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This second post on working with experts looks at the customer that perhaps grossly over-estimates their knowledge, is mistaken or is just plain wrong.
Marshall Field supposedly said “The customer is always right.” This is a great way to proceed with your customers unless they are wrong.
In these situation, you can turn to Aleister Crowley and his less famous quote for guidance “The customer is usually wrong but statistics indicate that it doesn’t pay to tell him so.” So, what do you do when the customer is wrong? The key when working with pseudo-experts is to be patient, gentle and respectful.
A headline in today’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer proclaimed “The retail apocalypse has officially descended on America.” Quite a dire news story. While the news is of some concern given the shear number of store closures and the job loses they represent, it does not reflect the end or apocalypse of retail. Part of the contraction that we are seeing is the continuing trend of shoppers buying on-line: but another significant issue is the glut of retail space.
Who says you can’t get clothes made in America? Suits made in Massachusetts. Shirts made in North Carolina. Ties made in New York City. I admire Brooks Brothers for continuing to offer quality clothing made in the United States. For more information and videos of their facilities, visit:
I lived most of my life in the Midwest. So when I finally caught up with some friends by moving to the PNW, they excitedly shared their love for Fred Meyer, a regional chain owned by Kroger. There are amazing places similar to SuperTarget or Walmart Supercenters. But truth be told, I really never became a regular customer.
But on our recent road trip, we stopped at a Fred Meyer for some supplies and I was reminded of one thing that I, even someone who has never had children, appreciate in the larger Fred Meyer stores, Freddy’s Playland.
Freddy’s Playland is a drop-off day care offering an hour of free care for children 2 to 5 while their parent(s) do their shopping. What a great service and something that keeps Fred Meyer customers loyal. Kudos.
Royal Robbins passed away Tuesday in Modesto CA.
Robbins was a one of the climbers from the Golden Age of Yosemite climbers. In 1968, he and his wife Liz Burkner opened Royal Robbins Mountain Shop in Modesto and later created the clothing company that also bore his name.
I had the chance to meet Royal at a trade show in the 1980s. It was his humble nature during our meeting that reminds me that in retailing it is not about you but it is about the customer. Rest in peace Royal.
A 20-something man wearing an Oregon Ducks t-shirt, a young mother pushing a running stroller wearing yoga pants, a 50-something guy shorts and a button down shirt and a teenager in a letter jacket walk into a store. Kind of sounds like a joke. Unfortunately, it is not.
I will admit that I do not buy as much music as I used to. Part of it may be my age. Part of it may be the availability of music from other sources (Amazon Prime on Echo). Part of it may be that I listen almost exclusively to NPR when I am driving near home.
But one of the main reasons is that I have lost touch with Steve. Steve was not an old friend or a work colleague. He was not a music reporter for some hip website, publication or YouTube channel. No, Steve was just an employee of a record shop I used to frequent in Seattle, Silver Platters, at their old South Center location. I didn’t really know Steve. In fact the time that I ever spoke with him was when he happened to be the cashier that rang up my purchases at the front counter.
Even though we exchanged few words, he did communicate with me and significantly influenced my musical tastes and my purchases. You see Silver Platters used to have a display located at the front of the store that featured music that the staff members were listening to. Over time, I came to realize that of all the staff members, Steve had musical tastes that paralleled mine the closest. If Steve recommended a cd (this was the early 00s), I would buy it. I was never disappointed. I miss Steve and his musical recommendations.
Walking past Sears today and their front of store display caught my eye. The store in our local mall typically features a Lands End display, so this was not out of the ordinary. What took me by surprise was the marketing of Lands’ End clothing to “spring breakers.”
One I think of spring breakers, I do not think of college students drinking and partying in clothing from Lands’ End. The map features the apparent route one would take from Dodgeville, WI, the headquarters of Lands’ End and Daytona Beach, one of the college hotspots. Maybe if the marketing spoke of spring vacation with the kids and the map destination was Disney, it may be more on target.
Another business looking to make a great impression on their customers with their door pulls. Found at Spike’s Hotdogs in Portland, OR.
(Great food & friendly service, by the way.)