep the floor full and things as close to accurate as possible.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
497
scanning in shoes works to find the right location but my store pretty much just flexed shoes all the time, any attempt at actually zoning was ruined in a day by guests who dropped shoes wherever they felt like it or moved it to another location/flow overpacking and leaving no room to put the item in the right location
My STL said she considered shoes to be MPG all the time. >< It does get set right, but it's not just a guest issue that causes them to be in the wrong location from what the PDA says. Sometimes it's a clearance issue (as in we don't have enough space for the clearance and have to move things around to make sure we're not putting them out front) OR it's an issue of corporate/warehouse did not actually send us the shoes OR they were offloaded from the truck to the wrong store. Can't have holes... so we flex in what we do have in stock and just do our best to keep the floor full and things as close to accurate as possible.
Well I'm pretty sure the shoe stacking guides states there should not be any gaps, so flex if necessary...but my store is the same as yours, feels like it's just MPG the whole year. Makes for a poor guest experience.
 
Joined
May 14, 2013
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401
ugh shoes and one spot my two arch nemesis.. Shoes = We always spend so much time setting it.. and then the next day we come in and its flexed to make room for clearance. with the last Libby whatever set, I set it and for a half a day they put clearance in there just so they could pull it all back out the next morning for the release
one spot = they make us set it to planogram and no flexing for one week then its a free for all. i feel like its such a waste of time setting those two departments
 

mrknownothing

purveyor of things
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
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one spot = they make us set it to planogram and no flexing for one week then its a free for all. i feel like its such a waste of time setting those two departments
The only good thing about One Spot is that you don't have to have a sales floor TM take care of it. Because it's flexed the vast majority of the time, nobody bothers zoning it and any cashier with eyes can re-shop it.
 

RightArm

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ugh shoes and one spot my two arch nemesis.. Shoes = We always spend so much time setting it.. and then the next day we come in and its flexed to make room for clearance. with the last Libby whatever set, I set it and for a half a day they put clearance in there just so they could pull it all back out the next morning for the release
one spot = they make us set it to planogram and no flexing for one week then its a free for all. i feel like its such a waste of time setting those two departments
They should not have had you set Sam & Libby early. That was a mistake. It was street dated for May 5th and according to contract could not be out on the floor prior to the launch. In our store Plano did not set Sam & Libby by themselves. They sent one TM over and SL provided one TM and those two TMs came in the day of the launch with the ad set team and instead set Sam & Libby.

Shoes is a pain both for the Shoe SPL/Brand TM and the Plano team for that reason. You set it the first time right and believe me it is massively appreciated in my store; but we have to deal with the DTL walks where she goes (This isn't full. Why isn't this full? There should be NO holes in shoes - at all - period. If the product isn't out on the floor it can't get sold. Plano/VAs are a guide... flex where needed.) Also we have a limited amount of space for clearance and it is required to be at the back of the runs or on the back end caps and then there's NOP and discontinued (both of which cannot be back-stocked and have to be on the floor). So, if clearance does not move fast enough or corporate forgets a portion of their shoe stock it messes up the plano because clearance cannot be back-stocked and neither can discontinued. Also, if corporate doesn't send the product to fill the appropriate spaces we HAVE to fill the empty with flex. I think it's the same way with HL? Just that they have more space than the Shoe dept to spread it all out. ;)

I get how you hate it, though. I do understand. And let me say thank you to you and all the other plano people out there who fight through it anyway. You're awesome. :)
 
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Just a slight correction, NOP and dicontinued items can be backstocked, it just isn't the best idea. I'm not sure if you exactly meant it isn't possible or just not a great idea. And, clearance can be backstocked also. Still not the best idea, but sometimes there is no choice. If there is no room on the floor, the choice becomes either leave it sitting on a tub/flat on the line or backstock it. A HL example is clearance furniture. Fill the floor with representative pieces, then backstock the rest on pallets.
 
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Nov 25, 2012
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Really softlines, really? 12 baskets of unsorted, 4 Z-racks? Jesus I just can't fathom how this happened with 8 of you closing. Must be because some of you really drag your feet to even put out one shirt. So glad you ladies are getting performanced out.

Anyone else hate being off and coming back to find an F-5 tornado ripped through softlines?
 
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
401
ugh shoes and one spot my two arch nemesis.. Shoes = We always spend so much time setting it.. and then the next day we come in and its flexed to make room for clearance. with the last Libby whatever set, I set it and for a half a day they put clearance in there just so they could pull it all back out the next morning for the release
one spot = they make us set it to planogram and no flexing for one week then its a free for all. i feel like its such a waste of time setting those two departments
They should not have had you set Sam & Libby early. That was a mistake. It was street dated for May 5th and according to contract could not be out on the floor prior to the launch. In our store Plano did not set Sam & Libby by themselves. They sent one TM over and SL provided one TM and those two TMs came in the day of the launch with the ad set team and instead set Sam & Libby.

Shoes is a pain both for the Shoe SPL/Brand TM and the Plano team for that reason. You set it the first time right and believe me it is massively appreciated in my store; but we have to deal with the DTL walks where she goes (This isn't full. Why isn't this full? There should be NO holes in shoes - at all - period. If the product isn't out on the floor it can't get sold. Plano/VAs are a guide... flex where needed.) Also we have a limited amount of space for clearance and it is required to be at the back of the runs or on the back end caps and then there's NOP and discontinued (both of which cannot be back-stocked and have to be on the floor). So, if clearance does not move fast enough or corporate forgets a portion of their shoe stock it messes up the plano because clearance cannot be back-stocked and neither can discontinued. Also, if corporate doesn't send the product to fill the appropriate spaces we HAVE to fill the empty with flex. I think it's the same way with HL? Just that they have more space than the Shoe dept to spread it all out. ;)

I get how you hate it, though. I do understand. And let me say thank you to you and all the other plano people out there who fight through it anyway. You're awesome. :)
we set it the afternoon before the street date. The aisle was already half empty because of clearance, I love setting planos there have been many times I wish I could step down and just be a plano team member.. best schedule ever
 

RightArm

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we set it the afternoon before the street date. The aisle was already half empty because of clearance, I love setting planos there have been many times I wish I could step down and just be a plano team member.. best schedule ever
I actually like setting Plano myself. I don't know about our team's schedule, though. They tend to do over-nights and really early early mornings here. :)

*Edited because I sure as heck didn't read that right. ><
 
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StupidGirlSuit

Team (Pokemon) Trainer
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Dec 29, 2011
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Really softlines, really? 12 baskets of unsorted, 4 Z-racks? Jesus I just can't fathom how this happened with 8 of you closing. Must be because some of you really drag your feet to even put out one shirt. So glad you ladies are getting performanced out.

Anyone else hate being off and coming back to find an F-5 tornado ripped through softlines?
:( That's...ridiculous. Really sounds like the SL team isn't up to par at your store. Both stores I've worked at have been on the low volume side, but I can't imagine leaving that much with 8 team members closing.
 
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
42
Really softlines, really? 12 baskets of unsorted, 4 Z-racks? Jesus I just can't fathom how this happened with 8 of you closing. Must be because some of you really drag your feet to even put out one shirt. So glad you ladies are getting performanced out.

Anyone else hate being off and coming back to find an F-5 tornado ripped through softlines?
:( That's...ridiculous. Really sounds like the SL team isn't up to par at your store. Both stores I've worked at have been on the low volume side, but I can't imagine leaving that much with 8 team members closing.
Yeah we have some seriously bad apples on our team. It's like, we slave to get their reshop done so we can be caught up and clean, (off for one day), come in next day and it looks like the day after Christmas. Rinse and repeat.
 
Joined
Nov 8, 2011
Messages
770
Really softlines, really? 12 baskets of unsorted, 4 Z-racks? Jesus I just can't fathom how this happened with 8 of you closing. Must be because some of you really drag your feet to even put out one shirt. So glad you ladies are getting performanced out.

Anyone else hate being off and coming back to find an F-5 tornado ripped through softlines?
I do hate that but I was also part of a group last night that left more unsorted than I ever like. We had a half hour break because of a suspicious smell (evacuation), we had one call out and another who left after 15 minutes because of a health crisis. That left me, 1 tm who can't move at anything faster than a snail's pace (does shoes in a 5 hour shift...if we are lucky) and the TL who also doesn't move fast. The fitting room person is also very slow and they closed the fr early so that she could do shoes.

At least I kind of knew what I might be walking into tonight at the fitting room....thing was it was a lot messier than I thought it would be BUT we had 2 who rocked the reshop tonight (2 z's and 4 men's and infant hardlines carts...after two ladies who did 6 zracks during the day) so I was able to leave no unsorted carts and less than a cart of rewraps which was sorted. Let me toot my own horn: I ROCK!!:laugh4:
 
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
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Really softlines, really? 12 baskets of unsorted, 4 Z-racks? Jesus I just can't fathom how this happened with 8 of you closing. Must be because some of you really drag your feet to even put out one shirt. So glad you ladies are getting performanced out.

Anyone else hate being off and coming back to find an F-5 tornado ripped through softlines?
I do hate that but I was also part of a group last night that left more unsorted than I ever like. We had a half hour break because of a suspicious smell (evacuation), we had one call out and another who left after 15 minutes because of a health crisis. That left me, 1 tm who can't move at anything faster than a snail's pace (does shoes in a 5 hour shift...if we are lucky) and the TL who also doesn't move fast. The fitting room person is also very slow and they closed the fr early so that she could do shoes.

At least I kind of knew what I might be walking into tonight at the fitting room....thing was it was a lot messier than I thought it would be BUT we had 2 who rocked the reshop tonight (2 z's and 4 men's and infant hardlines carts...after two ladies who did 6 zracks during the day) so I was able to leave no unsorted carts and less than a cart of rewraps which was sorted. Let me toot my own horn: I ROCK!!:laugh4:

See but you all had much less people. We have a few people on our team who are constantly NCNS'ing (one has done it 6 times in a span of three months, not to mention about 7-8 formal call ins). Plus, for some reason a few of our team members seem to think that whatever they don't feel like zoning they can just shove in a basket and bring it to the fitting room at the end of the night, so we ALWAYS end up with a ton of unsorted the next morning. Not to mention, they have a horrid habit of not even processing things right (nothing is folded right, hanging is the wrong way, buttons sagging and undone, etc.) Some of our people need to just be fired.
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
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Lately I've been having the same problems with our closing team. Not sure what's going on as, for a while, we were all caught up on reshop, zone, and even repackages (do other stores have the Fitting Room process repacks?) each night. Now it seems like everything is just constantly piling up. It's always frustrating, especially as a morning team member, to take an hour or two out of your shift before you leave to set the closing shift up for success and have it fall back on you in the morning in the form of Mt. Reshop.

Have you guys tried personally communicating to the team members about the importance of their role? Sometimes it helps, even at least temporarily, to get people motivated and to feel like what they're doing matters. I really emphasize this if you work Sales Floor regularly and don't have a team lead or higher position. The whole positive attitude and caring thing CAN be contagious. And God knows it can be easy to slip into apathy when working in retail.

I'd say if the problems persist, definitely communicate them to your soft lines team leader or ETL if you have one.Tell them that you've tried to address the problem yourself on a personal level and you feel as though that hasn't done much good. If you can think of one, suggest a solution to them as well. Much more proactive and helpful than just complaining. ; )
 
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