The Big Box stores can’t seem to get seasonal right for Arizona.
Here in Phoenix we have much different weather than most of the rest of the nation, and every year this leads to tons of odd problems with seasonal items at stores.
A few weeks ago the pump on the swamp cooler for the warehouse of my store went out. A swamp cooler is a large air blower that sucks air through large pads that are sprayed with water and forces the cool air into your building. It only works when it is dry outside, and is really only useful when the temp is below 90 degrees or so. So in Arizona the time of year that it is 75-90 as the high is March-April and again from Mid-September until early November. We have very hard water here in Arizona so these things usually break about every 2 years; they only are $20 replace and are a 2 minute job so no big deal.
The problem comes in finding them; very near my store is a Home Depot so I went there. To my surprise they said that they are seasonal items and are only stocked from May until August. They said that is when it is the right time of the year to use them in the rest of the country and that Home Depot does not sell enough to make them a major item. My theory is that they don’t sell enough because they have the seasons for it wrong. I called up Lowes and they also said it is seasonal BUT they have a special exemption for Arizona and carry them in different seasons. One company is smart one is dumb. I guess I won’t even bother to shop at home depot anymore.
Home Depot is not the only one that has problems with regional seasonal planning. Wal-Mart seems to also have major problems with this in their clothing section. Right now it is mid-September here in Phoenix, and so far this month we have only had 3 days where the high was in the 90’s, the rest were all over 100 degrees, BUT Wal-Mart put all their shorts and summer clothes on clearance a month ago and they are sold out, while now half of the clothing section has sweaters, flannel long sleeve shirts and other things that are only worn here from late November until February. Maybe that is why Lowes stock grows twice as fast, they are smarter.
Most stores have a problem with this to some level; the solution to this problem would be to have a regional manager who is in charge of seasonal items for each abnormal region. I often wonder if Wal-Mart sells sweaters in Miami or did they at least figure that out…