Lab Series (ELC)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Food For Thought: The Shopping Experience

Fashion icon Diana Vreeland is known for her style, class and legendary quotes. One of my favorites from her autobiography, D.V., is found in Chapter 21; where she writes about the differences shopping in Paris and America. The quote reads, "...In America it's different. Bloomingdale's is the end of shopping because there isn't anyone to wait on you; you just sort of admire things." She goes on to say, "So you go out into the street with tears in your eyes: you've accomplished nothing and you've lost your health!" That is usually the case when one shops at Bloomingdale's and Macy's today. D.V. was published in New York circa 1984 and we are faced with the same shopping experiences today, 25 years later! Could you die?!

Yesterday evening, I was dragged to Macy's to endure yet another painful shopping experience.  My mom and I proceeded to The Cellar to find not one "floorwalker," as Ms. Vreeland would say, able to properly assist us. My mom finds what she is looking for and we proceed to the register. Unfortunately, there was a discrepancy with pricing, "Isn't there a sale on the chef knives?" My mom asks. She responds, "I don't know," with a blank stare- as if my mom asked were diabetic syringes found behind the Ralph Lauren bedding. She then drags her feet, in the worst flats, to the other side of the room in the slowest motion I have ever seen in life. Is this as painful to read, as it was to endure? She slowly returned to the cash wrap, more confused than before, and phones a manager. To make a long story short, I removed the sign off the wall and brought it to the cash wrap. Confusion resolved. We purchased the chef knife along with the sharpener and hauled ass. 

Macy's Inc., owns Macy's and Bloomingdale's, sadly they have lain off hundreds of employees. These economic times are tough for many to get by. Customers are not shopping like they used to.  The most rational idea would be to provide every customer with the utmost customer service; that is if you want to see revenue. Better service equals more revenue which equals more jobs and less lay off's; you do not need to be a CFO to figure out that equation! Make customers want to shop; give them a reason. We shouldn't have to loose our health upon entering a shop.

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