Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ever walked into a store and been ignored? - or why Australian retail is going down the gurgler

Australian retailers  have recently been blaming the non-buying public and online sales for their plummeting turnover. I have another theory - its about service.

Example #1 high end fashion shop:
Entered shop reacting to giant 'sale' signs in all windows - no one acknowledged me. Looked at racks, thumbed through merchandise couldn't tell whether it was the sale rack or not. Held on to a few things I was thinking about trying on while I moved from rack to rack. Tried to attract attention of either one of two sales assistants pawing through stock behind the counter and chatting at other end of store.

Example #2 high end fashion store:
Entered in reaction to brand name and indication of sale racks. Approached first rack, and was greeted by shop assistant, saying 'If you need any help, my name is Thomas.' Thomas retreated, so that I felt no pressure. I grabbed a couple of things and draped them over my arm. 'Would you like me to set up a room for you to try those things on?' said Thomas as he offered to take the things from my arm.  I admired some shoes, and Thomas came over to tell me there was an additional discount on them. I tried them on. Thomas said 'Can I get you guys anything - soda, champagne, coffee?

So where were these experiences and did I purchase?

Example #1 Sydney, Australia - no purchase made

Example #2 Los Angeles, USA - shoes and three shirts purchased

Maybe the decline in retail has something to do with the almost complete lack of service in most Australian stores? Oh and unusually - we declined the champagne

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