I have a hard time buying clothes. If you’ve ever met me, you know I’m a bit lopsided in some areas. If I go to the big box stores, I have to work hard (usually on my own) to find clothes that fit. To make matters worse, these big stores (Dilliards, Nordstroms, Macys, Von Maur) have run the smaller animals out of the forest. There are no more men’s stores like the old days. Places where you could go and ‘Fred’ would say “Paul try this on. This is perfect for you and we’ll make sure it fits right.” Those days are gone. But, maybe, just maybe, they are on the way back.
Boy do I hope.
I had a terrific experience a few weeks ago at Men’s Warehouse. When comparing them to the (aforementioned) giant retailers, they are the smaller guys. Their employees tend to go above and beyond because they know the big guys have more selection and better prices. They also know that the big guys are not going to be attentive to the customer the way they are. That’s not the model the big guys run with. The big retailers stuff the store and ignore the customer while the smaller retailers cannot operate that way.
You cannot get away with thin-skinned behavior, that wonderful first ingredient of America’s Customer Service Disaster, in a smaller store. Why?
You won’t have a job very long if you have less to sell and are not a good promoter of what you do have in stock.
The other workers in the store know they must provide good service to exist. If you are the one that doesn’t realize this and embrace it, you won’t have a job very long.
They don’t want big store behavior in a smaller store. They understand that they are the underdog and they have to try harder.
I take my first ever trip to the Men’s Warehouse. Not sure why I never tried them before—I guess I thought I’d have the same bad luck there as I do in the big guys’ store. I go in the store and start browsing around and then ‘Dave’ shows up. This gentleman is determined and sincere about helping me. What a breath of fresh air compared to the “sir, if it’s not on the rack we don’t have any” in the big guy store—-as they never take their eyes off the cell phone.
Dave helped me pick out 4 shirts that fit! ( I wear 37 sleeve and 17.5 neck—-you know, Ichabod Crane) and he got three of them from the back. The same ‘back’ that the big guy store people never enter. In addition to the shirts, I purchased 4 pairs of slacks that fit and 3 sweaters. My biggest score ever on a shopping for clothes scorecard. I will stick with Dave every time I need to shop for clothes from here on out. If those 11 items were in the big guy store I would NEVER have found them. The 17.5’s get lost in the 15’s and 16’s because the big guy customer service hatred reps don’t re-arrange the rack.
What a great gift just in time to try to look sharp for the holidays.
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