Holiday stocking

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care…but did marketers have the holiday goods in stock to fill them? To find out who was naughty and who was nice when it came to late holiday ordering and delivery, Multichannel Merchant’s Secret Shopper called 15 catalogers a few days before Dec. 25 and requested a total of 47 products. Of those, 35 were available, for an in-stock rate of 74%. That may not sound great, but it’s an improvement over last year, when Secret Shopper reported a last-minute in-stock rate of 60%.

Catalog Items requested/instock Date called Christmas delivery still possible?
American Girl (dolls) 3/2 12/20 Yes, with rush delivery for additional $15
Bliss (beauty products) 3/3 12/22 Yes, if ordered by noon; additional $15 S&H
Brookstone (gifts) 4/4 12/22 Yes, with two-day express delivery
Calyx & Corolla (flowers) 3/1 12/22 Yes, with expedited delivery
Crystal Classics (collectibles) 3/3 12/21 Yes, for extra $9/item S&H
eToys (toys) 3/3 12/21 Yes, with express shipping for $13.99 + $2.79/lb.
Godiva (chocolate)* 3/1 12/22 Yes, with express shipping for $26.95
Hammacher Schlemmer (gifts) 3/2 12/21 Yes
Harmony (eco-friendly merch) 3/3 12/21 Not guaranteed
J. Crew (apparel)** 3/0 12/22 n/a
Jackson & Perkins (plants) 3/3 12/21 Yes, for additional $9.94/item
L.L. Bean (apparel/outdoor gear)*** 3/0 12/22 n/a
Newport News (women’s apparel) 3/3 12/22 Not guaranteed
Oriental Trading (gifts) 4/4 12/22 No
West Elm (home decor) 3/3 12/21 Yes
* Rep suggested going to a store to buy the item, noting, “You could buy two for that shipping and handling.”
** Rep asked twice if she could run a store locator to find the items at a local J. Crew store
***Was initially on hold for nearly 4 minutes; rep spent nearly a minute extolling the virtues of an item that was out of stock

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