Tis the season to hustle

Stopped by my area Dick’s Sporting Goods where I found a deeply discounted shirt that I could not pass up.  This is the time of year when stores can be busy and lines can be long.  That certainly was the case at Dick’s.

When I arrived at the checkout there were 12 customers in front of me when I glanced at my watch and wondered how long it would take to pay for the shirt. There were only two cashiers working and I debated whether I would wait in line or pass on the shirt.  I decided to wait.  I progressed through the line and finished paying for my shirt.  Glancing at my watch, I realized that only four minutes had passed!  That is a clearance rate that Wal-Mart would be proud of.

The cashiers definitely hustled.  I was still treated friendly and professionally.  They still took the time to check if I was a member of their loyalty club (I am). And they still promoted their fundraising program to fund kid’s sports ( donated $5 on a $25 purchase.

Being quick, friendly and efficient is always important at our registers.  At the Holidays, this is particularly important.  Well done, Dick’s Sporting Goods.

What is the word for “Unhello” ?

Pavel Krok

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.

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Too much of a good thing

powells-bookmarksStopped by Powell’s Books the other day for a few items a book the other day, Alone on the Wall by Alex Hannold (I highly recommend it if you enjoy outdoor sports writing) and as usual, I ended up with a few other things.  With my three books, three magazines and a Clark chocolate bar, I approached the cashier.

The cashier was very pleasant offering a warm hello and engaging me in banter as she began to ring up my purchase.  As she scanned the first book, she placed a bookmark inside of the book.

“That’s ok.  I don’t need any more Powell’s bookmarks,” I interjected.

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The walk around

At every specialty shop that we made purchases in while traveling in Europe, we noticed one common practice.  I call it “the walk around.”

When the cashier or salesperson completes the transaction and after they have carefully wrapped or bag your new purchase, the they take the item and walk around from behind the counter.  Once facing you, they thank you for your business and then carefully pass the package to you.  This is a great way to show the value they place on you and your purchase.

I posted about this last month when I saw the same practice at Nordstrom. Walk it around

I think this is a practice that specialty shops and premium stores should copy.

Walk it around

Version 2

Passing through Nordstrom today, I spotted a cosmetics saleswoman finishing up with a customer.

The Nordstrom employee stepped around from behind the counter and handed the bag carefully to the customer.  Handing over the bag she said, “Thanks for shopping with us today.  I hope to see you again soon.  Enjoy your day”  speaking in an earnest and sincere tone with a smile on her face.  Well done!

That is just one of the little things that you will see at Nordstrom that exemplifies their incredible service.

A nice finish

omnitechI stopped at the local Outlet Mall the other day to do some shopping and some observation.  It was a warm and sunny day and may of the stores had their doors open to deal with the heat.

Being a fan of the brand and a citizen of the PNW, I stopped by the Columbia Sportswear Outlet where they had a great sale going on.  I quickly found several items that I was shopping for so I headed to the registers where there were a number of waiting cashiers.

“I can help you right here,” came a greeting from the nearest register.

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In retail history

UPCEOn June 26th, 1974, a cashier at the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio ushered in the modern era of retail cashiering when the scanned the first item sold with a Universal product Code or UPC.

The first UPC codes were developed and patented in the 30s and 40s with the first practical attempts to use UPC coming in the 1960s when railroads experimented with multi-color codes for tracking rail cars.  The experiment was not successful and the railroads discontinued their use.

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Bagging a bit better

IMG_0937My brother bagged groceries in high school.  He was good at it and proud of his skills.

He knew how to sort groceries coming down the belt so he could bag more efficient.  Separating the boxes from the cans, the produce from the meat, the fragile from the durable.  He knew how to build a foundation layer in the bottom of the bags so they would be stable in the car and on the kitchen counter ( back when only square bottom craft paper bags were in use). He knew how to double bag to prevent tearing and bagging meats and produce so that condensation and contamination were not an issue.  Of course, he bagged so eggs would not be broken and bread would not be crushed.

My brother’s success as a bagger led to his next position as stocker and 40 years later, he still earns a comfortable living working for a union grocery store.  But this post is not about my brother.

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Not so much as a smile – Part 2

IMG_0909While having my bad experience in the bookstore two days ago, I spotted a travel book that looked interesting but that I decided to take a pass on.  Once I got home, I realized that the book would have been a welcome addition to my travel library and I decided I should go ahead and buy it.  This called for a return to the scene of the crime.

So yesterday I stopped back at the bookstore while I was out running some errands.  The plan was to run in, grab the book and be on my way.

The store was quiet when I went in.  I found the book quickly and headed towards the registers.  Just like the day before, I was greeted by great spring weather framed by the front windows and two cashiers having a friendly conversation.  Luckily my cashier from the day before was not one of them.

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