As Toys R Us announced they were filing for bankruptcy, I must say I wasn’t that surprised. In all honesty, the way that brick and mortar stores are run now, I’m surprised that they can stay open at all.
Let me start by saying that I am not a millennial (the ones being blamed for the fall of just about everything). I am a Gen Xer that has witnessed the demise of retail and the way it used to be (from my perspective).
I was a mall rat. I spent hours there. I worked at a super popular store in the early 90s. Now my daughter loves the mall. You know who doesn’t love it? The people who work there. So many of them go out of their way to avoid you. A simple “Can I help you?” “If you need any help, let me know.” goes a long way in changing my opinion of a store. At this point, I’ll take a simple “Hi”.
I have walked into a store, walked around for over five minutes; passed by three employees and not one of them said one word to me and I was the only customer in the store. How is that welcoming?
Let me tell you, I prefer to touch and look at what I am buying. I’d rather buy from a store than online. Unfortunately, so many stores have made that difficult or just plain unpleasant.
So many stores are so messy you can’t find a thing. I swear, every time I walk into Old Navy, it looks like the end of Black Friday. H&M has racks so packed together, you can barely walk through without knocking stuff over. Don’t get me started on Macy’s, I’ve never found one article of clothing for myself in that store (online yes, in the actual store, no).
When it comes to Toys R Us, if you ask me they have priced themselves out of the market. If you look at some of the most popular games. They have them for up to five dollars more that other stores (other brick and mortar). Why wouldn’t someone buy it at the other store?
Now let’s talk availability. I have walked into a store with a list of things and several times at least half of what is on my list I can not get because the shelf is empty.
Don’t even think about asking for help. I have found that there’s hardly ever anyone around, if you can find someone chances are it won’t be a pleasant exchange if you get that far.
I was at another store and was looking for a specific item. I knew they carried it because I bought it there before. I couldn’t find anyone to ask where it was. There was one associate and when I started to walk toward her, she turned and walked into the back room.
Don’t get me wrong, not everyone that works in retail is miserable. There are some very pleasant workers and when I find them I make sure they get the credit they deserve.
I love going shopping in stores and it makes me sad that so many of them don’t seem to care about the customers anymore. I’m still going to shop at brick and mortar stores, but if I can’t find what I’m looking for in the building, I will go online.