Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Shift in the Shopping Paradigm

Shopping, of any kind for me, is a chore.  I like to know what I need, have a list if possible, get in then get out with minimal fuss.

My niece is getting married next weekend and the hunt for the right outfit has been 'on' for some time.  Family from all over will be coming in and although we are no fashionistas we are having great fun sharing each other's hunt for the perfect outfit.

In the last two weeks I've been to more clothing stores than in the past year.  There are two discount, 'go-to' stores that I drop into periodically which will usually meet my clothing and shoe needs.  I branched beyond these (stopped twice at each with no success) to the mall for Sears and Penny's as well as Kohls and TJ Maxx and a couple of boutiques.

What has happened in the world of department store shopping?  Has a cultural shopping shift occurred?  This comic has an funny take on what I experienced at the all these department stores.

Where were the floor clerks?  I don't require anyone to carry my selections or bring different sizes to the dressing room yet, where are the department clerks that are available to help if you need it?

What happened to the dressing rooms?  There was no employee present to count the garments and provide a card with the appropriate number or to take those items you didn't want.  The area was a mess with discarded clothing crammed on every wall hook overflowing into piles on the floor.

What happened to merchandising?  It is end-of-season sale time and the discounts are down 50% and more.  It's a hunt with the victory going to the shopper willing to dig deepest.  Racks are tightly stuffed with last season's hot items now gone cold.  With no room to browse the clothes they are pulled out, along with three additional garments, that fall off their hanger onto the floor.  What cannot be put back on the rack is thrown on top.

Is the economy causing customer service to exist only at the cash register?  Are there not enough applicants to fill these service positions?  Is the department store dying and this their last gasp?

I realize my purchasing methods are adding to the downfall of these once, shopping meccas.  Online shopping is my first stop and often my last and yet, after my experience of the past weeks there is no compelling reason to change.

Am I alone in this thinking?  I'd like to know your thoughts.

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  1. This is why I'm particular about where I shop. We're lucky to have some GOOD stores with excellent service. But the large chain stores? Yeah, they offer poor service around here, too.

  2. Take some ibuprofen before you go! That's my advice. And then grab a mocha. :)

  3. I had to laugh (sorry) when I read your post. I thought only over the hill, overweight me had such issues. It has been at least a decade since I have felt that clothing stores had anything to offer me. Sometimes I need a petite (length not size) and try finding those at Kohls or JCP beyond one or two outfits is like searching for gold. And the clearance racks what a nightmare. With Russ's encourgement and some enticing coupons, I headed to a Boston's store after the holidays. I chose a Monday morning so I didn't have to contend with weekend shoppers. Tons and Tons of stuff on the racks -- my purchases - a new bra and one pair of cloglike shoes after several hours of looking. I couldn't even force myself to try something on. After a similar amount of time in Kohls, I had bought a new nightgown.

    If you haven't found something yet, I say shop your closet, get some sexy shoes and new jewelry or scarf. You'll look great.I know your mom will look great,too - she always does.