I am so angry right now and it’s not how I normally conduct myself!? I have had a day that has truly tested me and if I wasn’t pregnant I would go home and console myself with a bottle of wine!
My grumble is about online websites.
Not only the big ones e.g. NZ sale, designer brands online etc but those based offshore that are category specific i.e. lingerie, shoes etc and market into NZ , and the people who ensure that the demand for these products see more and more of them popping up like mushrooms overnight to meet consumer demand. Some of them arriving, ripping off unsuspecting customers and disappearing back to wherever it is they came from.
Like all of the websites based offshore they have their place and are great for sourcing product that is not or has never been available in NZ HOWEVER I have to say people if you do not shop local, there is a very real chance that when you are desperate to buy something last-minute for something unplanned (a special bra to go with an amazing dress to wear out “tonight”, a pair of pantyhose because yours just ran or a pair of heels to wear with a new outfit for the weekend?) you will be out of luck because there will be no local stores for you to try on and buy last-minute. Waiting 14-21 days (and more) for something to arrive is great if you are not in a hurry but one day you will want to be able to shop “local”……
I own and run a “bricks and mortar” lingerie store and there is a lot of time and money that has gone into setting up my business along with plenty of blood, sweat and tears.
There are costs associated with such a store. Rent, rates, insurance for stock, building insurance, water rates, power, any staff costs, ACC levies (and plenty more I am sure that I can’t recall right now). We do not order stock when a customer orders it. We buy it up to 6 months ahead of time and it’s paid for as soon as it arrives. If it sits in your store for a while- too bad. These overheads take care of any profit that you may have been lucky enough to secure when buying stock for your business.
I know there will be a large number of people out there right now thinking “so what” and I guess I don’t blame you wholeheartedly. Money is tight and financial people are still preaching doom and gloom but I am asking you to shop local wherever possible and be respectful of those of us who work bloody hard in our businesses doing doggy paddle frantically trying to keep our heads above water.
I have spent countless hours in the past few weeks fitting people for lingerie in my store making sure that the size, style, shape and purpose for which the garment is intended are perfect for the customer to have the customer tell me that they are going to buy it online as it’s cheaper. It’s cheeky, rude, disrespectful and makes me furious!!!
It proves to me that there is and always will be the need for “bricks and mortar” stores as people will always want to try, touch and look at the quality before buying online but if these stores are not supported we will not survive the economic downturn and you will have no option other than to buy without trying and spend weeks if not months returning ill-fitting garments and waiting for replacement size. Cause and effect plain and simple.
Can you see the future? “Please line up nipples with the dots on your computer screen and we will suggest ideal bra for you”??
I treat my customers like gold. They are all my VIP’s and they always will be. Many of them have become close friends and I look forward to seeing them every time the come and visit or shop. I reward them with loyalty points and a glass of wine or something yummy on occasion when they come in and spend time with them making sure we get it right.
I only mention this because off shore websites are marketing hard at the moment into NZ and we are sending all our money off shore and there is very little support of the NZ economy or retailers/service providers :(
I think this is the fastest blog I have ever written. Fuelled by anger and a desire to get it off my chest so I can plan for a better Tuesday and rest of the week.
To all the retailers out there….we need to make our voices heard before it’s too late.