Welcoming attitudes

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Welcoming attitudes

A day of shopping is not something high on my list of favorites.

When I do go shopping I am always on the lookout for how I am treated. If it's a welcoming event I might sniff around the store in search of those items I really don't need but might consider. If it's unwelcoming I am out as quickly as possible.

Just the other day I had two polar opposite experiences. The first was the Apple store with its friendly greeter, open layout, and everything on display beckoning you to come touch and play. It's no wonder Apple stores enjoy the highest dollar per square foot of any retail store in the world.

Next, it was on to Best Buy where the experience was the exact opposite. Upon entering the store there's a security guard (dressed as a Best Buy salesperson) in a small kiosk to give you the once over. I guess I passed the test and didn't appear too unsavory to be let in. Once inside, the merchandising is a gaudy carnival atmosphere. Most of the electronics are attached to the shelves with chains to prevent theft, which makes sense since the store's layout is the opposite of Apple's open architecture—row upon row of high shelving aisles hides people within the rows. The only interaction with staff is from the many TV cameras pointed at me like laser weapons at the ready. And God help you if you want a salesperson's advice.

I am certainly no expert at retail stores. I know them only from the point of being a shopper (and not a very willing one at that).

No wonder online shopping is flourishing.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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