Did a little shopping today. Went to Kenneth Cole to buy shoes and Staples to buy a file cabinet. I found two pairs of shoes that I liked and a file cabinet that was perfect. When I asked the sales associates for my size and for the file cabinet they came back with the same answer: "out of stock -- best to check online."

This has been happening to me so often lately. It happens almost all the time at Banana Republic. What happened to all of that Kanban, just-in-time inventory stuff I read about in business school?

I'm convinced that this is not happening by accident. I'm convinced this is a calculated business decision; that is, the risk of having me not go home and go online to buy the items I want is outweighed by the costs associated with ensuring full inventory.


By the way, I'll probably wind up buying all this stuff online.