Yesterday I went shopping. Not with a client, all on my own. I had no intention of buying anything, nor was I looking for anything in particular, so I guess you could say I was just having a browse.
I first popped into Zara to see their latest offerings. The store was busy but certainly nothing like the madness when the retailer first opened its Burke Street store 2 years ago.
I’m a great scanner. I think my ‘skill’ or technique as a shopper (and now as a personal shopper) has always been to scan a retail space to get an instant feel for what’s on offer. That’s why I like ordered, well organised retail spaces where clothing racks are orderly and somewhat minimalist. This is why I don’t do sales. Or op shops and markets. Though I obviously have the patience to sift through racks of clothing to find the perfect piece for a client, when it comes to shopping for myself, I just can’t be bothered.
So when faced with a rack of clothing, let alone and entire store (or floor) that is disorganised, cluttered and messy, it puts me right off. It means I have to pick through every single piece to find the hidden gem. I have to consider every individual item. I can’t scan the rack for instant evaluation.
So when I walk into a store like Zara, I rather like it. There’s heaps of room for all stock to be displayed nicely and I can easily see what’s there and what to look at. Needless to say I can very quickly scan and assess.
I looked at a few pieces in Zara but I only tried on some boyfriend jeans (yes OK, a have an obsession) They fit very well. But there was something else going through my mind in Zara, and in the change room, I made a decision not to buy them. Earlier this week I watched the ABC’s Four Corners program which visited some of the survivors of the disastrous Bangladesh garment factory collapse. It made me question my fashion purchases, particularly those from low priced retailers. I don’t buy a lot of cheap clothes but I do own a few pieces from one of the companies named on the program, Mango (MNG)
So whilst wandering through Zara yesterday, I asked myself, do I really need any of this? And my answer was no.
I then went next door to Myer to take a look at the international designer section (let’s just say in the name of research) Again, I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, and I certainly wasn’t looking to buy. But here’s where my other day’s dilemma took hold- too much stock displayed in an unorderly fashion (pardon the pun) In order to see if there was anything that took my fancy, I had to sift through the racks, piece by piece. If an item did in fact catch my eye, I then could barely remove it for a closer look due to some ridiculous security tag woven through the garment and attached to the rack. Needless to say, this shopping experience had me feeling irritated, disinterested and overwhelmed. And so I left, walked home, credit card unharmed.
So yes, even personal shoppers, people like me who get paid to shop, feel the pains and frustrations of shopping for clothes. Thank goodness I never feel like this when I’m working.