We have all done it, we’ve relied on old faithful something. Perhaps an old pair of sneakers for a sight-seeing trip in fear of bringing home blisters as souvenirs.
Perhaps we have relied on the same dry cleaner for 20 years in the hopes that they really are keeping up with the times – can you spell bleeding pleather trim?
If you are a frequent BA50 reader you know I have already harped on your hairdresser. If you are not married to them, then move on and see what wonderful things someone else can do for you as the ‘same old’ isn’t necessarily a good thing.
So let’s get to it. Is your favorite department store the same old – same old?
Get with the program ladies, stores come and go – that is called the free market and there’s a reason they come and a reason that they go. Usually the ‘going’ is because they did not keep up with the times and we savvy consumers have too many other choices to stick with the deadbeat norm.
Proof in the pudding right in New England – could there have been anything bigger and more famous than the original Filene’s Basement? Dead and gone as we once knew it!
Take note fashionistas, if you are going to the same old mall, parking in the same old spot and shopping in the same old store, you just might be a dinosaur when it comes to your style.
Here are a few savvy details you need to take notice of at your favorite department store and if they aren’t keeping up with Jones’s then they are doing you a disservice.
- Rewards Programs
Do they even have one? Come on, even your favorite barista rewards you for coming everyday. Get your ask in gear and see if they have some sort of frequent buyer club, if not, your favorite label is most likely sold at the other anchor store on the opposite end of the Mall. Most malls have two ‘anchor’ department stores, who no-doubt carry the same lines! Shop at the one who gives you the most bang for your hard earned buck.
- Bra Fit Specialist
We are talking someone who actually knows about boobs, not just a boob to take your cash. Someone who has been trained in the nuances of a woman’s body from fit, to health, to self-esteem, someone knowledgeable, caring and kind. After all your ‘girls’ deserve the best.
- Tailor Shop
Seriously, when is the last time that ‘off the rack’ actually fit? We are talking hems, sleeves and waistbands? I can’t tell you how many times a client pulls out a jacket from her closet only to put it on and show me her finger nails – yes that is all that is visible at the bottom of her cuffs! Her reason? “I don’t have a tailor.” If your department store isn’t offering tailoring, free or for a fee, they are again doing you a disservice by forcing you to travel elsewhere just to fine-tune their merchandise! That’s like buying tires from a tire store and having them say, we don’t have an air machine, you will have to drive your new wheels home on the rims.
- Overall Cleanliness
What’s the overall appearance of the store? I have to tell you I have visited department stores across the country and some were so dirty, the only thing I purchased was hand sanitizer. I am not just talking the ladies lounge (who really lounges in the bathroom BTW). Take a look at the dressing rooms, if they look like they haven’t seen a vacuum since the door-to-door days of Mr. Hoover – move on. What about the hooks in the dressing room, are there any, or have they been pulled out of the wall? Has the dressing room been emptied this week? Whatever happened to loss prevention – that used to be a big deal in the days before we wrote everything off. I have walked into dressing rooms where there is more sh** in there than outside on the rack!
- Okay, let’s talk loss prevention!
What really is the point of the beeper at the doors? On any given day you could sit there and watch hundreds of people walk through and beep to high hell with no response from any sales staff or even the customers themselves! The customers don’t even flinch when they toot their way out of the store. What’s with that, does everyone now own one of those desensitizer machines at home? Did I miss that item in the shredder aisle at Staples?
- Phone Service
Do they give good phone? Or more appropriate – do they even answer the phone? Are there more prompts and minutes wasted than calling your cable company? It needs to be a complete package, they need to dot the I’s and cross the T’s because that service is local! When you are calling a department store in your community it is the employees of that local store who are giving you good phone service or not! Oh how we miss Ernestine!
- Store Service
Is there any? How often have you found yourself naked in the dressing room in need of another size with not a soul within earshot! What about trying to pay? What’s the average number of registers you visit before you actually run into a human to take your money? What about the other end of the spectrum? Ever used a store personal shopper who then turned into a personal stalker sending you more ‘friendly’ reminders than your checkbook could ever withstand?
- Special Events
Does your store hold any customer appreciation special events? I am not talking only sales here ladies – because there is a sale every week, we know that already. I am talking about special community events. Does your store host Charity Fund Raisers? Does your local store even know what is happening in your community? Is there someone in the back office who would sit with you to discuss ways to get involved or is the answer, oh that has to go through corporate? How about ladies nights where they provide some spirits and a fashion show? Pretty simple on their part, they have a big house, lots of hired help and plenty of pretty items to showcase! It’s a no-brainer I’d say!
Bottom line ladies – you not only have to shop with purpose for the items that you buy, but you have to shop with purpose for the department store that treats you like you are someone special! Remember the old adage – the customer is always right!
The phrase “The customer is always right” was originally coined in 1909 by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London, and is typically used by businesses to convince customers that they will get good service at this company and convince employees to give customers good service.
So expect more, demand more and Get Your Ask In Gear!
As always comment below – I love hearing from you. If there are any subjects you would like to read about – please send me your ideas!
Come and visit me along with 10,000 fabulous women at the 2015 Mass Conference For Women where I will be exhibiting, meeting, greeting, schmoozing, and selling my book Confidence Is Always In Style. Message me if you are coming! December is right around the corner – what are you going to wear?