What makes a good shopping experience?

Is it just me, or is Macy’s one of the harder department stores to shop in?

Yesterday I went to Macy’s for the first time in a couple of months. I was looking for a pair of casual pants (black, navy, khaki, size 6) to bridge the season-change from summer to fall, something similar to the black crops I’d bought there back in the spring.

Now I’d be the first to admit I have two basic shopping styles:

  • Occasionally, I like to browse. Walk into a store, look over what’s there, pick things up. Touch-and-roll, my sister calls it. I find it relaxing. I get ideas. I rarely spend money. It’s more of a sisterly/girlfriend kind of shopping.
  • More often, I power-shop. Decide beforehand what I want or need, then race from store to store until I find it. At the right price. In the right size and color. Sometimes I spend money; sometimes I don’t. It’s the kind of shopping men generally do.

Anyway, as I was meandering from department to department in Macy’s, I became more and more confused. And frustrated.

Nothing made sense in their “organization” of merchandise. It was like somebody had scooped everything up into a hot air balloon, then opened the bottom and dumped it all out, leaving stuff exactly where it landed.

I found a pair of black dress slacks, size 18, by Style&co. right next to a lime green, size petite, scooter skirt by Karen Scott, for instance.

Okay, that’s just a fluke, I told myself.

But it quickly became obvious the store didn’t arrange things by color, or size, or style, or designer — things most stores do to help out their customers.

Nope, it was like a yard sale. Or an Easter egg hunt.

Even the signage along the walls didn’t help.

Maybe I should just give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe things were haphazardly placed because they were trying to move the summer lines out in preparation for back-to-school and fall. Maybe a bunch of lazy customers had come in, tried stuff on, then failed to put it back in the right place. Maybe disorganization is the new style in merchandising. Maybe it’s Macy’s way of forcing customers to consult the salespeople rather than helping themselves.

Ya think??

Somehow, I’m not convinced. It all comes across as a mess to me. It doesn’t make me want to linger in their store. Or buy anything.

And Sales is really the bottom line, isn’t it?

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8 thoughts on “What makes a good shopping experience?

  1. I’ve never liked Macy’s (but I did shop at Robinson’s May before it became Macy’s.) I can relate to your frustration at not being able to find what you need.

    Lately, I’ve been having trouble finding clothes I like in my size (also 6). Seems they are in 12, 14 and 16…not going to work. On the bright side, it saves us money :)

    • I read somewhere that the “average” women’s size these days is 12-14; no wonder we’re having trouble finding clothing to fit!! You’re right that it saves us money, though it certainly costs in terms of time, doesn’t it?!

  2. Macy’s. Awful. Many things about how Macy’s is organized makes me crazy but trying to figure out what is on sale and not sale is one the biggest one’s. There have been so many times that I thought I was buying something on sale, stood in line and been told the sign did not apply to the item I was buying. Fortunately in Chicago we have lot’s of options but I miss the old Marshall Fields. I tend to shop at Chico’s almost exclusively.

    • I just loved shopping at the old Marshall Fields — we tried to go to Chicago once a year at least to shop there and visit one of my uncles when I was a kid. That’s just awful about standing in line to buy something you thought was on sale when it wasn’t — what are they thinking?

    • Well, Lynne, it’s nice to hear that some Macy’s at least are shopper-friendly! this one must be a fluke. To top it off, you really have to hunt to find a clerk to help you, too. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one! You’d think they’d invest some energy in making their stores “friendlier,” but I guess that’s asking too much!

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