Several stores in the Target chain across Australia have refused to sell copies of newly released Mario Tennis Open today, citing “stocktake” as a reason.

Aussie-Gamer have collected numerous reports about stores in the Sydney area refusing to hand over copies of the anticipated Nintendo 3DS title today, despite it going on sale in Australia from midnight.

When contacted, several local stores told us that they had stock sitting in boxes in their store room but it’s unlikely they would go on shelves due to a recent stocktake. A ‘stocktake’ is the action stores take to count all the stock on hand in the shop, usually completed towards the end of a financial year to get an accurate picture of how much inventory they’re carrying for tax purposes.

One store even told us that the copies of Mario Tennis Open were lost in transit, blaming the couriers for not delivering stock. The timing is especially problematic, as most stores across Sydney stay open late on Thursdays for the weekly “late night” trading hours.

Worse still, the game has been advertised across the internet and in local stores and catalogues as being AU$55 which is amongst the cheapest prices around. Competitor Big W, for example, had stock on hand for AU$57, while entertainment retailer JB HIFI were selling copies for AU$59.

We were told in all cases that stock would be put on shelves in “a couple of days”. One store even said that a number of customers had put their name down to reserve their copies, which they expected to be in stores by Monday next week.

Are Target hiding stock simply to reneg on their advertised price? Were you able to pick up a copy at Target? Do you work at Target and have images of stock sitting in the store room “cages”? Let us know your story below, or drop us a line via our tips page.

We reached out to Target for comment, but at time of writing have not received a reply.

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Ty Miller

Ty Miller

Ty is the founder, Editor-in-Chief and nice guy of The first console Ty owned as a kid was the Sega Master System II which he used to enjoy games like Alex Kidd, Sonic the Hedgehog and Mickey Mouse. Since the early days, Ty's hobby became an obsession and over the years he has amassed a huge collection of video games from all manufacturers.

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  • Japandaman

    It’s a conspiracy I tells ya!!

  • Anon

    They’re not doing it to “reneg” on the advertised price, during stocktake no store can put on show any new items until they have finished counting all of their stock, and if they do they can stuff up their inventory and face serious fines from the government because they’ve provided inaccurate information for tax purposes. I don’t work at Target but I work in a similar store and I assume it’s the same for everybody.

    • AussieGamer

      That’s not entirely true…

      Stocktakes are mainly so the company can get a good idea of how much stock has “gone missing” so they can either claim the difference from insurance or report their goods on hand for tax purposes. Some stores lost tens of thousands of dollars in missing stock every year, combine this with however many stores Target has, it’s a huge “shrinkage” factor they can write off or claim with their various insurance policies.

      There are no fines for putting new stock on the shelves before/during/after stocktake.

      Many companies insist on conducting the stocktake count while the store is open and trading. This, obviously, causes issues with accuracy, since customers like to move stuff around and place it in random locations.

      To minimise this annoyance, stock that comes in that day (most big supermarket type stores get a daily delivery) is “quarantined” – put aside until the count is done. The emphasis, though, is to get that stock back on shelves as soon as the count is done. This is because suppliers (in this case Nintendo) EXPECT their products to be sold on the day the two parties have agreed to.

      Having worked in retail for over 10 years, and most of that time being in a store manager capacity, and most of THAT time working in an electronic store that stocks games, I highly doubt that Target stores receive games from Nintendo on the day they’re released. Common practice is to deliver the stock early, usually a day or so before the release date. This ensures the stock can be put on the shelf, as some stores get deliveries before 9am, others after 2pm even. When you’re talking about a game with a specific release date, Nintendo would’ve made sure that stores had stock for their 9am opening (or whenever they opened).

      Besides, all the stores we talked to confirmed they had stock in their “back room” and it wont go on the shelf until Monday. Anyone who’s done a stocktake in the past will tell you, this is ridiculous. Stocktakes take one day. One very, very crap day; but one day nonetheless. They might take a week (or a month) to set up (the longer you prepare, the smoother the stocktake will go), but it all boils down to one day. No one would do a stocktake over a weekend; that, my friend, is suicide.

      In any case, it’s misleading to advertise a product that you have no intention of selling for whatever reason. Especially when that product is less than your competitors. It’s like trying to say “look at us! We’re the heroes!” while secretly hoping no one comes in to check.