Posts Tagged ‘display’

Its in the Crotch.

December 30, 2011

I was walking around greeting and helping customers, when a woman comes up to me with a tone of anger.

“Excuse me, do you work here?”
“Yes, I do, did you need help?”
“These pants over here, I can’t find the sizes. There are no labels.”
I look at the wall of pants, and their hung to hide the labels, which merchandising thinks is ugly. So the sizes are on the back of each pant on the waistband. This is what I show her.
“Why did you do that?” Yes, I did it. I also created economic slow down on my vacation. “How are we supposed to find the size? Where is it again?”
Um, I just showed you, it’s in the back of the pants, I think to myself.
“I still can’t find the size.” She lifts up the leg and looks into the crotch of the pant.
“I”m sorry, the size isn’t on the crotch. I just showed you it’s on the back of the pant, here.”
“Oh. Well I want that blue one in a size zero! Fine me one!”
Lo-and-behold, on the very top of the pile is a zero. Not only this, but it was turned around backwards by another customer with the zero blazing like a rising sun. “It’s here, on the top,” I point at the size, “It says size zero.”
“Oh. Okay.” Then she walks away.

I’m so thankful I have to deal with people whose only purpose in interacting with me is to complain about something they don’t even want and aren’t even interested in trying on or buying. Thank you so much. Really, is this why you exist as a customer? Because if this is the reason, and she wasn’t a young woman who hasn’t learned manners and grace, she was an older woman with some sort of wisdom built into her bones. Why do you not learn as human beings to treat other people with some level of respect? This isn’t something you can blame on anyone else, not society, not your parents, but only on yourself–to take responsibility for who you are, and how you act.

Customer Type: Micromanagement, The Riddler

Find it, Find it!

July 10, 2010

I’m walking around, minding my own business; I’m also working, which means my business is dealing with customers.
“Excuse me,” a woman comes up behind me.
I greet her, and she says she’s interested in this shirt she saw. I walk with her to find the shirt, which is now on sale. She’s excited, asking me to please find it, because she wants it very badly. I search through our sale wall, but I find nothing. Nothing is in her size, and the mannequin is wearing a shirt too large. She asks me to check in the back, because she wants it really badly. If I need to, she also wants me to call other stores, just in case. She has to have it!
I search in the back, and there it is, hiding. I bring it back to her, triumphant. She cheers and claps. She’s so happy to have the shirt. She looks at it, finally holding the shirt we’ve been looking for. She looks at the price-tag and looks at me. How much is it?

I go to the register and scan the price. It’s about $30, and I tell her this.
She looks at me, looks at the shirt, then pushes it at me.
“Nevermind, I don’t want it.” Then, she leaves.

If I were a knight errand slaying a dragon for my princess, only to be rejected after I succeed in this titanic endeavor, I think I’d go princess slaying instead.

Customer Types: Capitalist, Micromanagement

Wrong Color… Nevermind.

July 2, 2010

I do so love customers who will shout and yell at you like you’re dumb, but when they realize they’re totally wrong, they don’t even apologize, but continue to somehow act like it’s still your fault.

I’m helping customers with denim, and a girl says she wants this certain pair, but she can’t find it on the floor. I walk up to look at it, and it’s a gray denim–right next to it, folded are a pile of the same pants. This is an example of the miracle of merchandising, because wouldn’t you expect to find clothes from an outfit within viewing or grabbing distance of a mannequin or display? Of course, if you come from a world where everything seems to go wrong, and nothing works your way, then sure, you’d think the denim is somewhere else, taunting you, hiding from your grubby fingers, laughing mightily at your dismay; but this ain’t crazy-land.

I point at the stack, and say, “This is the denim you’re looking for.”
“No, it’s not.” She pauses, and I don’t say anything to refute her–I just have a face that says, ‘Oh really? Sure, whatever you say, I totally believe you.’ She makes a perturbed face, “It’s not! It’s a different color. It’s not the same color. Look!” She lifts it, shoving it next to the mannequin, with all the fury of a child. There are several moments of silence, as if we were remembering the departing of a loved one, or watching her pride shrivel up and dry like a tomato trapped in equatorial, noonday sunshine–but in that case, sun-dried tomato might actually taste much better.

“Nevermind,” is all that escapes her bitter lips, as she holds onto the denim and walks away, as if she were triumphant in some sort of one-sided gladiatorial match between herself and her shadow.

Anyway, I move on to something else, like instantly reciting the story to the closest co-worker for them to laugh and roll their eyes, to say, “Wow, the nerve of some people!”

Customer Type: The Blind, Unapologetic

That Shirt

June 27, 2010

To prove once again how you parent and how you teach makes your children just like you–may it be manners or lack of manners, common sense or lack thereof–I meet a family who left me unexcited. The son first asks me to find a hoodie or pullover or jumper, however you may wish to call it, which was the last of its kind. I did my best, but since it was the last one, I really couldn’t find anymore.

So I return, telling them I was unsuccessful, then the son points up at a visual display saying, “Do you have more of that shirt?”
I turn, only to find the visual display is shirts, and being at the corner of a wall, there is also another wall next to it full of mannequins wearing shirts. There are roughly one dozen shirts where he’s pointing. I look back at the son, who is a teenager, and ask, “Which shirt?”
“That shirt!” The father and sister also raise up their hands. They are standing physically two to five feet apart, yet all their hands go up and point straight forward without a detectable angle, nothing to help me draw an invisible dotted line to meet at a single point at the wall. Their wild aim would seem to point at three distinctly different shirts. Maybe one of them is cockeyed, maybe one of them is nearsighted or farsighted, has a crooked elbow or bent fingers.¬† Of course, they speak and look at me as if I’m the dumb one. So I vaguely reach up, pointing at shirts, “This one?”
“No, that one!”
“This one?” Now I’m making my way down the line. It’s like I’m in a police line up with idiots trying to find who committed the murder, and they have no idea what they’re talking about.
“No, the other one.”
Like seriously, you’re standing thirty feet away from the wall, vaguely pointing at three different coordinates, and I feel like the clown running with the target, trying to catch the ball for the queen so she never misses. Of course, I’m not in Wonderland, am I?

Even more sad, when we finally find the correct shirt, it is yet again, the last of its kind–as this family prove to be mutants who have the ability to find items that no longer exist–and they are left sighing, unable to buy anything, because they don’t want anything we actually have that would fit their son, only the things that don’t fit him which we are sold out of.

Customer Types: The Dumb, ESP, Lowered Expectations

The Scavenger Hunter

June 14, 2010

When a woman or a man comes to me saying they’re looking for some clothes for certain weather, they want certain details, colors, etc. and possibly several outfits to mix-and-match with–I am more than glad to help. This is called Building a Sale. We can walk around and discuss what colors they already have, and what will add to or expand their collection. We can talk about the places they’re visiting and where they are from, to get an idea of what is versatile and has long-lasting use. It is my pleasure to find them some of the coolest items we have, some of the most interesting choices and color palettes.

When someone comes to me with a random shirt out of the sale area which has been out for weeks, asking me to find another color or size–I am less than glad to help. Especially, when they follow me around. Especially, especially, when they pick up more items and then ask for that, because they have developed the mutant power to find the last one of every item as long as it isn’t in their size. Really? Maybe you need a mutant seeing-eye-dog who can smell sizes for you instead? I have customers that actually want to buy something.

There is an old woman who comes with her daughter and without missing a beat, they will send me on more scavenger hunts than a pirate holding a map with one-thousand giant, red ‘X’s written on it.
“I want that scarf, where is it? Do you have more?” When I can’t find it, noting they are two on mannequins, I go and pull one down. “I want the other one, too.” She needs both of them to compare, but will eventually give one back so I can climb back up and put it on the mannequin again. I walk away, and a minute later, “These sandals, do you have them in a size-8?” There is only one left in the store, and it’s the wrong size, so I tell her. “So you don’t have any in a size-8?” She asks me rudely and exasperated, as if she’s been looking hard–but instead, she had someone else looking for something for her while I looked for the shoes. I snort silently, as I tell her it’s probably on a mannequin. So I go around, lifting our twenty pound mannequins in front of her, crouching on the dirty floor, trying hard not to drop them as I check their feet; she follows me around, watching. They are all size-9. By the time I make it to the front of the store and have checked nearly a dozen mannequins, she says, “Oh you poor boy, nevermind already.” After asking me to find a pair of shorts, a belt, and a bag, she pulls me yet again and points at a display way up on top, “I think I know where the sandals are.” My face is blank, but I get the sandals, and amazingly, they are the only size-8’s left in the store, used as display pieces. They needed to put pins in the sandals for this display, and I take them out, handing them to her, and she starts to ask, “Is this okay…” As I walk away. I really don’t care, if you don’t want them, just throw them somewhere. I already destroyed five visual displays for you. I look around at all the other customers who are actually buying things, and actually need real help, but instead I’m stuck with this old woman.

I go into the fitting room saying I can’t handle this woman anymore. All I’m doing is scavenger hunts, for nearly an hour, and the place is busy. So I trade places with the person in the fitting room and they go to the sales floor to find the woman. “Where is she?” “Trust me, she’ll find you.” Of course, you already know whats going to happen. While I’m hiding in the fitting room, she arrives with her daughter to try on everything I had to pull off, pull down, and pull out for her. I clench my fists and bite my lip as I give them their room. “I can’t find them,” my coworker comes back. “Yes, because obviously, she had to come and try it while I’m in here.”

So we switch again, and I run to the front of the store to hide. Gosh, guess what, she comes looking for me in the front of the store to find something else for her. My eyes roll into my head…

The very next day, I’m working, and seriously, she’s there again. She greets me with a look of disdain, “Oh, it’s you again!” Wow, I was thinking the exact same thing! We must be soul-mates. She automatically asks me to find some shorts she can’t find, thankfully they’re too big to be on a mannequin. I search everywhere and find nothing, saying maybe a shoplifter stole it. And then, I look in the same pile she’s standing by, and it’s right there. Wow, now she’s being a pain-in-the-butt and a waste of my time. I run away to hide for a while, and as expected, when I appear on the sales floor she’s standing there and says, “There you are, I need you to find something…”

Why? Seriously, why? I hate being reduced to a retail slave.

Customer Type: Capitalist, Micromanagement, Scavenger Hunter

The Art of War in Retail: Terrain

May 25, 2010

Chapter 2
As the Opposition–customers–enter the battlefield, the terrain greatly affects the destination, the movements, and the actions of the Opposition. Understanding terrain, you have direct control of these movements. You can force the Opposition in a certain direction, you can choose where they go and what they do.

Mountains- Firstly, these are large, built structures, generally known as walls–they cannot move, thus the Opposition must move with or around them. In a sense, it traps them, because they cannot go around it. The Opposition cannot avoid you when next to Mountains. Secondly, these large landmasses are hard to climb and maneuver through–product is placed high, easily visible, but often attractive items are placed on these walls. Because of the sheer size of these masses, they are also effective at being seen from a distance–which is good for advertising and marketing. All traffic slows down at mountains, as some of the flashier and more amazing Soldiers–clothing–are displayed here. Very popular pieces of clothing are always placed on Mountains for this very reason.

Hills- Firstly, these are smaller structures–tables and other smaller, movable structures–thus easier to pass by the Opposition. Because of the size, the Opposition will go around these, and even move to avoid you when possible. Generally, high-selling product will be placed on the first Hills as you enter the store to take the initial bombardment–but Mountains will garner the main attention after this. Similar themed items will be placed on Hills. Hills can be totally engulfed by Opposition forces, as all parts are accessible. Because of the smaller size, the amount of Soldiers–clothing–present is much smaller. Yet, the devastation can be titanic, since Hills have only folded clothing and no hanging clothing.

Fields and Forests- Areas of light coverage, not as well suited for soldiers in a retail battlefield, these are racks and small tables able to take losses and keep on coming back–because they are less popular, or forgotten items, even ones that have a really high-price point. In a sense it is like a forest, because the Soldiers are well-hidden, and almost invisible. The Opposition must ‘want’ these items, thus they aren’t the hottest sellers–they aren’t items you’ll buy ‘just because’..

Streams- The course and movement of traffic will flow depending on how you set up the Mountains and Hills. This movement is Streams. You can diagram it as–the Opposition enters, they approach the initial Hill, then they face the Mountain, do they go to the next Mountain or another Hill? You can watch the ebb-and-flow understanding what is a popular destination and what is just forgotten. Once you get an idea of the flow of these streams, you will know where to position yourself, as General, to take care of your troops. You may also move Soldiers around: if one Hill is never attacked, you may move it closer to a Stream so the Opposition will pass by it; i.e. a Hill between two Mountains cannot be avoided. By moving very popular clothing to more remote locations, you know the Opposition will still search for it–because they want it. In this way, you have altered a Stream.

Using these tactics, you can appropriately prepare Mountains and Hills for battle. By watching Streams, you can choose what is best where. How will you develop your tactic? It depends on what it important to you. As a General and a Champion, you also learn where you want to be–in the back, watching your troops in battle, where no Opposition goes, ready to reinforce your troops or replenish them when defeated, or do you stand in the front lines battling the Opposition, helping to turn tides and moving them appropriately. Gaining skill and strategy in this area takes time, patience, and understanding. Once you do understand, you can make your entire Battlefield profitable, every Hill and every Mountain becomes a destination, and Streams will touch every shore.

Different Priorities

May 12, 2010

Tonight was one of the more surprising moments in my retail career. While discussing a display I set-up to sell more product which didn’t sell at the old spot, but sold far better in my new location, my manager kept saying, “It’s bad.” I tell my manager my primary concern and interest in this store is selling and making money for the store, so my co-workers have more hours to work; to which a co-worker nearby thanked me; to which my manager just looked at me blankly and said nothing. Then, she moved the conversation on to a different topic, while removing my display and hiding the product once again.

If that is not a telling tale of differences of priority and an alarm warning for me that perhaps my views are no longer the same as the store I work at, I don’t know what is.