May. 12th, 2011

Dear Kohls

May. 12th, 2011 08:59 pm
algeh: (Default)
Dear Kohls,

Thank you for actually carrying, in stock, the bra I wanted. This puts you one up on JC Penney, who wasted a bunch of my time only to ultimately try to hand-hold me through ordering it online via the roundabout process of talking out loud to a salesclerk (pretty much the worst of both worlds as far as my shopping preferences go).

However, I would like to clue you in to something about the bra-buying public: many of us have a pre-existing opinion about either the bra size we wear or the bra style we like. Some of us even have opinions about both! Thus, sticking all of the bagged bras of a certain brand into a two-sided display with a total of sixteen shelves to explore and doing so, as near as I can tell, with no organizing principle whatsoever, is pretty much not awesome. Many stores choose to organize their similar displays by style, then band size, then cup size, which makes it fairly easy to trial-and-error your way to a bra that fits within any given style by grabbing the one you think you need and several adjacent ones before going in the fitting room. I could also see an argument that organizing first by band size, then cup size, then style might encourage women to explore a variety of styles in the size that they already know fits them and that this might be more convenient for them. Organizing by some other principle, such as color or cup size first would be odd but at least let me know the shape of my search space and let me skip searching some sections of the display.

I came in knowing my cup size, band size, and the exact model number I wanted. To put this into perspective, if I could buy bras at Napa Auto Parts (and I'd probably buy them nowhere else if I could), I could have walked right up to the counter with this amount of information and been out of there in five minutes with either my bra or an explanation of which store it was at and how long it would take them to get it in from there on the truck.

Back in reality (and at Kohls), after poking at several shelves, I found a bra in the style I wanted but a size very different from my own, which gave me the incentive to go on. Eventually, after searching all 16 shelves, I found two bras in the size and style I wanted and an empty package that indicated it once contained a third (I found this first, on about the 5th shelf I searched, and it gave me motivation to keep going). Neither were anywhere near each other. One was on the top shelf on one side of the display, and one was as far away as possible on the bottom shelf of the diagonally opposite unit. Neither were surrounded by other items that were of similar size or style (aside from all being bagged bras of this particular brand, since that was true of the entire display). For all I know, my inattention to detail means that I missed the Holy Grail of bras, the One That Isn't White, Yet Is My Size and Style, in the process of trying to examine each package individually to see if it was the one I was looking for.

I might note that at no point during the time I am shelf-reading this entire display do I see a sales associate of any kind, a level of being left alone I'd previously associated only with used book stores. (This is fitting, because the level of disorganization was also something I'd only seen previously in used book stores, and not often there.)

I was going to share all of this with you in the survey that my receipt kindly invited me to take, but there were no long-form comment opportunities provided, only a bunch of vague questions with Likert-scale-type answers and a few yes/nos. It is times like these that I miss paper forms, for they had margins in which I could provide commentary.

Thank you for providing a minimally adequate shopping experience.

Sincerely,

Me

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algeh

August 2013

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