Giving Up On Retail

by Rob Waldeck | December 13, 2009

Nordstrom (outside)
Image by Hans van de Bruggen via Flickr

I had pretty much given up on retail. I hadn’t had a remarkable retail experience in I don’t know how long. In fact, I found myself so convinced that retailers couldn’t meet my needs as a consumer that I found myself making excuses for them . . . they are under-paid, under-staffed, under-something. Even worse, I convinced myself that I was the problem – I am too demanding, my standards are too high, I am unreasonable. And as we descended deeper into this recession-that’s-not-a-depression I was continually surprised that even those that were still employed weren’t able to provide a level of service that made me take notice.

Until this weekend. Two retail experiences, two home runs. One for Nordstrom’s and one for Apple.

Very briefly . . .

Nordstrom’s: I bought a pair of shoes. I wore them around the store. They felt pretty good. I wore them around the house. They still felt pretty good. I wore them to a party on saturday night (snow/rain/mud) and they killed my feet. I had to return them. I couldn’t wear them again. Nordstrom’s took them back. No question. No problem. Thank you Nordstrom’s for empowering your employees to make it easy for me. By the way, I bought another pair. More expensive.

Apple: I bought a new computer on Thursday. Today I woke up and realized I needed a printer. Went back to Apple and saw that they had printers with a $100 rebate when you buy it at the same time as a computer. I mentioned that I had bought one on Thursday, could they accommodate me? 2 minutes later they had printed out a duplicate copy of my receipt (I didn’t have the original with me), sold me the printer with the rebate and made me aware of two other promotions that are currently offered at a discount with a new computer. Thank you Apple for empowering your employees to make it easy for me.

So the weekend is over and I’m once again hopeful for you, Retail. Not to mention that you’ve reminded me of a few things about customer service that will serve me well as I begin my work week tomorrow. Thanks.

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