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Readers Respond: Retail Store Atmosphere Turn-Offs

Responses: 25


We all have our own little pet peeves and what may turn off one customer may not bother another. When you walk in to a retail store, what part of the store's atmosphere may affect your shopping experience? What turns you off in certain stores?

So clutter I dont go there no more!!!

In the past few months our nice Freds store in Byron Georgia has went way down hill. You cant get a cart thru the store anymore without running over somting or having to move things. Its discusting. I am done shopping there. I have been a regular customer for years and this current manager has ruined the store. I quit going and thought ok I will see if it has gotten better. Well i went there today and it will be the last time I go there until it is cleaned up. I have commented about it to a couple friends and they totally agreed about how bad it has gotten. Also your prices arent that great. U have russler jeans for $14.oo and they are only $9 at walmart and Vanity Fair. So the prices arent that great. Greed and clutter are not places I want to shop!!!!
—Guest Pamela Hess

response to watching you always

If you don't want to watched constantly while shopping....keep your handbag zipped and closed...it's an invitation to watch you...staff would not be doing their jobs if they didn't. Equally as bad are the shoppers who keep going in and out of their pockets for their cell phone. It's a retail store not a phone booth.

unkind sales people

I worked at Nordstrom for 15 years, what ever it takes to make the customer happy was the motto, I can not stand the lack of respect to people young or old, black or white, rich or homeless that I see in so many retail stores. Personal relationship makes for great salesman ship.
—Guest Patty

Overactive Security in the Store

I have never shoplifted in my life, and yet whenever I go into some stores (I'm an older woman) they act as if I am Public Enemy Number One. I am aware that customers are always watched, so I try not to appear "suspicious" to anyone. I just want to shop or browse and not be bothered. Yet in some stores - and actually, now, in all stores - employees are dispatched to the same aisle to keep an eye on me (or whomever). Sometimes they've stood within inches of what I am browsing. I don't stand close to merchandise, I make sure whatever it is I am browsing is never out of the sight of any cameras (they all have cameras), and I am respectful of being a shopper in their store. But whenever this happens to me, I get thoroughly annoyed and I have walked out of stores who do this, when I fully intended on buying something. WE'RE NOT ALL THIEVES! And you're losing business if you think we are.
—Guest Sher

Unsupervised children in stores

Allowing children to use merchandise that they doesn't belong to them, and tearing around the store yelling and running, and bothering the customers. Take your children home, and get a sitter if you can't control them.
—Guest annoyed customer

Customer Turnoffs

What turns me off is when there are not enough dressing rooms.
—Guest Rosetta Ledyard

Checkout cleanness

I would have thought the checkout organization and cleanness closer to position 5. As you say properly, it is usually the moment where a monetary transaction is taking course, therefore, when the customer is providing more attention to the moment (not as much attention as when choosing his cereals, since now we're dealing with money). An association of an unorganized balcony or a sloppy salesperson performing the transaction can definitely have downsides (even in an unconscious way) to the way a customer perceives the store, or if he'll comeback. Basically because it's the moment where his attention is higher (even if only slightly) and because he's paying with -his- money. The cleanness outside the store, as guest Michael pointed out, even if it's a public area, is very important. Look at McDonalds, they clean out outside when necessary to keep a clean image in the area of the restaurant.
—Guest Lawrence

Watching you always

The one thing i can't stnd is when you're looking at the cothes in the shop and the sales clerks are watching to like hawks making sure you're not doing or braking anything to the clothing. I hate that.
—Guest Maya

Social Menace; lack of pricing

So there I am. It's dinner time and the fridge is empty. I hike down to the store and it's late evening. Teenagers (and I know I sound old here, but I really don't care because I have a valid point) - standing around, loitering and the staff aren't doing much about it. It's not that they don't know what they're doing as they get in the way and as their demeanor is totally anti-social - oh they know what they're doing, they're the Nacncys and Sids of their time and they're revelling in the disturbance they cause. One solution that comes to mind for this, and it's one I'd impliment if I owned a store, would be to play classical music over the PA at this time of the evening. I don't think they'd be hanging around - a little Mozart would soon spoil their buzz. Next point, the lack of pricing display in the store. That's probably an even bigger turn off than the latter. Really, shop owners should take more time to recognise the vertues of adequate price display. Thats all.
—Guest Griff

you, the customer

what really turns me off is the disgusting way in which you, the customer, treat store merchandise. its inexcusable. and please, leave that child with a sitter if you cant control him or her, and stop letting them destroy merchandise that does not belong to you. what is wrong with you people?

Ignoring customers while playing pranks

I was at a customer service counter that had 5 people waiting in line. A new employee was being trained. The a co worker was sticking green post it notes all over the trainies back while ignoring the growing line. The employee then walked out of the store leaving a long line of customers to have a cigarette. The new employee had to walk around the store attempting to get help. The Green post it notes all over her back. The regular employee returned still leaving the customers waiting in line as she would only answer questions for the trainie. Not help customers?


I used to work at a store that had (what we thought were) ugly, scuffed beigey-brown floor tiles. That is, until the day we had to move an old piece of furniture and discovered that the tiles underneath were actually shiny and blue! Myself and a few co-workers tried mopping to get it clean. When word got out about the cleaning, the warehouse manager, one of his staff, and the financial controller for the entire chain all reprimanded me (individually) for using Mr. Clean because it costs money! Needless to say, the brown floor came back--and I left.
—Guest Jordan

Saving a Spot at the Checkout

A few items approached a checkout counter. A couple in the lineup. A young fellow in front no items though pacing. I placed my items at the end of the counter. He stated in a rude way. "Do you mind? I am here." I stated, "Where is your merchandise?" Maybe he wanted some info from the clerk. He the stated, "Behind you, you old effen..." and a few other choice words. I didn't think you could hold a spot in a line. I stated, "No one was there when I entered." Exchanged a few words. I usually don't take that though being a pensioner and a disability. Why a confrontation I just went to another checkout. How kids have changed today. Mind you there are some good one's.
—Guest gmc

Major Turn-off

Biggest turn offs are mess, clutter and lack of employees.
—Guest rav


on the part of retailers, and customers. I have a college degree, run my own small art supply store, and have multiple tattoos and piercings. I am not dirty, drunk, or a shoplifter. I am not here to rip you off, or steal your children. I just happen to like the aesthetic. At 37 years old, I like to think I have earned the right to be judged on my merits, not your pre-conceived notions. Many, many people are getting tattoos, or piercings, and the vast majority are good people. I always advise folks to try talking to someone, then you can decide whether they are 'unprofessional' based on real knowledge.
—Guest cb

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