Apathy – I feel that this is the best word to describe the attitudes of staff at Wolford in San Francisco.
I didn’t have much time in that city, but it was very important for me to see this Wolford boutique, partially because I am a blogger, but partially because this is my most exciting destination for shopping.
I walked in with my guy and at first I thought that they had another customer there already. But when I saw that person moving mannequins, I realized that she is actually one of the staff.
Well, my confusion came from her outfit – she was wearing jeans and some kind of casual flat white shoes. After she finished, she hopped behind the counter, thus hiding her bottom half and looking more like an employee.
The young lady who greeted me was wearing black textured fishnet pantyhose and a knee length skirt. She was polite, but somehow I didn’t feel any enthusiasm. Even though she answered my questions well, I could sense her lack of passion about the product. The product knowledge was there, yet somehow this experience didn’t feel personal at all. It felt as if this interaction was robotic and I couldn’t figure out how come it begun to bother me so much.
What could it be? I didn’t know if my expectations are too high after being welcomed so nicely in their Toronto location by a manager who sincerely loved the product even before she got hired. Could it be that these women are just there to work their shift, without actually having any interest in this kind of stuff outside of their work hours?
I don’t want to paint too bad of a picture here, the service wasn’t bad at all, just indifferent. I dream about visiting all the Wolford boutiques around the world, but somehow I am not excited about returning to this one.
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I hear ya Jessica. It does happen. And in our past conversations I indicated that I had an experience at another Wolford store with a clerk even though I was a long time customer. It probably comes down to this. The manager there is at fault for allowing an employee to dress casually and not properly training the other employee. Whether its a pantyhose outlet or car dealership or grocery store we see it all the time. And with your Toronto experience it points out that companies should hire people that truly have a passion for the product. It does make a difference.
Peter, I bet you that if those girls would know that I am a blogger, I’d get different service…
I don’t say anything, I want to see how it really is.
I think that maybe because I was dressed kind of casual and simple, they didn’t think that I am the type who has the cash. I had to go to the airport right after, so I couldn’t exactly come there fancy.
At least I’ve heard this kind of stuff before. One rich man I know was jogging and decided to check out the Lexus dealership on his way. He needed to buy a car and he actually wanted a Lexus. As he walked in wearing simple sports clothing, no one even approached him. He tried to talk to staff, but felt that he wasn’t being taken seriously. After that experience he decided not to purchase this brand. I spoke to him about this Wolford experience and wondered if I was treated this way because of my clothing at the time. He says “for sure!”.
However, he pointed out that some high end stores have a strict policy to treat people equally. One of those places is Holt Renfrew. Peter, have you been to Holt Renfrew in Toronto on Bloor street between Yonge and Bay? They used to have a doorman (maybe still have) who greeted people so warmly. He is a bit of a legend, even Vancouver staff at Holt Renfrew know about him!
I know a retired manager from Holt Renfrew who told me that he denied to sell once to a rich woman who took a jacket and threw it on the floor, saying “I’ll take it”. He told her to leave because this wasn’t respectful behavior towards the staff.