Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Mystery of Life #2...

So you own a retail store situated in a strip center. There are several stores next to you including a sub shop, a yogurt place, maybe even a wireless shop and a dry cleaner. Your shop may only have three or four parking spaces out front, but there is a parking lot full of spaces available to all just beyond the row at your front door. You want to be a good neighbor to your retail friends, so you don't place any reserved parking signs. Who needs them right? There are plenty of spaces. Why would anyone park in front of your store and go somewhere else?

Just as you complete that thought, a Lexus pulls up and out piles mom and kids. Expecting to finally have some customers you hurriedly hide your lunch under the counter. But wait, they aren't coming in. Instead they head to the sub shop for lunch.

Then, a SUV pulls up. A businessman jumps out. You hang up the phone and prepare to greet him. D'oh! He's there to pick up dry cleaning next door.

You have free time to contemplate: Mystery of life #2 - Why people insist on parking in front of stores that they aren't visiting?

Even though the parking lot is full of spaces, they prefer to take a spot in front of your store and then have the audacity to visit another retailer. The courteous thing would be to park somewhere else. After all, the actual walking distance is probably less anyway.

Mystery of Life #2a - Why do people insist on arriving at a store at closing time?

You work in retail sales. You've been at the store for 11 hours and have seen only one person, the postman, all day. Its closing time and you're shutting down, eager to see the family. You will spend the next 30 minutes driving home, but its worth it just to get the heck out of the store.

Its 1 minute to closing and you are gathering your belongings only to see a family walk in. Now if these were serious shoppers, people who were ready to purchase that night, you would gladly stay all night. After all, you are a professional and this is your business. But no. These people just finished dinner and a movie. They could have come in at 6 or 7 and you would have gladly helped them even if they weren't ready to buy just yet. But its now 30 minutes after closing and these people clearly are not serious, but simply wasting time - your time.

Both of these examples are played out every day in retailers everywhere. Next time you are out shopping, take a moment to show a little respect to those hard working individuals who are managers and sales associates in retail. They are people too.

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