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Communications Design Industry Discussion, Inspiration, & Tutorials

Nov 4, 2011

Retail Rantings and Ramblings

By On 07:13
Now I’m completely convinced. The large brand name stores that we know and love are desperately trying to put themselves out of business; in a manner of speaking.

I noticed 3 weeks ago when I had to go to the Verizon store to get my phone replaced. The customer service was TERRIBLE and the in-store prices were extortionary. The phone that I originally bought for $100 cost nearly $240 in the store. Before I made my trip to the small brick-and-mortar edifice in Charles village, I did some quick checking online so that the sticker shouck wouldn’t kill me. The price was half what I was later quoted in the store. AND the price on Amazon was 1/3 the verbal price quote.

I spent over 30 minutes in the store with the salesman but walked out phoneless. The only real help that he offered is that he suggested that if I can find a cheaper price online, I should go ahead and make that purchase. I walked out in disgust ant then it dawned on me: large companies like Verizon have been outsourcing their US-Based customer care staff for years, and taking money out of the traditional storefronts; hence the closed or—just as often seen—understaffed stores in the mall.

Factors that lead me to this conclusion include:

  • Declining staff training/customer service
  • Increased availability of goods on retail websites, and discounts for using online services
  • Increase in tele-sales and customer service forces in companies like ATT and Target
  • My razor sharp intuition