47 thoughts on “June 5, 2016

  1. “The customers are buying three sizes of the clothes, trying them on at home, then returning them in store. That’s why our sales are tanking, sir.”

    “No, that CAN’T be right. It HAS to be something YOU’RE doing wrong. I mean, they’re in the store, so make them buy something else!”

    “With what? Threats at gunpoint?”

    • Lady comes into store with small child.
      “Oh your Daughter is so adorable, how old is she?”
      “She just turned 9 a week ago.”
      “Would you like her to live to see 10? You should probably sign up for our Grumbles Credit Card.”

    • Sometimes I wonder if that’s what corporate expects. They just can’t imagine that somebody doesn’t want to purchase everything in stock. We’re supposed to talk up the fashion, the style, and the fit and the customer will want everything, especially the store credit card….oops, it’s not a credit card it’s store loyalty and savings (nope, it’s a credit card that has useless coupons in the bill every month)

      • last staff meeting we were told “no one wants a credit card from us” is not a valid reason for not getting the customers to get a card. the worst part is that even the managers who understand logic (and thankfully most of ours can) still have to say we should be getting X number of cards anyway.

  2. I kinda feel in a gray zone on this. On the one hand I totally feel for Marla because I hate doing returns at my work. On the other hand the customer does have a point; that it does saves time and as long as they are returning them within the time limit, have a receipts, and the clothes have not been obviously used or washed they do have right to return them even if it is in store. (Though I do admit I think they should be forced to send them back via the mail so that the stores don’t get dinged for it)

    • Pretty much in the same boat as you. It isn’t the customers fault that the sales goals are inflicted on the workers. .By that same logic might as well just yell at the people that return items that were gifted to them that were duplicates or that they didn’t like. Yeah, the sales goals are obnoxious but doing this is something that comes up. They also aren’t messing up displays in the store, just getting what they want and returning if necessary. Since there isn’t an independent mechanism to return them that sucks for the individual stores but it shouldn’t be blamed on the customer, only corporate.

    • What would make sense is that stores should be able to tell what was or was not an online purchase.

      That way the customer can still send it back through the store and the store wont be dinged for it since it wasnt bought from the store in the first place.

      Sending it back via mail means someone has to pay. Either the company or the consumer for shipping+handling.

      But of course this requires some forward planning in order to have this system in place.

      • I’m fully in favour of this idea. If the system interperets returns as lost sales, then it should apply to where they were bought. If a customer returns something they bought online to a physical store, the online store should get dinged. And not just that way – if a customer returns something by mail (if possible) instead of bringing it into a store, after having purchased it at a store, then it’s a return of that store’s sale – not the online store or the mailroom or whoever. Accuracy, it just makes sense.

      • Dan,
        The store already can tell. The in-store receipt looks nothing like the on-line receipt or the packing slip that comes with the merchandise

    • It’s not precisely the customer’s fault- certainly not for the issues with sales goals (and I agree that if returns from online stores are allowed, they shouldn’t ding the store it was returned at for the return. For that matter, I personally think returns should be deducted from sales retroactively- that is, it comes off the numbers from when it was originally sold, not when it was returned.)

      However, the customer’s still being a bit of a pain- she comes into the store just to return her online purchases, not thinking of the inconvenience to store personnel (even if they can sell it, they still presumably need to go through them, since at a minimum, they will likely be creased and suchlike. Even if the item is in perfect saleable condition, they would still have to get someone to figure out where the item is kept in the stockroom.

      All so that the woman can avoid needing to stick the items in the original packaging, tape it up, add a return label (possibly a stamp), then send the unnecessary items back.

  3. Norm must have been lurking at my store because this is EXACTLY what happens. Just yesterday we did over $3,000 in sales but lost almost $900 in returns from online sales. We’ve been saying for years that they need to stop taking internet returns in stores, or stop counting them against us. We still get yelled at by the DM for our return rate but there’s nothing we can do except just flat out refuse to take internet items at store.

    • Which of course if you refuse to take them, then the customers get angry and refuse to shop there anymore, costing the company more money in sales (both online and at store).

      While we’re on that subject; sometimes the customers just CAN’T return it to your store if the store has an online “market place” where multiple vendors sell their stuff (Sears is notorious for this). And it’s not because we don’t want to, we physically can’t because the system won’t recognize the packing slip.

      Bottom line; sales goals and online shopping is out of date and needs to be updated or these stores are going to shut themselves down.

  4. When I was a kid my mom bought most of our clothing from the Sears catalog and many times it didn’t fit and had to be returned. I never buy clothes online or from a catalog, I need to try it on. Shoes are the worst. Since this customer chooses to buy clothing online I don’t blame her for wanting 3 sizes so she can have a better chance at getting the right size. I blame DM’s and Corporate that count this against Marla and the store workers. How can they possibly be blamed for people returning stuff? As for goals, it’s unreasonable to set a goal when the outcome of the goal rests with other people, who you have no control over. You can’t force them to buy stuff or forbid them from returning stuff.

    BTW there is a typo in the second panel, when the woman explains that she buys 3 sizes of everything she wants.

    • I wouldn’t really call this inconsiderate; unless you’ve been working retail within the past 10 years, you have no idea how sales goals work, much less realize that the store is penalized for online returns. The worse the customers might think is that they might feel bad for taking up the associate’s time, not realizing that large returns like this could cost the associate their job.

    • I think that’s kind of the point, the customer isn’t aware that they are hurting anyone. Why should they? They aren’t working there, they aren’t familiar with how brain dead management is and they have no reason to believe that the rules are extremely idiotic and punitive towards the employees. Marla is entirely angry at the wrong people here.

  5. Must be nice to have enough money to spend three times as much as you intend on clothes just to return ⅔ of it, and, if you did not pay cash, potentially wait 3-5 days for a credit card refund or 30 days for a check or debit card refund.

    • A person could also counter that it must be nice to have enough free time to be able to go store to store to find the clothing that fits you, matches your style and price, and try it on to comparison shop.

    • Must be nice to always be able to find your size in physical stores so you don’t have to do all your clothes shopping online.

  6. Marla could use the system, spend her entire paycheck at her own Grumble’s every month and then return all the stuff at the Grumble’s Brice used to work at.

  7. Funny how it’s “convenient” to have something delivered but “inconvenient” to ship a return back. I mean, you have time to wait in line to return something, but you don’t have time to try something on in the store?

    • ^^^^^ this
      that’s why i just try it on in store. i rarely buy any clothing/shoes online because often times i need to see how it looks on me before deciding to buy. if need to return it… it’s a hassle for both me and the cashier.

    • I hate going into stores for various reasons, and it seems like 90% of the time they don’t have what I want in stock in my size anyway, so I order online. Then I return in-store, because whenever I’ve tried to return something online that could have been returned in-store, the refund doesn’t come back for a month (or, in one case, until I asked for it). I don’t buy three of everything, but I might buy one extra size, and it’s easier for me to return that one extra thing in-store than to go to the effort of shipping it, just like it’s easier for me to buy the one extra size online and then try it on at home at my leisure.

      As for those who will say “why don’t you just call the store and ask them if they have the thing in stock”, a) online shopping was invented so that I don’t have to do that, b) generally people on the phone are busy and annoyed, and sometimes can’t tell me anyway. I’m willing to go to some personal effort to make things easier for people, but if you have the return in-store option, I’m going to take advantage of it if I want/need to.

    • This only works if the store carries your size in their physical stores. Places like Old Navy only sell plus sizes online. Lots of store also have certain brands/lines that they only sell online.

    • Yes, how dare someone use a return option, just so terrible and cruel of them. The fact is that this is more the fault of management blaming the individual store for online returns.

    • Wow, way to direct your anger (and foul language) towards completely the wrong party. Unless, when you say ‘this kind of stunt’, you mean management punishing stores for returns.

    • Then don’t sell clothes online. You can’t do that and then complain about returns.

      Clothes bought in regular stores get returned because they turned out not to fit in certain situations.

  8. If the stores computer system can’t tell this is an online return, then who’s at fault exactly? Certainly not the customer.

  9. Sorry but just no, this is not the customers problem, this is not the customers fault. If this is the system the corporation has set up the ones to get mad at is the company not the customer. A customer is not responsible for how a company chooses to run its business and using a service offered is not some vindictive stunt or inconsiderate action. I have worked retail for nearly 10 years and have a laundry list of things customers do that rightly earns scorn and resentment this is not one of them. The one they should be mad with is corporate and the DM not the customer using an offered service. I am not ok with asking customers to change there buying habits to enable the stupid choices and ill behavioured of upper management.

  10. I don’t this this is much of a time saver. You still have to try the stuff on and take the time to return what you don’t want.

    I buy most of my clothes online because I don’t drive and I hate malls, so it’s generally easier to buy online. I know certain online catalogs and clothing brands will usually fit. But, I used to enjoy shopping at a store that was very near my home. Nice clothes, good prices and pleasant staff. Unfortunately, the whole chain closed, so that was the end of that. 🙁

  11. I can’t see this working since it’s not just about style, it’s about fit. I probably end up buying 10% or less of the things I try on because the sleeves fall of my shoulders, the pants have too much hip, the shirt shows my bra at the back…

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