In the UK the retail industry is complaining about lack of customers. A couple of days ago I went into Glasgow city centre to do some Christmas shopping. On my way I visited a well-known deli with a café on the ground floor. As I tried to go down to the basement deli I found it was roped off. A young woman in the café told me, “He is away to the bank. He’ll be back in about 15 minutes.” This was at 10.00 AM on a weekday. I left. I found another well-staffed deli. In future I’ll go to the shop which has someone willing to serve me and to take my money.
I then went to a perfume/cosmetics concession in a large department store to buy my wife’s favourite perfume, a not inexpensive brand. There was no one at the concession counter. When she finished with customer she was attending, I asked the woman at the neighbouring concession if anyone was about. She said, “Oh, they’re away for their break.” They! There was more than one and they had to take their breaks at the same time! I left and found another shop where I could buy the perfume. That’s where I’ll shop in future.
No wonder shop sales are down more than 1%. If shops do not have staff willing to sell and to take money, customers will go elsewhere. As I’ve written before, it’s really simple. Customer service makes the difference. Ignoring or ill-treating customers is like locking the doors on a business.