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Why so many stores are losing business


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I just came back from trying to buy a new electric blanket for my guest room.

 

I did some research on line and checked with Consumer Reports.  Found one that Westinghouse sells that fits my needs and price, and started to search for someone to sell it to me.

 

Kohl's didn't have one on the shelf and no one working on Sunday that could tell me anything.  That's typical of them and the only reason I went in is because it's a five minute drive from my house.

 

Next Stop was at Walmart a half mile further away.  They had lots of blankets but none from Westinghouse, even though their website says they carry them.  I go looking for someone to help me and went through four people before I got a young man with a badge telling the world that he is a sales rep trainer or some such title.  He didn't know squat, couldn't find anything called "Westernhouse".  I had to spell it very slowly for him a few times and he said he didn't have in stock.   I told him I knew that, but the Walmart website indicated that they carried them.  He repeated that they didn't have any in the store and I started to heat up.   I told him that I knew that and that I had told him that to start with.  Could I order one and have it delivered to my house.  He didn't know, he'd ask someone.

 

 "Someone" was a lady who came out of the back room eating a sandwich and acted like I was intruding on her world.  We went through the whole drill again during which time the lad I stared off with wandered away.

 

Finally I asked If I could order one and have it delivered.  "Well, I suppose so, but I don't know."  Could she find out?  She didn't know.  I asked what her job was and was told she was a senior stocker or some such thing.

 

I asked to see a manager and ten minutes later she came back with a man who looked like he'd been dropped off at a bus stop and mugged.  He asked what the problem was and I told him what I'd gone through.  The woman almost screamed at me that I wasn't going to blame her.  I started to reply and she yelled "What do you expect me to do?" and almost ran away.

 

The new guy said, "you were pretty rough on her" (which I hadn't been.  I hadn't even had a chance to say anything.)).

 

I stood there few seconds and ask the guy if there was any way I could get the electric blanket.  "Well, we hve a lot of electric blankets."

 

"Not the one I want."

 

'Well, we don't carry that brand."

 

"Your website says you do, so you're lying, incompetent, lazy, or too damed stupid to be out in public."

 

He walked away and was calling the police on his cell phone, telling them that was causing a disturbance and harassing and threatening him and his employees."  I left.

 

Next stop was Bed Bath and Beyond.  Only about four people working in the whole store and none of them knew anything at all, so rather than going postal I came home, got on Amazon, and will have one delivered Tuesday before  10:00 pm, priced at eleven dollars less than Walmart's price and with free Prime shipping.

 

This is NOT an isolated encounter with idiots who don't care if I buy anything at all or not.

 

A copy of this message is going to Walmart with the observation that Ray Walston would have dumped all of those morons and is probably flipping over in his grave.  I'll carry copies to Kohls's and BB&B.


It won't do any good, but if a few thousand people wrote they might, but no on e will bother to write.  They're the same people who bitch and cry about the country going to hell, but won't bother to vote.

 

Enough ranting.  It's probable that a lot of readers of this won't care, either.

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I do.

The general level of these minimum wage employees tells me the will never rise above the level of mediocracy to earn the salaries and positions they would like.

And they'll wonder why? 

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3 minutes ago, Forty Rod SASS 3935 said:

Enough ranting.  It's probable that a lot of readers of this won't care, either.

 

This is why I order a lot of stuff from Amazon, even though I can't stand Bezos.

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That is one of the frustrations of life in the past couple of years.  Either stores have no help or incompetent help.  If you looked on-line at the Walmart website they are now like Amazon.  They have all kinds of things on the website that are not in the stores.  The site will usually give an option of having it mailed or shipped to the nearest store for pickup.  More and more big box stores are having to follow the Amazon model to survive.  I was looked for some machine tools and the Home Depot website popped up.  They do not have the product in their stores but you can order through them.  Home Depot gives the option of having it shipped to the nearest Home Depot or having it delievered to your house.

Edited by Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933
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Needed something from Home Depot and according to their website they had 17 of them at my nearest HD so I drove down the hill and searched the entire tool department and couldn’t find them and a tool department guy looked and couldn’t find them. The manager came out and told me that the information on the website is rarely accurate and they haven’t had what I was after for months. He took a picture of the label on the rack where they were supposed to be and called another store and they said they had them so I drove across town and they didn’t have them the guy was looking at the wrong item.

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I spent Labor Day weekend in the emergency room with cardiac problems.
Believe me... the doctors are every bit as clueless as the retail help you experienced.
The nurses.. however... were quite a different story.

As the Chiefs run the Navy, so the Nurses run the hospitals.
Here in the PRK, I can kinda understand why the retail help is so pitiful... one look at the public schools here provides that answer.

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Most of the employees of the stores that I've been to in the last year or so, act like they are being disturbed if you ask for help from them. This is especially true of Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes and a few other stores. 

 

These "employees" want much higher wages for much less work and even less customer service. They don't want to work, they just want to look at their damn cell phones and get a paycheck they think they're entitled to. Talking to the manager about the poor, or non-existent, customer service is useless as the managers could care even less than their useless employees.

 

People used to take pride in their jobs. It didn't matter if it was a menial job or a highly skilled job, people took pride and had knowledge in relation to their job. I know I did, still do even though I'm retired. I drive by many places that I've wired and say, with pride in my voice, "I wired that place". 

 

Good luck on the e-mails/complaining to (supposed) upper management, but don't be surprised that they don't care either.

 

By the way, BB&B really won't care. The CFO of BB&B just jump out of a 10th story window to his death after he orchestrated a "pump and dump" of BB&B stock. They are closing many "nonperforming" stores. If they really wanted to know why their stores are under performing, they'd visit them as a "secret shopper" or some such and witness the lack of customer service for themselves.

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I care. 
I had two instances of this same “customer service” this week. 
#One at Menards:

I was looking for hydrogen peroxide. Their website said they had 32oz bottles in stock. I ask customer service where the peroxide could be found. 
“I don’t know, probably in the health and beauty section.”

Nope. None there. 
I asked someone else. 
They asked what I wanted it for. I told them “mold removal”

The guy said “You can’t use peroxide for that.”

I told the guy “I want peroxide. Do you have it here or not.”

”I don’t know.”

I left. 
Menards corporate will be getting an email. 
 

#Two at Walmart:

I spent 20 minutes waiting for someone to open the ammo case to buy some .22 ammo. No one arrived. None of the employees they walked past me who didn’t work in that department seemed to be able to tell me who or where the person was that could open the case. 
Walmart will get an email from me. 

 

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I've noticed it in several stores. That is why we do a lot of shopping like that online, sometimes for home delivery, sometimes for store pickup.

 

On the other hand, in the past year I've had store employees spend 15 or 20 minutes helping me find something.

 

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What this conversation describes is a general lack of diligence, competency, service and knowledge.  Our young people are being taught everything else except those values.  And with minimum wages being jacked up way beyond these employees' value, the employees have no reason to improve.  

 

Today, many (but not all) younger people have little concept of a career.  They mostly live day to day, vanely caring mostly about their personal image. 

They have no career connections and see their job as an itinerate passtime to earn money this week. 

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I have had a lot of very good people to deal with.  There is no reason for anyone not to be efficient and helpful, but brick and glass retail is too often controlled by "corporate" offices that are not even a little bit in touch with the customers, the products wanted and needed in any locality, nor, I suspect, even where places like Prescott valley, Arizona are.

 

The "good people" I mentioned are being overshadowed by the drones and that is almost criminal in my opinion.

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I have to say that most of my interactions with store personal have been pretty good. When asking about an item in Walmart, the employees will almost always not only know what I want, but will stop what they are doing and walk me to the item. Pretty much the same in Lowes, Home Depot, Ace Hardware or Frys grocery store.

On the occasion that the item I want isn't in stock near enough that I feel like driving there, I'll just order it delivered. If they simply don't have it, I can probably get it from Amazon. 

 

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21 hours ago, Sgt. C.J. Sabre, SASS #46770 said:

I have to say that most of my interactions with store personal have been pretty good. When asking about an item in Walmart, the employees will almost always not only know what I want, but will stop what they are doing and walk me to the item. Pretty much the same in Lowes, Home Depot, Ace Hardware or Frys grocery store.

On the occasion that the item I want isn't in stock near enough that I feel like driving there, I'll just order it delivered. If they simply don't have it, I can probably get it from Amazon. 

 

I will agree with all except Lowes.  If you doubt me, walk into Lowes alone and pull up beside the sheetrock pile with a cart.  Watch all the employees hastily head to the far end of the store.

 

I've always been tempted to take in a half-dozen  friends and, at an appointed time, press all of the "Assistance Needed" buttons throughout the store, and watch all of the employees frantically look for someplace to hide. 

 

In fairness, most of the Lowes stores do have one or two employees who actually know something about what they sell.  But they're quite rare.  

 

The price gouging there is rampant.  I have literally  interrupted customer-victims there, about to pay exorbitant prices for moulding or shelving, and offered to provide it to them for free when I had material milled and on hand.  I couldn't stand to see some elderly man or woman pay $6 a board-foot for low grade 1X pine shelving.  

 

My separation from Lowes came when I was building my house, I went there nearly daily and bought probably $200K worth of plumbing, electrical and other materials.  Never did any of the staff seem to even recognize me.

 

I quit going there when I returned two bronze gas valves that had pin-hole casting flaws that leaked gas.  I marked them before I returned them to the contractor's  counter, where I explained the serious danger.  The next day, I found both of the marked valves right back out on the rack for some poor person to purchase.   I reported it to State Consumer Affairs, which I was told resulted in a fine, (don't know how that works -- maybe Business and Professions Code ???), but I am sure it didnt change the store corporate policies or behavior. 

 

I make it a rule not to patronize them now.   HD is a bit better, but not much.  Ace is my preferred, although I try to buy from wholesale hardware dealers whenever possible.

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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Some stores still get it. Menards is one such store. Customer service is their hallmark in my opinion. At least the one in our town.  I never have a problem finding help. They are always cheerful and courteous. It’s no wonder Home Depot and Lowe’s is losing business. 

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What I have noticed this year about WalMart is that now that they will do shopping for you, the employees that do this, block aisle or leave the carts they have the order bins in middle so you can't get around. Were once they did shelf stocking during the night or late evenings, they now do it all day with carts, etc. blocking aisles. Yes, as Lowes, Home Depot, WalMart employees have no inkling were items are anymore.  I also agree they are now rude and rarely smile.

The worst I seen this year, and I swear off eating or ordering from any Fast Food places, was standing in line at a Popeye 's, when the person taking orders and money was constantly running her hands threw her hair. They she actually turned around and without putting on gloved started wrapping sandwiches, putting them into bags and handing them to customers. I also saw the counter dirty, greasy. I turned away and told the couple behind me if you can stomach that, your welcome to move forward, I'm leaving. Haven't had a Fast Food item since.

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I haven’t had any problems except for maybe a store being out of an item and that’s not their fault. It’s either sold out or they’re having a hard time getting whatever it is due to the supply chain. I hardly ever use Amazon. Everything is pretty good around here.

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When looking for a particular item and brand I'll go to the store's website and print out their ad for that particular item.  Then I go to the store and tell them "I want this".  That way they can't come up with stupid answers.  If the item is not stocked then the only thing they can do is say "We don't have it in stock but we can order it for you".  I've done this in many stores.

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We have a little Tru Valu hardware store out here in our small town and their customer service is great and I go there first for hardware, gardening, lumber, etc.. but they don’t carry a lot of stuff the big box stores do because they just don’t have the room. I’ve known the owner for 30+ years and have known many of their employees since they were kids. I don’t recall ever having a bad experience there with any employee and they’re all very helpful. Our new Tractor Supply could take some lessons in customer service from them.

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6 hours ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

 

 

I make it a rule not to patronize them now.   HD is a bit better, but not much.  Ace is my preferred, although I try to buy from wholesale hardware dealers whenever possible.

Our local Ace hardware is a great place to shop . Very helpful and knowledgeable people, about as well stocked as you could expect a hardware store to be. They have a gun department, and are the FFL I use for transfers, plus they have a doughnut counter that sells Cop’s&doughnut’s doughnut’s. A local high end doughnut shop. Typically at the national chain stores I have just grown to accept poor service. If you expect good service your just going to be disappointed in most cases. The employees are there mostly just to stock shelves or ring up the sale. And the managers just care about having enough employees to keep the shelves stocked. A guy who retired about the same time as I did took a part time job driving a fork truck for Lowes , he laughed when he was telling me he was considered one of the more skilled employees because he could drive a fork truck all day without destroying things. 
When I want to research a purchase most of the time I now turn to the internet. I find when I do that and go to the store most of the time I know more about the product than the person selling it . Although sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised. 

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11 hours ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

I do hate the idea that Amazon is taking over the world’s retail business, but they do do it better.

Yep.  I went to three different stores in the last week, looking for a replacement pocket knife for the one I have now.  Ended up buying from Amazon because nobody local had anything close to what I wanted.  Ordered Sunday, will be delivered Tuesday.  OKC RAT II on the way.  

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Ace Hardware and Tru-Valu are both excellent with customer service. I've got two close to me and I always go there first. I did buy a washer and dryer and stove from Home Depot about 5 years ago. No problems with them either. I'm currently looking for a snow blower so I've been checking around. So far Ace has the best deal with Home Depot not far behind and free delivery!

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A dumb look. Wanting a boot jack in a chain western store. Person in tennis shoes shows me their jacks on which the hook is barely off the floor. A jack with a real boot heel needs to be up higher so you can get you counter in deep. I suppose these are made for pimps wearing dancing shoes instead of boots.

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14 hours ago, Cold Lake Kid, SASS # 51474 said:

I do.

The general level of these minimum wage employees tells me the will never rise above the level of mediocracy to earn the salaries and positions they would like.

And they'll wonder why? 

That's why I really object to minimum wage laws.  I've run businesses where I would rather pay a really good worker overtime or do the job myself than have to pay someone minimum wage when they weren't worth half that.

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About 15 years ago Shortcake lost a small camera while shopping with one of the grandkids. About a week later she was back at the same store (midwestern chain) and asked the associate at the register if anyone turned in a Kodak.

 

"I don't know what that is," was the reply.

 

A small camera.

 

The girl takes out a box of lost items that were turned in.

 

"There it is," Shortcake says pointing to it.

 

"Well, I don't know," says the clerk.

 

Shortcake points to a return address label stuck to the camera. "That's my name right there."

 

"Well, I don't know," says the clerk again.

 

Finally somebody with authority stumbles by and tells the clerk to give her the camera. Seriously.

 

She had a store credit card there for over 20 years. You would think an item turned into lost and found with a name and address on it, would at least prompt a search of the store's credit customers. Where there is additional contact information. 

 

Problem solving/critical thinking skills have left the building.

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Only two reasons to ever go in a Boot Barn again:  they are the only store for forty miles that sell Durango boots, and they have two people at the local store who can block and clean hats the way I want them.

 

Oh, wait: there's a tall gangly cowgirl working there who will go to the trouble to find the boots I want and make double certain they fit.

 

Other than that they are simply wasting real estate.

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2 minutes ago, Forty Rod SASS 3935 said:

Only two reasons to ever go in a Boot Barn again:  they are the only store for forty miles that sell Durango boots, and they have two people at the local store who can block and clean hats the way I want them.

 

Oh, wait: there's a tall gangly cowgirl working there who will go to the trouble to find the boots I want and make double certain they fit.

 

Other than that they are simply wasting real estate.

So you do get some good service there, right?

Edited by Pat Riot, SASS #13748
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14 hours ago, Yul Lose said:

Needed something from Home Depot and according to their website they had 17 of them at my nearest HD so I drove down the hill and searched the entire tool department and couldn’t find them and a tool department guy looked and couldn’t find them. The manager came out and told me that the information on the website is rarely accurate and they haven’t had what I was after for months. He took a picture of the label on the rack where they were supposed to be and called another store and they said they had them so I drove across town and they didn’t have them the guy was looking at the wrong item.

 

They have them in the store. They are in a box on the top shelf waiting to be put on the shelf.

 

Too bad they are not smart enough to figure that out. 

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Gotta go the other way.

 

This has been some time back, because Daddy retired when he was 62, which would have been 1984. But when he was working he frequently had to work out of town. His area of responsibility went from Pensacola to Tallahassee.

 

He was in Apalachicola for a week. And every day he ate lunch in the same restaurant. Friday, on the way home, he realized he did not have his pipe, and must have left it in the ashtray at the restaurant. It was not worth turning around and driving 30 miles back and then another 30 miles to where he was at. Oh well.

 

Six months later he is back in Apalachicola, and he went to the same restaurant for lunch. When the waitress brought him a menu she brought him his pipe, and told him that he had left it there the last time he was there.

 

I'm not really sure whether that's just an example of excellent customer service, or an example of small town. But it impressed me.

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