BAD SHOPPING EXPERIENCES!

Before I formally start this I’m going to say please read my last post. It was all about my purchases from Inglot in Cambridge and I absolutely love what I bought. While I do love the brand, I have one thing to complain about in terms of the store: The staff and customer service. I wasn’t happy with the fact that being the only customer in the store at the time, the two sales assistants were standing around the shop speaking in Polish as I was choosing my colours for my Freedom System… I considered this to be extremely rude, no? When I finished finding my colours, I then had to interrupt THEM to tell one of them that I’d finished and that I’d like to pay. I, being the paying customer and ONLY customer in the store, shouldn’t have had to be the one to feel like I was interrupting anything! I feel slightly outraged actually. When I got home, I decided to email Inglot saying that as much as I love the brand, and I really do, and how happy I was with my purchases, I found the staff to be rude enough to be speaking in another language in front of me. That email was sent on May 12th and I am yet to receive a reply… I’m not holding my breath. Below is a copy of the exact email I sent:

Dear Sir/Madam,  I am writing as a loyal customer and genuine fan of Inglot with regards to my recent excursion to the Cambridge branch where I was excited to finally visit my favourite makeup brand’s store for the first time. After previously purchasing products online, I was eager to visit the store in person. While I was thrilled with the actual shop; the testers were clean, surfaces shiny and staff available to help; I also found that on one occasion while choosing eyeshadows that I was slightly put off. This was due to the staff seeming vacant when I was the only customer in the store as the two shop assistants were huddled together speaking Polish, of which I could not understand. While I’m sure they were talking about work (they were both pointing at lipsticks), as the only customer in the newly opened store at the time, I felt alienated as a paying customer. At one point, I needed assistance with choosing my colours for my freedom system palette but I felt, bizarrely, like I was interrupting THEM. While I did make a purchase and very happily so, I still feel like I would be more comfortable purchasing my favourite items online rather than visiting the store after the way I felt.  Anticipating your kind response.

Regards

Hannah Stocking

The fact that I haven’t even received a reply to my email is bugging me, I expected a lot more from the customer service of Inglot, it has to be said. I am disappointed in the brand after experiencing this, not enough to put me off shopping there, but it will make me view the company in a different light. Are any other brands or stores that you’ve had a bad experience with? What happened? Let me know!

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VISUAL MERCHANDISING EXPERIENCE.

Many department stores all over the world have very strong teams of Visual Merchandisers to bring in customers, boost sales and give the store an overall independent and unique vibe. With the Mecca of such department stores, Harrods, opening their Christmas store as early as late-July, it is a proven point that merchandising matters. The way products are marketed, presented to customers and psychologically distributed around the stores can have MAJOR impacts on sales figures.

Mega-brand John Lewis are no different. Aside from the (way too early) Christmas store at Harrods, John Lewis however do go all out on their seasonal displays. John Lewis pride themselves on their incredible ability to lure in customers with their spectacular merchandise displays both in store and in the branch windows.

In August last year, I completed a two-week work placement with the Visual Merchandising department of John Lewis in Cambridge where I learnt all about the way in which the brand operates its selling and merchandising schemes, as well as how the way something is presented to consumers can up sales considerably for certain product ranges. As a work experience student, I was there shadowing different members of the VM team each day. I helped with duties such as picking stock for seasonal displays and “major” displays known as “spectaculars”, dressing mannequins in all departments, distributing sale and promotional banners around the store, ironing and preparing stock for displays, refreshing bedroom displays, taking a Marc Jacobs fragrance banner to the printer to be resized, as well as helping to co-ordinate sites for the Armani and Back-to-School seasonal spectaculars.

It was definitely an experience that makes you think differently when you go shopping for yourself. I know it certainly makes me feel for those that set up the big-scale mannequin displays, those things are the most awkward, back-breaking bleeders ever!

I also got to sit in on the weekly team meetings where discussions took place about store sales that week (SUCH an eye opener!), recruitment of new staff which I found particularly interesting as it was discussed, very honestly, what they wanted and didn’t want in a VM candidate, as well as discussing the pro’s and con’s of certain candidates.

I really enjoyed my two weeks at John Lewis, I met some great people, gained experience that I found particularly intriguing, plus while I was there I got into uni which is a day I will never forget! I also got a card and gift all signed by the team as a congratulations! Definitely left on a high!

Below is a small array of some displays that I created.

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