Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The death of the salesman

Whatever happened to service? You would enter a store, the shelves beautifully stocked and a salesperson would assist you. They may suggest colours or offer advice help you. Today there appear to be two types of stores. The first is the no-service, serve yourself warehouse like Ikea or Costco. Here the items are strewn throughout a large warehouse and you go armed with a cart to hunt down what you want. To reward you for your efforts..you have to wait in a long line. Wait a second...no service, a huge messy floor...and a lineup? Oh and in the case of Costco you PAY for this. They claim there are bargains but really?

The second type of store is the pretend service store. These are stores like La source, where you go in and the salesclerks ignore you..chatting with their friends. If you ask a question, they are dumbfounded and thus worse than useless. If you DO find a salesclerk they roll their eyes and act as if they are doing you a favour, despite the fact that you pay their salary. These stores should simply save costs by firing their space taking salespeople and choose the Ikea or Costco model.

The type of store I prefer is like Tip Top Tailor, Lee Valley Tools or smaller speciality stores. I get served in these stores, people know their products. The salespeople are not ignoring me, chatting on their phones. They are interested in what the sell and are interested in serving you. I bought Cyril a pair of shorts at Tip Top today. The salesman was very helpful when I explained Cyril's height and preferences. These people know men's clothing..thats why I went there. Sure I could have rummaged through piles of shorts at Costco but would there have been anyone to speak to? I think not.

Shopping is something I don't do very often, but when I do, I like to be served. I am afraid like fine pens..the days of good service are in a palliative state.

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