Crimes Against Marc Jacobs
“Someone, call the SPCBH!* It makes me so sad to see accessories so mistreated & neglected” – Hannah Brooks. “How will they ever find a home?” – Olya Bell.
Hannah Brooks: “The Australian retail scene can all too often be a bit of a hit and miss experience. Australian retailers frequently use excuses like pressure from overseas competition and the growth of online retailing to explain poor sales performance but perhaps they should be looking closer to home for an explanation. Olya and I took these photos below at David Jones (considered Australia’s premier department store) and from two people who are in “pursuit of perfect shopping moments” – we would say that it was quite the “miss” experience...
The picture speaks for itself (and is pretty typical for this store), just to hamper the experience even more the bags were actually chained up and heaven help you if you were after a staff member to help you unlock one of these unloved bags. You have to be exceptionally keen to purchase in this environment!!!
The Marc Jacobs Hiller handbag that is pictured here (almost sitting on the floor), looks like it is need of a little love. Quite by coincidence, I had actually bought this bag a few days before taking this picture. I was able to make this purchase in the comfort of my own home (with a glass on red in hand), it was delivered to me by Shopbop for free, within 3 days from the states (see Star Service) and I can honestly that was a much more enjoyable shopping experience than visiting this David Jones store. Even worse were the Chloe handbags. These retail for between $2000-$3000 AUD’s and I personally know if I am going to drop that kind on money on a handbag I’m looking for a bit more of a “wow” retail experience.
Here’s a message for David Jones…ranging the right brands isn’t enough in this day and age to attract your customers… you also need to offer your customers a branded experience that matches the quality of the merchandise!”
Olya Bell: “After living in Europe for sometime I expect a somewhat “different” retail experience, as I do when I visit the States. It’s a matter of perception and what you are used to I guess. Don’t get me wrong, I had to do a huge mental shift to adapt to the way service is provided in Europe. Being brought up in an instant gratification,” I will not waiting for service when I am about to give you my money mindset,” I struggled with not being served immediately. And don’t start me on queuing…
Visiting David Jones in Bondi Junction recently was a real eyeopener. As a child, my mother would take me to the top floor of David Jones, Elizabeth Street, where I would drool over remarkable dresses, coats and shoes that truly captured my imagination. I remember the polite sales professionals showing me the latest European collections and it was truly aspirational! I couldn’t wait to save up and buy one of these creations. The trip this time to buy a new handbag for a gift certainly did not match my memories.
I felt like I was at a discount outlet, actually that’s a little harsh on outlets. Sorry Bicester! There was no one to unlock the poor bags, let alone take my money. I was drowning in a sea of handbags and this experience was far more “Supré than Gucci“. The only way to get served was to pull one of bags off the floor or shelf and set off an alarm! Fortunately that day I was in a somewhat pleasant mood and was easily bribed by Hannah and opted to forgo this experience in exchange for a promise of a sausage roll and sauce. Ugh, the things I miss living overseas???
Regardless of the cultural differences, we as shoppers have rights and expectations when buying luxury goods in Department stores! When visiting Galeries Lafayette, Saks, Bergdorf Goodman, Liberty, Harrods, Selfridges or Harvey Nics I have expectations:
- that I will see a great selection of the latest collections
- the environment will reflect and showcase the products
- easy access to a place where I can try things on with good lighting and mirrors
- a sales professional who can help me with the products, take my money, (that is, after selling me the matching accessory and signing me up for their mailing list) and present me with a beautifully packaged purchase!
That what makes me happy! I don’t believe that it’s that too much of an ask,…no really!”
*(Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Beautiful Handbags).