Aveda – The Store
Now I have used Aveda products for a long time. I think they're great quality products and I totally dig the smell of them. (At one point I even had them mix up cologne oil for me based on the smell of one of their hairsprays) All this to say, that I love the Aveda, however yesterday I ran into an Aveda store to grab a bottle of their "Brilliant" hairspray and with only minutes to spare before I was meeting people for dinner, the last thing I needed was to be held up by the Aveda gal behind the counter. Aveda - The Store - Don't Get Me Started!
I am what most would consider a power shopper. I know what I'm going in for, how much I expect to pay and how to maneuver to the checkout with the least amount of shoppers so that I can get in and get out painlessly. How do I know how to do this? I spent most of my younger days working retail so believe me when I say, I know what good and bad service is, where the salespeople hide the good sale merchandise (that they're hiding from the public so that they can get it for themselves later with their employee discount) and the marketing trick of putting the expensive stuff up front hoping power shoppers like me will get confused and dazzled by the latest thing and pick that up and buy it before we even begin to navigate to the back of the store where all the real bargains are kept. That's right, for the most part I can get in and out in about ten minutes, fifteen if the next season's stuff is out on display.
So now that you know the above you know that I know exactly where my target is when I walk into most stores and when it comes to a store like Aveda, I know what is where, believe me. So I breeze in and go immediately to the shelf where the hairspray that I want is located. The salesgirl is behind the counter with her back to me (a no-no in all retail, I don't care if you have to back out of there like you've had an audience with the Queen of England, never leave the front of the store without one eye on it because you just lost $500 in merchandise while you were facing the back wall checking in merchandise on the back counter - it's a little like being on stage, you can never turn directly to speak with a person because you'll block you or the person you're talking to, you have to "cheat out" a little so that the audience gets to see your faces). Within seconds I was at the counter and by the time I plunked down the bottle on the counter and had slid my finger across the face of my Iphone to check for messages, she turned around to greet me. Seeing the bottle and me, she gestured to a tray with tea in little paper Dixie cups, "Would you like some tea?" "No, thank you I just need to get this and get out." Now any good sales person (i.e., a gay man) would have known from the look in my eye and the turn down of the tea that I meant business and just wanted to pay and get the hell out of there but no doubt due to some rules and regulations sent down from the corporate office, instead of just ringing me up she said, "Well then, can I put some boogie boogie oil on the back of your neck?" (Yes, I made that name up because I wasn't paying attention to what she said - no, I don't believe there is any boogie boogie oil out there but then again you never know, right?) I just sort of looked at her and said, "No thank you. I really just want to pay for this." She seemed to not get my sense of urgency or anything else, she was just going through the checklist of what to say to a guest that someone had given her (I know all of this because I've written and implemented these types of procedures for companies). And then, as if this whole thing wasn't taking too long as it was she asked me if I wanted a bag or not. No doubt the company does this to save costs (though they'll market it as "our way of helping the world stay a greener place" or something) so after dealing with the bag issue and then her almost trembling at the thought of having to make change for the cash I gave her (even though the register tells you how much change to give) I finally had my hairspray and was on my way out to dinner.
Now I know that some of you reading this are thinking that I was one of those rushing, asshole customers but I can assure you that even though I wrote it here this way, I used all my "pleases" "thank yous" and was smiley and delightfully friendly in spite of the urgency I had running around inside me like a Jamaican from the recent Olympics.
The thing is that I get what Aveda is trying to deliver. They're trying to deliver a "Zen-like" experience in their stores, a "hey, slow down, you move to fast. Gotta make the morning last" kind of a thing. And I appreciate it when I'm not in a hurry but once the tea gets turned down do you have to offer the oil on the back of the neck? And what's up with the whole oil thing anyway? Is that new? What happens when I let Ashlee put that crap on the back of my neck? Is it going to get all over my Prada shirt or drip down my back? Eww. I say, serve the tea and the tranquility Aveda but leave it at that please. Unless I've got a cold and you're going to rub Vicks under my nose, I don't want your salespeople rubbing oil on my neck, thank you. Aveda - The Store - Don't Get Me Started!
Read More Scott @ www.somelikeitscott.com