23 thoughts on “September 1, 2017

  1. My thoughts on this whole “stage 2” story segment with Sanzen is that on its own, it’s not that bad. People blew it out of proportion by hyping it up to oblivion and back with “stage 2!?!?!?” every time anything went even remotely wrong.

    So when we got a reasonable conclusion that was probably written a while in advance, and one that would have made a lot of sense if people hadn’t been crediting Stage 2 with everything from bad assistant managers, crummy shipments, jerks in the office, and any minor (or major) incident in the store.

    Now, am I saying I think this is the end for Stage 2? No. Sanzen’s own words in panel 2 prove that we haven’t seen the end of it. But we’ve seen the logical end of it. And I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if we don’t get any warnings this time that something’s off, because the last time, people wouldn’t keep quiet about it.

    • While I agree with most of this, I don’t think Norm cares one way or the other if people make noise about it. He probably doesn’t even read the comments.

    • Oh no! Somebody wrote something that made people think and feel things and come together. How horrible. You really need to reevaluate your priorities

      • “Convenient perk of a larger opportunity.”

        While it may be a long time off in the future, I get the feeling we’re going to see what this “larger opportunity” really was. Probably when it collapses around Sanzen’s head and at the same time threatens the fate of Grumbels as they’re getting an honest, unmuddled inventory count.

  2. Sanzen is a pompous ass, there will be future inventories. I think he will get a comeuppance somewhere down the road. He thinks he’s untouchable, but if he’s truly sending grossly inaccurate inventory results to a client, he has already crossed an ethical line.

    • This was my thought upon reading the whole thing. Cooper could easily get Keith fired by revealing this to the company, but doing so means *he* gets fired too when the real numbers are revealed.

      Still, it does leave an opening. Keith could be doing other dirty things within the company, and eventually, one of them might get out and the whole sweater will unravel.

      • This is so not over.

        However, Keith’s comment “You won’t see me again” makes me think that he’s going to make an escape before he can be exposed.

        • Cooper doesn’t have the responsibility to prove anything, he can say what Sanzen told him, this is not a subjective thing. Let’s looks at on-hands, sku costs, average price per unit from the night of the inventory, etc, etc.

  3. I honestly don’t get how these inventory numbers are supposed to work.

    1) The store does it’s own precount, wouldn’t they notice every time that their precount is completely different than the official count?

    2) If corporate thinks they have this amount of stuff but then run out and have to reorder long before they are supposed to run out, wouldn’t anyone notice?

    • The whole point of doing an inventory is to “adjust” the inventory numbers to match what the store actually has physically – this accounts for theft or employees selling product under wrong sku’s. There are times where you have far more product on hand than what the computer says, and obviously, far less than what the computer says you should have.

      Having a massive discrepancy, such as a shrink from two inventories hitting at once (since the first was fudged) – wouldn’t be massive enough to be considered a conspiracy that needs investigating. Corporate would just look at it as employees not caring about massive theft occurring, not reporting wide spread theft happening in the store, or possibly having the employees being the ones committing the theft in the first place.

      All precount does is count the backroom stock and other products you don’t need to have the store closed to count. You can’t really do an accurate inventory of items on the sales floor because if you count 5, the computer says 7 in stock, but between that time you counted and adjusted the inventory you had two items sell, you will now have 5 of 5, which would mean the inventory is still missing 2 items because the actual inventory on hand is 3.

      Inventory is dreaded because not only is it a lot of work and an insane amount of man hours, but you get hit with your district manager yelling at you because in the course of 6 months a very small amount of theft occurs which obviously build up to look like big numbers.

    • Most inventories are done by quantity x cost/price (financial inventory). These types of inventories do not produce an itemized list of inventory based on SKU. Therefore, if the numbers are off it can be very difficult to figure out why they are off. I’ve done both types of inventories (financial and itemized). The itemized type is, of course, the better – more accurate of the two and if there is a problem with the final figures the itemized method can help you figure out where the problem is much faster. But the itemized method is much more costly to the retailer in terms of what they have to pay the inventory service which is why most retailers go with the financial method. Stores that I’ve done itemized inventories for, decades ago, include retailers like small/higher end clothing stores. And of course, by using the financial method for doing an inventory it does not affect/change the item by item level of inventory that the retailer’s computer system shows.

  4. I think someone said it much earlier, but I’m guessing the “much larger opportunity” is the New Hampshire store scandal? I honestly don’t know how that would fit in though. I’m still curious as to how this plays out.

    • A mild thought just occurred to me on how it may have worked in Sanzen’s favor.

      If he’s playing the stock market, had some Grumbel’s stock, then sold it just before New Hampshire had a craptastic inventory and an investigation happened (which, undoubtedly, would be near impossible to keep quiet in the media), he’d have made a good deal of money.

      Then you buy back more stock once it’s lost value, move on to another store, and do it again. Insider trading at its finest. Do that one or two times, you become rich, and you quit while you’re ahead. I get the feeling Sanzen, however, is the kind of greedy person who will try it a third time and get busted for it.

        • I don’t trade stock, but I’d imagine that while a severe issue in one store wouldn’t change the stock prices that much, Sanzen seems like the type who’s either done this before, or is doing this to multiple stores (as EGRGIS is an inventory company, it’s possible either way).

          That said, I’m about as far from an expert on trading stock as it gets, so I can’t say for certain whether a single store having a major issue would mess up stock prices enough to make a dent.

  5. I WORKED for a big box book store. They owned their on inventory company, and their count would be off as much as 21%, and the company would consider that enough the keep from paying out bonuses. The DM kept saying he got nothing. But every Monday we got a corporate email showing and naming all DM’S that received said bonus.

  6. I have a friend who’s been obsessed with this Sanzen thing. Just dying for Norm to get to the second phase of “Sanzen’s Revenge.” Every time something went wrong at Grumbel’s, however minor, he’d be screaming, “This is it! It’s Sanzen’s revenge!” Now that Norm has actually done the second phase revenge story, though, he’s done nothing but gripe about how disappointing it’s been. I gather he (and some other readers) had built up the idea in his head that the story would reveal Sanzen to be something akin to a super-villain, capable of bringing down entire retail worlds at his whim.

    Myself, I’m just glad this story appears to be moving toward its conclusion and I’m hoping that we can get back to RETAIL normal next week. I’m also hoping that if there is going to be more to this Sanzen saga that it’ll be at least another three years before we have to be subjected to it.

    Besides, it’s September, which means it’s about time for Norm’s traditional “the first Christmas shipment is here” strip.

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