We've been shopping today for furniture. That's not something we do often, and is something I'd rather not do at all, but it had to be done. We went to four shops and the service was markedly different between them.
Oak Furniture Land had a very eager and attentive young man who was really keen to help. He showed us around the store, listened to what we wanted and tried his best to find it. He couldn't, as the shop didn't stock what we were looking for, but he did try, even offering to pull things out and put them into the configuration we'd mentioned, and I felt bad leaving him without a sale.
Then we went to Barker and Stonehouse. I had to approach an 'assistant', who said vaguely that we might find something upstairs and continued her conversation. Upstairs was a young woman at a table who showed us through an Ercol catalogue despite the fact that they had nothing to show us and I'd said that I didn't want to buy unseen. After a couple of minutes she suggested that we might have more luck downstairs, where we'd started.
So on to Furniture Village. Again we were directed upstairs, but this time the assistant looked pointedly at me and suggested that we might want to use the lift. The lift was clearly designed for moving furniture and had controls resembling a forklift truck. When we got out Mr Dog made a quip about it. The assistant gave us a funny look and said that it was better than nothing, and continued in a rather peculiar manner for the rest of our visit. We looked at the items while she followed us chatting into her phone, but there wasn't much that was anything like what we wanted. There was one display unit thing (shelving on a cupboard base) that we quite liked (probably on the basis that anything was better than nothing) but was very narrow in depth. I wondered if I'd fit larger books on it, and the assistant suggested I stack them longways. I could get them a few deep that way, apparently. Erm, no.
We'd said that we didn't like the industrial look, and she kept returning to stuff that looked like washed up pallets he'd together with rivets and saying 'Oh, but you won't be interested in that, will you?' So we left.
Finally in desperation we hit IKEA. Entirely self service and entirely hellish. Bickering couples, bored children, no furniture that came close to what we were looking for, and a one-way system that meant we walked about 100 miles to get to the exit that was another 100 miles away from the car.
On the way home my daughter rang, and when I told her about the morning's experience she said that there was no pleasing me. Maybe she's right - I very rarely go to shops as I prefer to shop online, but you can't really tell what furniture will be like unless you see it so I made an exception.
What sort of service do you prefer? Would you rather have someone two steps behind you as you walk around the store, or do you prefer to be left alone and just guess at whether you can buy extra shelves, or if there is something like 'that one over there' in a larger or smaller width? Share your shopping experiences here .
Doodledog Wed 10-Aug-22 23:52:21
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Franbern Thu 11-Aug-22 08:25:10
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