What’s Missing Besides WOW?

The other day I had to return some items that I bought at a local HanesBrands store. As you can see by the picture, it’s a lovely store. But something is missing. I entered the store with my bag in hand and got in line waiting for the one associate on duty to finish with another customer who had bought a zillion things. No one else was in the store shopping.  But behind me were 2 associates standing in the aisle chatting about last night’s dinner or some such yip-yak. Meanwhile I’m waiting patiently and yes, observing customer interactions (it’s what I do).

The customer in front of me asked to keep one of the cheap plastic hangers. The store associate said no, as they were short of hangers. Really? The customer just rang up over $200 in merchandise and you can’t let her have a cheap plastic hanger? After about 10 minutes it was my turn to go to the register. The associate asked, “Do you have a return?”  I replied yes so she got on the speaker and said “Code 2 at the register”. One of the ladies who was yip-yakking came behind the register to take my return.  Geez, she could have done that 10 minutes earlier.

For many stores on-line sales are the way of the future but I think there can also be a place for brick-and-mortar establishments like HanesBrands who sell the type of items that people like to physically view and try on for feel and comfort. But success will ultimately depend on being able to delight customers so that they leave the store with a smile on their face instead of their panties in a bunch. 

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