Trying to Buy Furniture
Posted: August 24, 2007
I have often stated that I could never be employed in retail. If I had to work behind a sales counter for any longer than 30 minutes, I have a feeling that I would say or do something derogatory to the customer that would not be beneficial to the retail establishment's ability to make money.
Some of the best retail sales people are those who ask if you need anything or have any questions when arriving at the store. When I walk into a store, I usually tell the sales person that I would just like to look around for the time being. But I also tell the retail employee that I would like them to be available in a few minutes in case I have any questions.
An industry that should not take its past success for granted is the home furnishing sector. While the real estate market continues to bog down, one would think that a furniture store sales rep would relish any pedestrian traffic that may result in a sale. However, I was surprised at how difficult it was recently to get the attention of a sales person.
Two weeks ago, I spent about two hours walking through two Eau Claire furniture stores. The first business was promoting a big sale, which usually tells me that most of the merchandise has been marked up before the "deal" goes into effect. Either way, I told the young sales woman at the store that I wished to browse, but I would likely have some questions in a few minutes.
When I tried to approach the furniture sales lady a short time later, I noticed that she was on her cell phone in the manager's office. From what I overheard, I am guessing that the female employee had a wonderful time that night with her significant other. Good for her, but I walked out of the store with a list of questions that I was never able to ask.
My second stop on my shopping excursion for new furniture brought me to another major Eau Claire retailer. When approached by someone who seemed to be a veteran salesman, I tried to ask some questions after about 20 minutes of browsing. He politely told me that he could not answer my inquiries since he was only the sales manager and was not as familiar with the store's product line as his sales staff. He asked me to wait a few minutes until one of the members of his sales staff was available to provide me with answers to my questions. I politely told him that I did not have time to wait.
I once thought I could not work in a retail environment because I would not have the patience to wait on customers. Now I think it would be hard to work in retail because of some of the people who I would have to work with - or work for.