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  #1  
Unread September 22nd, 2010, 08:46 PM
BBStoreMgr112233 BBStoreMgr112233 is offline
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Just a lowly Store Manager's take...

I have visited this forum a number of times but until they recently opened up again for new members I have been unable to post. I have a lot to say so here it goes...

First off, to all of you who are still employed who complain about goals ...
1) It is part of your job like it or not. If you don't, your decision should be simple, quit whinning about it and find another job. Its not like your job at Blockbuster is all that hard to replace. Many of you complain about min wage so how hard is another min wage job to find? Quit trying to bring everyone down to your level. Be the better man or woman and simply walk away if you aren't happy.
2) It really is no different than any other retailer. Heck, even fast food requires you suggest an add on sale. Department stores often have catalogs and credit cards to push. Is it really much different than any other retail job?
3) Sales is an awesome occupation. It is truly a way to show your worth to a company. And sales is all about attitude and numbers. Some will, some won't, so what. If you perfect a simple pitch and make the offer to every customer with a smile on your face, you will make your sales numbers.
4) As a store manager do I agree entirely with the CAM process, NO! Should goals be tracked and poor performers receive additional training, absolutely. Do I write up employees for missing goals, NO! As many of you have pointed out, positive encouragement will go a lot further than some corrective action and my employees produce. They take pride in hitting the store goals and we track it every day and know where we stand. Since we started the CAM process, my store has met its goals in ALL three priorities EVERY week.

Secondly, how I feel about upper level management, DM's and up....
1) Most don't deserve the position they hold. Calling numbers in 3 or more times a day is pointless. Idle threats and negative reinforcement only creates a bigger problem. Underperformer calls are a complete waste of time.
2) In defense of the DM's though, I would never want their job. The hoops they have to jump through are stupid. The number of calls they have to be on and such each week is a waste of time.
3) If I was a DM or had control over the DM position, it would be run entirely different. How much of a DM's time is actually spent in the stores? How much of their time is spent coaching and training? I would take my worst store and spend 30+ hours in it every week til I got it turned around. I would work true shifts and set the example for the store manager and the staff. I would offer the necessary coaching and training to turn the store around. And as a last resort, yes I would let go the people who were unwilling to change to be part of a winning team, and usually its due to leadership. Once I was done with that store, I'd move on to the next. You can't change a group of stores with conference calls, threats, voicemail message, and phone calls. You have to get into the trenches with the people who you are counting on, gain their respect by doing what you are asking them to do, and show them how its done.
4) As for corporate, they never think anything through. They don't realize the constant changing of things is what ruins the relationship the stores have with their customers. Isn't that what test markets are for? How much money has been wasted in this company on things they didn't stick with? And I truly believe the people who come up with these ideas have never worked a day of their life within a store and truly have no idea what our customers truly want. And they place the blame for this disatisfaction on the stores.

How do I think Blockbuster can be successful again going forward coming out of BK?
1) Make our rental terms more competitive with the competition. Do I think we should rent movies for $1 a day? No! We offer our customers a better selection and personal service and that should be worth something to a customer. My suggestion would be $2 for the first two days and then a $1 for each additional day with no end to the daily rates until the cost of the movie has been met. I also feel because of bad debt, these rental terms should only be offered to customers who have their account secured with a valid credit card. Terms for non credit card holders, $5 for 5 days and $1 for each additional day.
2) Put a kiosk in front of every store and reduce store operating hours. Our stores are dead during the day. This company spent money to do a study a year or so ago and found most stores were unprofitable opening at 10 am and changed the opening and closing times of those stores only to reverse this a few weeks later because of a few complaints. How many complaints could they have gotten since hardly anyone comes in the store anymore during the early part of the day? And why as a company would you do anything that you have studied to be unprofitable? We are in business to make money. Come on people. Most stores shouldn't open before 12 Noon and close at a time appropiate for their volume of business whether that is as early as 9pm or as late as midnight. Now many of you would object that the kiosks would be taking away even more business from the stores by doing that but I believe just the oposite is true. Do you have any idea how many people complain about the selection and availability with the kiosks? So if a customer drives up to the kiosk and doesn't find the movie(s) they are looking for, and you are offering a comparable rate within the store, what are these customers gonna do? They are going to come into your store. You would be driving more business to your store than you'd be losing. Lets face it, people who use kiosks use kiosks. Whether that is in front of your store or down the street at the grocery store, they are going to use the kiosk. But if its in front of your store, and they can't find what they want, there is a much more likely chance of them coming in than if they had stopped down the street at the grocery store.
3) Get back to the basics. Electronics aren't going to work in our stores. We can't buy enough volume to get low enough prices to compete with the big boys and customers today with the internet available do way too much comparison shopping for us to be successful. But yet we want to try to sell things like YooStars but yet we can't presell movies? Direct access was a great addition to our stores (although it will never bring the amount of volume the company first thought) but even an extra 3-10 rentals a weeks is 3-10 more than without the service. But now they need to take the next step. How many times do you have a customer looking to buy a movie you don't have and none of the stores have it in your area? Why can't we sell movies we don't have that the company does and have it mailed to them? Sure we can recommend they go home and go to blockbuster.com but how many sales do we lose by not being able to offer that service in our store? Make it so that at the store level we can rent or sale (even if it is by mail) any movie title and make it so we can preorder movies as well as the games especially now that many stores don't even carry blu-ray retail in their stores.
4) Streamline the inventories and redo whatever pathetic computer generalized ordering you have in place. I destroy so much out of date candy in my store its silly. We don't need to offer 200 types of confection. We don't need to carry bagged candy if you insist on us meeting certain goals in relation to bundles. Figure out which ones we sell, which ones we are making money on, and get rid of all the rest. My guess is we lose money on atleast 25% of the items we carry due to overstocking, low sales volumes, and eventual destruction of out of date items.
5) Keep the bundle offers but stop tracking them. Do you know how many times I have had a customer come up with a coke and a candy and then lost revenue and profit on it because I made it a bundle? Sure, I'll try to turn the two items into a $5 bundle but if the customer says no, which in most cases they do, then I tell them to add a popcorn because they will save 60 cents and get the popcorn for free! Why? Because I don't want to get yelled at for missing my damn goals. So instead of increasing my revenue and profits, your damn goals often cost my store money. Why not just track the additional items per check so we can sell to our customer needs, whether that is an additional rental or retail movie, confection, or some other item in our store. I just find it dumb to look at my scorecard each week to find a positive 20-30% in items sold but a negative 20-30% in revenue when it comes to confection. Way to go executives! You once again found a way to whore out our products in a way that not only kills our profits but also decreases our revenue!

To be continued....
  #2  
Unread September 22nd, 2010, 08:47 PM
BBStoreMgr112233 BBStoreMgr112233 is offline
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Just a lowly Store Manager's take...continued

Last but not least for now....

Word is we will remodel stores who don't get closed after the BK. Many of our stores are 10+ years old at its current location. Why spend the money on an old building that looks rundown and out of date instead of using that money to move into a better and nicer location. Why this makes since to me is yes I agree with the change in our industry, we no longer need a Blockbuster on every corner. There simply isn't enough business for stores any more for that with all the other options out there. But many of the exisiting stores are no longer located in the best area possible due to many factors over the last 10+ years. Some are located in shopping centers and such that no longer draw traffic because all the other businesses have closed within the shopping center. Towns have grown in population and some areas have turned from residential to commercial and we no longer have a prime location to serve a large number of residences. Corporate needs to take a close look at every town and realign itself and its stores to better serve the communities. Yes, we need to close the stores who are consistently losing money but I bet you'd find that some stores who are just below or just above that break even could potentially become a very profitable store with a move a few miles down the road to a better strategic and convenient location.

Thanks for reading! Post away but I must warn you, your opinion means little to me since I obviously already have mine! I would though be willing to debate any of the above intellectually with any of you who can do so in a constructive and non-bashing manner.
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  #3  
Unread September 23rd, 2010, 09:41 AM
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Nah, I didn't read it all, just some of it. to damn wordy...Just continue and beat down your employess.
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  #4  
Unread September 23rd, 2010, 11:11 AM
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Just a lowly former ASM's take:

When most of us started with the company, 'sales goals' were something that department stores or specialty stores did. Surely not rental outlets. Go figure, when I got a job at the video rental store, my only real requirement was to rent movies. Even when sales goals were introduced, they always revolved around the store's purpose: getting customers to rent more movies. Rewards wasn't everyone's cup of tea, but hey, it was relevant. Movie Pass isn't everyone's first choice, but it was every little bit relevant to the business at hand: movie fucking rental.

So imagine our surprise when we see the movie rental place forced to sell decidedly non-movie things to movie-seeking customers. Like candy they may have already picked up at the big box store they went to BEFORE the video store. Or pickles they bought already at the grocery store. Because surely people with errands to run make one stop and one stop only for all their needs, be it bills and groceries and such: Blockbuster! Surely, since corporate thinks of everything, they'd have taken that into account, right?

Oh, but competition is a bitch. Now there are enforced sales goals. A talking head in a suit or tasteful blouse tells you that your job is on the line if you sell less than 30 bundles. This would be insipidly easy, I could do that in my sleep! Except, um, well, only 20 people came into the store today! I could absolutely do my best and sell every single one of these people a bundle! And what a damn fine job I did! Except I still fell short by ten bundles! Oops, despite the fact that I'm batting .1000, which, you know, is a perfect score, I'm still out of a job! No excuses, right?

And, if you take a long, hard look at retail culture, you'll find things associated with sales goals besides threats. Things like "commission", "bonuses" and the like. Heck, I hear some people actually get the legendary "raise" once in awhile! I remember a job I had when I was 19, a full seven years before I got a job at BBV. This job, as a lowly salesman, paid more starting out than BBV did! And hey, if you made your goals after three months, you actually got a $1.25 an hour raise! You could be working for that company for a year and actually make more than half again over what Blockbuster pays its ASMs! Yes sir, just selling clothes to people for a year paid more than an hourly management position!

What a lovely day it would be if Blockbuster took the positive aspects of sales along with the negative! What a day it would be if they set realistic goals! What a day it would be when people could get these fabled "raises", "bonuses" and "incentives!" What a day it would be when there's more incentive to sell, like most companies have, rather than "You can have ten free movies, and you get to keep your job!"

Sorry, but do NOT bitch about us bitching about sales when the odds are insurmountably stacked against us, on top of being offered jack shit for doing so. Like I said, I could sell to absolutely EVERYONE that walked into the store, and instead of recognizing what a fantastic job I did "per 100", I get shitcanned because I didn't hit an arbitrary, impossible number someone who says "no excuses" like a parrot with a mantra says I should. Because people who don't work in the stores themselves obviously know what goes on in a store, right?

Oh, and here's a PROTIP: while you're antagonizing your store-level employees with goals that are attainable in the same imagination that brings you rainbow-shitting unicorns and leprechauns bathing in hut-tub sized vats of gold boullion, try turning the security cameras on the people who are actually getting away with stealing. And tell me why there's four cameras in the store, and not a single one of them is directed to the sales floor!

NOW tell me to stop complaining.
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If I want the experience of being in the store, let me have it on my own fucking terms.
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  #5  
Unread September 23rd, 2010, 01:14 PM
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Stop complaining,....well you asked.....
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Unread September 23rd, 2010, 01:23 PM
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This guy is a one time hit wonder lol.

Blockbuster pushes its employees more anyone in the world on sales. It's like SELL or DIE

Your right about other companies doing sales but they don't kill their employees at the end of the week.
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  #7  
Unread September 23rd, 2010, 01:40 PM
BBStoreMgr112233 BBStoreMgr112233 is offline
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Funny you think I must beat down or antagonize my employees to reach their goals. You couldn't be further from the truth.

I have NEVER written up an employee for missing goals. I have NEVER threatened to write up an employee. I don't even talk down to them when they miss their goals. I ENCOURAGE them and TEACH them.

If one pitch isn't working, we tweek it and try another. The key is I have hired and trained the right people for the position. People who take pride in their work and do the job to the best of their ability, not for some bonus or recognition (although those are nice) but because its the job they were hired to do.

The goals aren't stacked against you or impossible to make. As I said before, since the CAM process started we have hit goals EVERY week. We are a "D" store with usually the third of fourth fewest actives and visits each week. How do you explain the fact we often out produce the "A" and "B" stores who average 25-75% more traffic?

And candy and popcorn doesn't go with movies? What planet do you live on? Concessions are virtually the only income for theatres and they charge 3 times what we do and they still sell a ton of it. And many people only endulge themselves in these types of treats when they do watch a movie, so no, not everyone buys these things at their local grocery store. Now if As Seen On TV products ever become a priority, then I'll 100% agree with you.

And lastly, if you are having to deal directly with your DM and aren't a store manager, then you should have a talk with your store manager. When my current DM took over our district he tried a couple times calling and questioning my staff. I quickly put an end to that. I simply explained he wouldn't appreciate it if I went over his head and went directly to his boss with my problems and that I expected the same respect and courtesy. If he had a problem with something, let me know and I'd be happy to handle it. I explained there were going to be good days and bad days because sales was a numbers game, but until he found we were missing our goals weekly he didn't need to worry. Since then, he hasn't called and questioned a single person from my staff since and he recently went 3 months without even stepping foot in my store. Why? Because goals are met and the store looks good.

I'll be the first to agree the threats are wrong and someone should put a stop to it. But as we all know, our corporate leaders aren't always the brightest tools in the tool box. So the easiest way to get them off your back is just do your job and meet your goals. They really aren't that hard if you are consistent and have the right attitude.
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Unread September 23rd, 2010, 01:46 PM
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What did they say?
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Unread September 23rd, 2010, 03:10 PM
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this topic needs some KAWLOGIC in it
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  #10  
Unread September 23rd, 2010, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deathbydanny View Post
Just a lowly former ASM's take:

When most of us started with the company, 'sales goals' were something that department stores or specialty stores did. Surely not rental outlets. Go figure, when I got a job at the video rental store, my only real requirement was to rent movies. Even when sales goals were introduced, they always revolved around the store's purpose: getting customers to rent more movies. Rewards wasn't everyone's cup of tea, but hey, it was relevant. Movie Pass isn't everyone's first choice, but it was every little bit relevant to the business at hand: movie fucking rental.

So imagine our surprise when we see the movie rental place forced to sell decidedly non-movie things to movie-seeking customers. Like candy they may have already picked up at the big box store they went to BEFORE the video store. Or pickles they bought already at the grocery store. Because surely people with errands to run make one stop and one stop only for all their needs, be it bills and groceries and such: Blockbuster! Surely, since corporate thinks of everything, they'd have taken that into account, right?

Oh, but competition is a bitch. Now there are enforced sales goals. A talking head in a suit or tasteful blouse tells you that your job is on the line if you sell less than 30 bundles. This would be insipidly easy, I could do that in my sleep! Except, um, well, only 20 people came into the store today! I could absolutely do my best and sell every single one of these people a bundle! And what a damn fine job I did! Except I still fell short by ten bundles! Oops, despite the fact that I'm batting .1000, which, you know, is a perfect score, I'm still out of a job! No excuses, right?

And, if you take a long, hard look at retail culture, you'll find things associated with sales goals besides threats. Things like "commission", "bonuses" and the like. Heck, I hear some people actually get the legendary "raise" once in awhile! I remember a job I had when I was 19, a full seven years before I got a job at BBV. This job, as a lowly salesman, paid more starting out than BBV did! And hey, if you made your goals after three months, you actually got a $1.25 an hour raise! You could be working for that company for a year and actually make more than half again over what Blockbuster pays its ASMs! Yes sir, just selling clothes to people for a year paid more than an hourly management position!

What a lovely day it would be if Blockbuster took the positive aspects of sales along with the negative! What a day it would be if they set realistic goals! What a day it would be when people could get these fabled "raises", "bonuses" and "incentives!" What a day it would be when there's more incentive to sell, like most companies have, rather than "You can have ten free movies, and you get to keep your job!"

Sorry, but do NOT bitch about us bitching about sales when the odds are insurmountably stacked against us, on top of being offered jack shit for doing so. Like I said, I could sell to absolutely EVERYONE that walked into the store, and instead of recognizing what a fantastic job I did "per 100", I get shitcanned because I didn't hit an arbitrary, impossible number someone who says "no excuses" like a parrot with a mantra says I should. Because people who don't work in the stores themselves obviously know what goes on in a store, right?

Oh, and here's a PROTIP: while you're antagonizing your store-level employees with goals that are attainable in the same imagination that brings you rainbow-shitting unicorns and leprechauns bathing in hut-tub sized vats of gold boullion, try turning the security cameras on the people who are actually getting away with stealing. And tell me why there's four cameras in the store, and not a single one of them is directed to the sales floor!

NOW tell me to stop complaining.
Ditto this. I am a former SAM, and the sales pressure was intense even before the threat of bankruptcy loomed. I'd like to ask the OP: did your DM ever call you on a federal holiday (Independence Day) and ask how your sales were going, and directly call you a "bottom feeder" because no one had been in your store? Did you ever get called into a meeting with your NEXT DM because of a he said/she said store complaint, one that would normally be handled at the store level? Finally, did you ever get fired from your job not because of anything you did or didn't do, but for some mystery reason the DM couldn't even quantify in an unemployment hearing?

No?

Then don't preach.

Finally, a piece of advice: as someone who's been posting here for the better part of two and a half years, I've managed to boil down my thoughts to one post. I suggest you learn the term "succinct."
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