Shuttering the shop

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In a recent industry newsletter, a retailer decided to close their doors, shuttering their operations.

This wouldn’t have normally caught my eye because it happens a lot in this changing economy. But, their reasons for throwing in the towel startled me:

“An elderly gentleman recently stopped into our retail store carrying his sound bar and a set of directions—well, I assumed they were directions—for what he possessed was paperwork. He came with an issue and a plea for help.

“This doesn’t work,” he proclaimed.

As we always begin, we asked, “What is your last name so that we can look you up in our system?” The man looked at my front-of-house salesperson with a straight face and replied:

“Oh, I did not purchase this here. I just need help. I don’t want to pay… I’m sure it is simple. I’m sure you can tell me,” he said.

And this, dear readers, plus countless other illustrations, is why we have decided to close our retail doors; …people that will not, even with the best salesperson, turn into clients; tire kickers; those who believe you owe them because they shopped locally.”

Wow. As if a retail shop was a member’s only club, open only to those willing to pay—closed to all others.

Putting a price tag on an act of kindness is so counter to our own core beliefs that I am impossibly thankful they have decided to close their doors. It was the right decision.

Heartfelt acts of kindness are the currency of success. Once the heart hardens, it’s time to change the diet.