Old 26th Nov 2013, 09:11
  #9547 (permalink)  
Worrals in the wilds
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Sunny side up
Posts: 1,205
She says she can't see the point of wandering around stores, when she can browse at home.
I'm probably showing my age here, but I love Shopping, i.e. wandering around stores (don't worry guys, you're not invited ).

The thing is though, these days it's rare that I see something I want to buy. If I see something I want to buy in a big retailer, all too often they make it too hard.

As an example, my dear mother is a David Jones Customer. With her store card, nice Liberty print shirt, Italian loafers and a love of Elizabeth Arden cosmetics and Le Creuset cookware (on sale ); she epitomises the classic Department Store consumer. They don't even need to try to get her money; she turns up and wants to spend it. How do they treat her? Badly.

In recent years I've gone shopping with her and watched her get repeatedly stuffed around and overcharged. She actually doesn't mind being overcharged (despite my agitating from the sidelines about how the cookware is a lot cheaper from a well known Sydney online retailer). What she correctly objects to is the complete lack of customer service that is now the norm in our two major department stores.

Let's say you're there and you find an item you'd like more info on. In the good ol' days (not so long ago) a sales assistant would pop up from behind the saucepans and wax lyrical about how Matt Moran recently bought the entire range for his own kitchen. In 2013 you're lucky if you can find a security guard to accost you on the way out the door carrying the item, let alone someone to provide some info about it or actually sell it to you.

If I had a dollar for every time I'd and said 'Mum, hang on I'll look it up on my phone' while the 'staff' yakked on the phone in a corner of the department, I'd have enough money for the full Le Creuset range, and not on sale either. . Myer and HN are no better.

To add insult to injury, when she finally finds a sales assistant who can sell her something (oh no, we can't process that here, this is the evening bag counter, not the day bag counter ) they try and intimidate her into signing up for an American Express card.

Recent Myer story; I found a nice full-price Edminston dress; just right for the Comrade's Christmas Party . I took it to a 'sales' counter, where the two bimbos present continued their pow-wow about What Helen Said and ignored me. Me being me (apparently I have aggressive tendancies ) I pulled the cash out of my wallet and waved it while asking the air 'Is this where I buy stuff, or do I just walk out of the store with it'? Sometimes we Aspergers have a win, though I'd have been disowned by my female friends/rels if I'd tried it in front of them. It's one of the many things that's just Not Done, so I'm amazed any of the neuro-normals ever manage to buy anything while staying 'polite'.

Fact is; Australian department stores suck. They suck at selling, they suck at competitive prices and they suck big time at providing a pleasant customer experience that makes you want to go back. There are notable exceptions (I'd nominate JB Hi Fi, The Good Guys and Anaconda as some who manage to run big franchises without ignoring or demeaning their customers) but TBQH, sitting at home on the PC is a lot more rewarding and convenient than going to Myer, DJs and HN. And that's from someone who likes 'shopping', so I can see why the kids aren't going for it.

For people who dislike shopping, I don't know why you'd go near any of the bastards. Even if you limit your online shopping to Australian businesses (and that's not a bad thing, both for patriotic and practical reasons like lesser postage and quicker delivery) you can get a better range at cheaper prices and with more information that you'll get at a department store.

Keep whining, Gerry Harvey, DJs and Myer. Keep bitching because your crappy, overpriced products and lousy customer service (often borne from poor working conditions and pay) don't compete. It's beginning to feel a bit like Christmas, but TBQH today I wandered through the local retail behemoth with a full wallet and came out with a plastic flower pot, a packet of Christmas tree baubles and even more about what presents I'm going to get for people. Despite all the great piles of consumables, there was nothing to buy and no-one to sell it...

And that's their problem. The GST pales into insignificance, because it relies on them being able to sell something and IME; that's what they can't manage to do.
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