Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. Informative - Thoughts On Dick's In Particular, Retail In General
PENNSYLVANIA -- I am a former employee of Dick's. I have several thoughts about Dick's in particular that apply to other retailers in general. These are not meant to be excuses for poor service or inventory problems, just parts of the bigger picture.
1) It's a business. They're in business to make money. Seems that would be obvious, but some people don't seem to realize that.
2) Dick's employees are instructed to provide customer assistance and service above anything else. A majority of employees, including myself, realize this. They can't answer every single thing about every single item in the store, but the better ones will try to find answers.
3) Dick's occasionally hires people who turn out to be "bad eggs". Happens everywhere, people ... eventually they'll be weeded out.
4) Employees are rewarded for meeting various metrics: store credit cards, rewards cards, warranties, etc. Management is rewarded (handsomely) also.
5) Most customers come in to the store with realistic expectations about what they're looking for, and most appreciate the help that store associates are supposed to be providing.
Now for just some of the problem areas:
1) Some people come into the store with unrealistic expectations.
Example: The prices marked (or supposed to be marked) on the item are not negotiable. If you don't like the price, shop somewhere else. If you want to haggle over price, go to a flea market.
Example: Eventually, things break. Some broken items should never be brought back to the store for replacement, like wooden baseball bats. Pros break them all the time. It doesn't mean they're defective. Chances are, the item was not used as per manufacturer's directions.
2) When an item is marked: "Do not return to store", DON'T RETURN IT TO THE STORE! Contact the manufacturer!
3) Part of the reason that prices are so high is because of the liberal return policy that some management or stores have.
Example: If an item is sold "as-is", it means just that. If you buy something "as-is" and it breaks, guess whose problem that is? Not the store's! But the management take is to throw the customer a bone in the hope they won't lose business.
Example (not from sporting goods): A customer returns an printer ink cartridge 4 months after purchase, claiming it's defective. The store policy is clearly marked that the return period has passed, but the employee is disciplined by management for NOT exchanging the cartridges. Did I mention that the cartridges were EMPTY? Hello, people, they were USED!!!
4) Management metrics (and bonuses) depend on how much business they can draw in, and how low they keep their payroll. In the process of keeping their payroll low, however, they sacrifice customer service and possibly store inventory. When one employee is covering three departments, then gets pulled away by management to do a fourth thing, it leads to poor customer service and theft. Regardless, management still gets the big checks.
5) Dick's has a website. There are many items that are not available in the store. I've told people that the web is infinite, store space isn't. The store and the website have nothing to do with each other, so they each set their own prices. If it's available on the web and it's cheaper, order it there. Don't complain to the store employees "why isn't this in the store?". You're teaching a pig to sing: it wastes your time and annoys the pig.
I can cite plenty of other things from my personal experience and from others. Again, it's not just one store, or one retailer ... it's applicable to retail in general.