Commentary by H.G. Listiak
Retailers ... Respect Sells!
Welcome to my world. Some retailers hope the holiday boom continues into this year while others hope it just picks up. So why did some sellers excel and others went to hell? I have my own theory. When you look at product, it seems for the most part, to be about the same in price and quality. So what's the key to shaking out the wallets and loosening the purse strings? They all advertise and hawk their wares about equally. I think it's the people that the vending retailers hire. Although I rarely do this, I'll share some personal experience to enhance my theory. Christmas Eve on my way home from the golf course, of course, I stopped by an Osco/Albertsons for one item. A nice employee helps me find it. Then, as I exploded with Christmas cheer, my arms so full of items that I started dropping stuff, she got me a cart and helped me, all the time flashing the same million dollar smile I saw on all the employee's faces. I'll be back, with my money. Later in the evening, before dining at my favorite restaurant, a few doors away I stopped by an AJs to pick up one item. It was five minutes to 7:00 but although customers were inside, the manager would not let me in. He said they were closing at 7:00, an hour early. I showed him my watch, set to Naval Observatory time, and explained that it would only take a couple of minutes to do my business. He refused even when I told him he could lose a good customer with his snide, abusive tone. He was shouting as I walked away. I shouted back. I'll never be back in his store. Later I learned he and his employees had hassled my favorite restauranteer, who spends thousands with him, earlier in the day. My point is that retailers who have good courteous, service minded people, had a happy holidays. Those who don't probably didn't and no amount of advertising and hype can make up for a merchandising megalomaniac who fails to give the customer the respect that their hard earned dollars deserve, as I see it ... I'm H.G. Listiak.