I’m a little late to the game here but I definitely think it’s worth participating and a great idea.
Here’s the deal: Julie Frederickson of Almost Girl has organized a week of frugal and political fashion blogging for anyone willing to participate. Read her initial post [here]
We are sharing our “views on fashion, consumption, individuality, and the importance of fashion in our lives” through Black Friday (you know, that huge shopping day after Thanksgiving … that day I don’t usually leave the house.) Adbusters likes to call it BND – Buy Nothing Day
Don’t get me wrong – I personally don’t mind a little consumerism. What I don’t like is essentially a mass hysteria that black Friday creates. Waiting in lines to try on clothes, pushing through crowds at the mall just to get to that next store, people get rude, they get cranky, it’s just not a happy or fun thing and I want shopping to remain happy and fun. I would rather stay at home, in fact I’d rather stay at home than go to the mall anytime between Thanksgiving and Christmas to be quite frank.
A little story about holiday customer service (plus a grumpy customer): somehow I went out to the mall at some point before Christmas last year to go clothes shopping. I found an awesome creme cashmere sweater for about $50. The checkout line was HUGE but I wanted the sweater so I got in line to wait.
The woman behind me complained and complained – very vocally. She was making me grumpy just having to listen to her. Finally when she said “I see salespeople on the floor, why can’t they get them to open up more cash registers.” I finally broke down and turned to her and said “a lot of times they hire people for one month around the holidays. These people are often there to clean up and take care of things that require minimum training. More than likely the people you see cleaning up the clothes people have thrown on the floor aren’t trained to work the cash register.” Response “ooooooh, that makes sense.” She didn’t complain after that.
I too wish that they would open up more registers around the holiday season BUT I also know that a lot of stores hire people as floor staff only – not someone authorized and trained to use a register. Someone who has access to the cash register has to be trusted, they have to know store policies, they have to know what they are doing with the register or time has to be spent on training them to use the register (and they may also have to pay more per hour to find someone who isn’t looking for a mindless seasonal job.)
Plus you have to realize that the more the store has to spend on training and service, those costs can be passed along to you as a customer. There are times I would rather certain businesses spent more money on service and training but it’s up to each business to decide how to walk that line of service, price and profit. You get to choose whether your overall shopping experience is worth coming back for (or staying for, I could have put the sweater back instead of getting in line.)
From my own business point of view I think customer service pays and is worth the time, effort and cost in most cases but I also think sometimes businesses should be cut some slack when they aren’t perfect or ideal (though it’s a different story when someone is unapologetically and blatantly rude to you.)
Anyway – I will try and keep additional Black Friday posts to a more positive nature. As part of this as well, I will not be adding items this week to my promos, coupon codes and sales section. Look for my next post tomorrow! 🙂