i ran some errands tonight, and i went to the two scrapbooking stores in langley, precious memories and clipper street. i've talked about them before, i usually call precious memories the cheesy store, and clipper street the non-cheesy store, cause that's pretty much what they are!
the cheesy store is really big, but pretty mediocre in terms of style. i just started going there last fall when i discovered it, and it definitely caters to the "SCRAPBOOKING" crowd. think of all the stereotypical things that come to mind for scrapbooking, and that's what it is. the name kinda gives that away! it's a bit pricier than clipper street, but they have really good sales ALL THE TIME (which is probably why their prices are higher to start with!). they also carry some things that clipper street doesn't, like UTEE in more colours, or more colours of stazOn inks.
anyway. i usually only go there for sales, because it's not a super encouraging environment. there are always a bunch of people working, but you usually have to wait for them to stop talking to each other to ask a question, or to have your purchases rung up. i've heard way more about other staff and other customers than i should ever hear, but they're always gossiping or complaining in front of me.
tonight i went there to buy some UTEE with a 40% coupon. i picked up the UTEE and was wandering around checking out other stuff that was on sale. a guy came in, probably late teens or early 20s, with obviously dyed black hair and piercings, wearing skinny black jeans and a hoodie. your basic scenester look, right? kind of uncommon in the suburbs, but definitely not that rare. he looked around, like you do when you walk into a store, and then he started walking towards the back corner where the classes are held. one of the staff people CALLED ACROSS and asked if she could help him. she was really loud, and she got everyone's attention, the guy and other customers alike, and everyone in the front of the store turned to look at him. the sales clerk walked towards him, and so did 2 other employees. the poor guy looked super uncomfortable, and stammered out something about looking at canvases while he waited for someone who was in the class. the staff near him started talking to him in a quieter voice, so i don't know what they said to him, but he turned around and left the store.
i was really annoyed, because i felt like they were jumping to conclusions based on how he looked, but i was PISSED when i went up to the counter and had to listen to two of the clerks finish talking about what had happened before they would serve me. apparently they had gone back to the class and asked if anyone really has a son (i guess he was waiting for his mom) who would be waiting for them. one woman replied yes, she had told her son to come inside to wait for her. they didn't believe him! and as she told the story, the clerk kind of shrugged, like who cares (which seems to be a reoccurring attitude there!), and that made me even more annoyed.
seriously, what TOTALLY CRAPPY service that was! yes, they're a scrapbooking store, and he didn't look like your typical scrapbooking enthusiast, but so what? they didn't need to be rude! the polite thing would have been for ONE employee, not ALL OF THEM, to have quietly gone to him and asked if there was anything that they could help with, just like they do to everyone else who comes into the store. there was absolutely no need to draw everyone's attention to him like that. and honestly, they sell things that can be used for non-scrapbooking too! i don't scrapbook, but i still shop there! maybe he was looking for ink pads, or paper for an art project or something. they had no way of knowing.
i was really tempted to say something to them while i was there, but i honestly didn't feel like they'd give a shit. i'm considering calling the manager tomorrow, but i've seen her in there before, and i'm not so sure she'd care either.
overall i just left the the store feeling really angry and upset, and that's not how you want your customers to feel as they leave!
but then i went to clipper street, where the staff was awesome as usual, and the store itself was just as welcoming as it always is. (ie, nicely decorated, never any empty shelves or racks, more artsy than cutesy imagery, etc) the clerk remembered me from the last time i was in when she was working, and asked me about stuff from the previous visit. we talked about our favourite lines of paper, and she was awesome. i've been going to clipper street for a while now, MUCH longer than i've gone to precious memories, and the staff have always been incredibly professional and super friendly. i've NEVER heard them say a bad thing about customers or other staff members, and they actually TALK to you as they ring you up, which never happens at precious memories. and incidentally, the staff have all been consistent, a new person might start, but the same people have been there as long as i've been going there. at the cheesy store, they seem to have new people all the time, but they never stick around long. i guess that's telling huh?
what do you do when you have negative shopping experiences? do you tell the store? i'd really like to not go back to precious memories, but they're the only ones in the area that carry some of the stuff i use.....