I got a bit of a surprise on Sunday morning there, when I walked into one of Australia’s largest retailers. The very first thing that hit my eye as I entered, was big signs in the shape of pencils on the top shelves that I couldn’t immediately read. That fact intrigued me, and on closer inspection, I was shocked to see that out of five of these signs, four were upside down. What shocked me most of all was that it was absolutely unmissable, and I think that maybe a disgruntled employee had done it just to annoy the boss or something like that. The shelves in question were also half empty. Perhaps there was a major move in progress that had been interrupted for some reason, but I can’t imagine why someone more senior in the store hadn’t seen this and fixed it. We were there for more than an hour too, but it was just the same when we left.
Not a lot more to say about this one really; but I’ll make one comment that may tell a story about this particular branch: Usually, I walk into one of this retailer’s branches and get on with my shopping without my retailers side being alerted by annoyances, which is a very good sign, believe me. On this occasion, it wasn’t just the half finished merchandising or the upside down sineage that annoyed me and spoiled the rest of the visit; there were holes on the shelves all over the store, and the place felt as if it was on a skeleton staff. Poor show this time; I wonder what my next visit will be like. In truth though, there are a number of branches of this retailer I can use locally, so probably I’ll just choose one of the others. It’s a psychological thing maybe, but I wonder if other customers will feel the same?
I have written many times in the past about about the importance of creating the right impression for your customers at all times. As a rule, customers hate it when merchandising is being done while they are trying to shop; but there are times when there is just no other option than to get things done during opening hours. You just have to try to do it in a way that causes minimum customer inconvenience. Bunnings, for example, have a very bad habit of blocking an entire aisle off during opening hours when they are doing a move, and it seems every time this happens when I’m there, it’s always the aisle I need something from, so I go away very frustrated those days. This is a pity, because I rarely see anything else about Bunnings operations that annoy me.
Happy retailing folks.