When it comes to shopping, sometimes you only think you know
what you want. Then, a glorious sales associate comes into your life and turns
it all around. And before you know it, you’ve dropped hundreds of dollars on
clothing and accessories you didn’t even intend to buy. Ah, now that’s good
But, sometimes, you walk into a store that is an absolute
disaster and staffed by employees that could not care less. When that happens, the
experience is a completely different story. I had the good fortune of
encountering both extremes this past weekend.
When I walked into Aerosoles at the Washington Square Mall
in Portland, Ore., I thought I knew exactly what I wanted–comfy sandals. I
selected a few and began trying each pair on, walking around the small, shoebox-like store (although very well organized) to decide if I had found "the
The saleswoman also included a pair of sandals she personally owned
and thought would be perfect for my upcoming vacation. Typically, I would
assume she was merely trying to upsell me. But, this time, after trying on four
pairs of shoes that were not right for me, I decided to give her suggestion a
And guess what? They were perfect. Casual, yet dressy, comfy yet hot;
fabulous yet would go with just about anything. Oh and yes, $50 more than the
other shoes I was looking at. Was she just upselling me? Maybe, but, who cares?
I had fabulous sandals! I walked away from that experience satisfied and happy.
Next, I went over to Forever 21 to find a simple party
dress. What a mess that place is! First, the store is huge–two levels–yet
looks like it was organized by a 12-year-old boy. There is no rhyme or reason to this
store. Dresses, shirts and skirts are all thrown together. Sizes are all over
the place. My best guess was that it was marginally color coordinated (and
seriously, who shops based on color?!), but even that was extremely scattered. Just being in the store gave me a headache.
Finally, I managed to snag a few dresses to try on. While in
the dressing room, I was unable to zip up a cute strapless dress that I
had unburied from an overstuffed rack. I peeked out to ask an employee to help
me zip it up. She was probably all of 17 and was obviously irritated that she
actually had to help a customer. She couldn’t get the dress to zip up either, and gave up
deciding that the zipper was broken. Now, do you think she offered to get me
another dress? Um, no. She just walked away.
So, let’s just say, I won’t be going back to Forever 21
Customer service is so important. We all know this, but
having these experiences back-to-back made me realize how much money I’ll spend
when I’m treated well and how much I won’t spend when I’m not. Store layout is
another crucial purchasing element. Clean lines and organization can make all
the difference in the world. A mish-mash of clothes thrown here and there
impresses no one.
Have you had a shopping experience like this–receiving
either stellar or awful customer service? Leave your story here! OR do you have
a store layout you can’t stand or love? Tell us all about it.