Posts Tagged ‘fashion’

Step on that Ruched!

December 3, 2010

I answer a phone call, and the person on the line says, “Hello? I’m looking for the roach top.”
I stand there for a second, and repeat “Hello?”
“Hello?”
“Are you looking for kids clothes?” I mean, I can’t think of any roaches, maybe grasshoppers or ladybugs.
“No, I’m looking for a womens top. It’s a roach top. Mine is too small, I need a medium or large one, preferably black, but I’ll take red, too.”
I pause for another second. “Okay, let me put you on hold.” I ask around, “Hey, there is a customer looking for a roach top. Does anyone know what that is?”
“Do you mean ruched?” When an item of clothing is ruched generally the top is folded over onto itself creating a look similar to curtains or pleats, some people would consider it ruffles or petals.
I take another moment, and realize, “Oh!” At this point, we all laugh, and start to make roach comments. “I need help finding a big roach. No, that’s not big enough. I need a medium or large black roach. Did you find my roach yet? My customer needs a roach now!”
After the laughter has died down, I pick up the phone, “Yes, I have your roach top. I found some gray, too, just in case.”
“Oh, thank you!”
No, no, thank you.

Customer Type: The Dumb, FashioNOTstas

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The Art of War in Retail: Distraction (Marketing and Selling)

May 28, 2010

Chapter 4
Distraction is the art of stalling, even redirecting Opposition as they enter the battlefield, often slowing them down, confusing them, and making them less wary of your advances.

Sale Signs- A great way to distract the Opposition, especially before and just as they enter the battlefield. These are visual aids prepared on the battlefield to move the flow of traffic in a certain direction, they can catch the eye, catch the interest and turn the Opposition’s attention in that direction. In this way, you can also fortify your troops in those locations before the Opposition arrives–because you are expecting their arrival. With knowledge of Terrain and Streams, you will also know where best to place Sale Signs. Many times this can turn a dead-zone into a place which says, “Hey, attack here!”

Sale Shouts- You can also ensure you win a battle by announcing a sale at the right time, depending on the skill-level of the Opposition such a tactic is very useful. Many cannot resist the lure of a sale. One of the best Code-words, or statements is, “This is very popular, we only have a few left, you better get it now, or it will be sold out later!” “I see you looking at these shorts, you should check out these, too, because they’re very popular and they just went on sale!” You give urgency and attention to the products you want, thus moving the flow of traffic. You may even bring one item to show them, like bait, attracting them elsewhere.

Displays and Mannequins- Visual displays are supposed to present the Opposition with a battle-plan which you are prepared for. Perfect outfits encourage the Opposition to attack where you want them to and what you want them to. In this way, you always want to make sure the best Soldiers are presented–troops you have a lot of and have trust they will sell–and when they are defeated and taken away, another Soldier must be ready and worthy of the replacement.

“Have you seen?” Homework- Often, when troops are devastated or their numbers are dwindling, a General must redirect traffic, altering the stream when possible. In this way, a General can take note of which Soldier is being attacked, and other possible troops who can take similar damage–is one cardigan running out, find the next best cardigan, and send the Opposition to battle against it. “Have you seen?” works very well at redirecting traffic. You are the General, and you should know best what Soldiers you have available, and when you should send those Soldiers into battle.

The art of distraction also comes down to noticing what the Opposition is wearing–their style, the colors–and pointing out similar options as a way to expand their wardrobe. Many people enter the battlefield revealing everything about themselves before they even speak–use their information to your advantage.

Why Did You Marry Her?

April 27, 2010

There was a couple with beautiful children. The man had a Mediterranean look to him, his wife was white, short, and round. I’d explain her in more elegant detail, but she wasn’t that nice, nor was her husband.

She started with a few outfits, and her daughter kept taking out bad stuff and bringing in new stuff. Every time the wife would come out of the fitting room, her husband would look at her with disappointment and shake his head. “No, not flattering. Too long. Look how it’s cut at your waist. No, that won’t work. ” She came out several times with totally different looks and outfits, always with a stern, “No.” I mean, her basic outfit she wore when she came in wasn’t even that great–just a t-shirt and jeans that didn’t fit correctly. But, wow, what a husband! Somehow he let her leave the house dressed like that.

If everything looks bad on her, and if nothing makes her look cute or fit right, basically you’re saying she looks ugly to you or you’re implying she’s hopelessly ugly in all the different looks she tries. So why did you marry her? I just stood there, saying nothing, wondering if they wanted cute kids? Because he definitely got that, he could just divorce his tragically style-less wife who can’t look hot even if she tried. Seriously, everything she wore, he just shook his head and criticized it. She looked far better in those outfits than the one she walked in with, truth be told. I thought someone you marry is someone who looks beautiful to you, no matter what. I thought he’d help her out, find something sexy for her, but he was full-on, flat-out, “No, that won’t work either.” Just standing with his arms crossed, looking bored. Of course she got nothing, since none of the looks she tried could pass his inspection.

Still, I kept asking myself, “Why did you marry her?”

Customer Types: Guessing Game, Lowered Expectations

Nothing Will Work

December 5, 2009

“I know you won’t have what I’m looking for, but I might as well try.”
“Okay.”
“I’m looking for sweaters.”
I bring her to our first sweaters–crew-neck style.
“No, I’m looking for a V-neck style.”
Okay, sure, I can understand that. So bring her to our V-neck sweaters.
“No, I want the ones with buttons.”
Okay, maybe she’s no fashion-expert, she doesn’t know a sweater with buttons is called a cardigan. So I bring her to our cardigans.
“No, these are too light, I want them thicker.”
Okay, maybe she’s visiting somewhere cold. So I bring her to our heavier cardigans.
“No, there’s no collar.”
Okay, now this is getting irritating. So I bring her to our cardigans with collars.
“No, you don’t have what I want. But hey, at least I tried.”
Really? Did you? Even a little? I think not.

Customer Type: Agreeing to Disagree, The Riddler, Self-Fulfilling Prophesizer

Boyfriend Jeans.

December 5, 2009

“Excuse me, I’m looking for this style I saw, it’s a wide leg pant.”
“Was is like trousers or denim?”
“It was denim.”
“Oh, you mean the Boyfriend…”
“No, not men’s jeans, it’s for women.”
“Yes, the Boyfriend jeans fits like men’s jeans for women.”
“Are you sure? The one I’m looking for is wide, with a straight leg.”
“Yes, the Boyfriend jeans are wide and straight.”
I finally convince her to look at the Boyfriend jeans we have, and she’s unconvinced and leaves. I am told by co-workers that she might have wanted bell-bottom, wide-leg jeans. But, she did want them straight.

It’s not a good idea not knowing what you’re looking for, then questioning the people who do know. Do you know which Katie made the Boyfriend really popular in recent years? Do you know which brand she was wearing? Hint: PRS are letters in the name.

Customer Type: FashioNOTstas.

I say Cardigan, you say…

September 8, 2009

So a snotty looking woman comes in asking for a button-down sweater with long sleeves. “A cardigan”, I ask. She doesn’t know what they’re called, she just wants a button-down sweater with long sleeves, preferably black. So I take her to the very first item, right behind her, and I show her a black cardigan. A cardigan, by definition is a button-down sweater.

“No, this isn’t want I want! You don’t understand. What else do you have.”
So we move on, and I show her other options. Button-down hoodie…
“No, this isn’t right!” She shakes her head at me.

Basic pull-over sweater…
“Something like this, but with buttons going down.” She shakes her head again.

Henley…
“No, you aren’t even helping me find anything! Do you even know what I’m asking for? I’ll look around myself!” She yells at me, and stomps away. I greatly detest idiots.

Rushing, very angrily, to the front of the store, I grab the first item–the cardigan–and stop her, standing in her way. I’m shaking it in her face, “Black, sweater, button-down cardigan.”

She looks at the cardigan, and takes it out of my hand. She does not thank me as she walks away. Instead, she goes to try it on, and ends up buying it. Now this is a classic idiot, who most likely walked in, looked at me, and decided I didn’t know anything.

Customer types: Blind, Thankless, Agreeing to Disagree

P.S.
These are the kinds of customers that show how dumb people can be. I’ve had people ask me for a t-shirt with a collar–“A polo?” “I don’t know, show me what that is.” But more irritating, is being yelled at when I did nothing wrong just because they don’t even know the names of basic clothing; it is entirely the customer’s fault for being ignorant, but they feel the right to blame me for this ignorance. I didn’t even get a thank you for being put through this, being yelled at and treated like an idiot because of her stupidity, especially considering it was her fault she didn’t look at the item when I first showed it to her.

Dead Fish

September 6, 2009

So there was a short, wide woman with a cast on her foot. She asked a coworker for a style of pant we no longer carry–which was a flared-style of trouser denim–so my coworker asked me what the most similar style was. So I told her, since I was in a rush and needed to help another customer.

About twenty minutes later, I see the woman, “Hello again,” I say to her. She asks me for the style of pant, once again, and I tell her we no longer make it, but I had told my coworker the alternative–to which she said she was never told, later I found out the woman lied to me. Well, the alternate style was in front of us, and I showed it to her. She started by complaining it was distressed. I told her these wide styles of pant are more casual and thus come looking like this–all of those similar styles do–some people call them Boyfriend pants or jeans because they are symbolized by the fact they are made to look like men’s jeans, and worn-in like men’s jeans, “It’s like slipping into your boyfriend’s jeans.”

She remained resolute, not wanting anything that looks like that, and I told her we don’t have other options. This is where she started, “Why did you stop making that style? Why don’t you carry it anymore? I liked that style. A lot of women are built like me and it works for us. I can’t understand why you’d do this to us!”

Firstly, I have no patience for customers that blame me and speak to me as if I am the fault and the reason, that I chose that style to kill off or alter so she can’t wear it anymore. Secondly, there is a truth to the fact–when a style dies off, there is a reason. At this point, I had nothing left to say, because such customers are only here to complain. Don’t kill the messenger, lady.

Twenty minutes later, a coworker asked what I did to that woman, because she’s asking to speak to a manager. During this conversation, she complained that I wasn’t ‘energetic’ and ‘enthusiastic’ when I was helping her–that I didn’t even try to help her find anything. (Lie #2). Thus, she compared me to a dead fish. How can one be enthusiastic with a woman that only complains and blames me for company choices? A woman whose narrow-minded views remind me of a one-lane road built for four-lanes of traffic. A woman who most likely lives in a world where nothing goes her way, mostly because she helps to create the situations where nothing goes right. She wants to always be seen as the ‘help-me’ person and the ‘I really did try’, even though she didn’t try at all. Then she complained about our cashiers, using pantomime and acting to portray them as ‘robotic’–acting out like our cashiers, for the manager to see.

Truthfully, upon hearing this, I wanted to find this woman and tell her, “I know you don’t have any sense to listen to what I have to say, but I’m going to say it, so shut up. That style that you liked, I know it was popular, it was one of our better sellers. I even urged the company to keep it, having contact with one of the executives I told him it was popular, and I even took part in panels and online discussions. I don’t appreciate you blaming me or speaking to me as if it is my fault they stopped making it. I supported it, and it is a true insult that you stand there and speak to me as if I did something wrong. You need to think a little and have a little more respect for things you don’t know or understand.”

Customer Types: Complainer, Don’t Kill the Messenger, Tailor-Made, Liar
(These refer to and will link to a glossary of customer terms, which I’m currently compiling and will update as more customer types emerge.)

P.S.
The fact she has a cast on her leg says a great deal–accidents are either done by you or to you. In her case, I’d say it was done to her.

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