Brick and Mortar Suicide Continues … Unabated

loweslogoThis topic is, unfortunately, a common theme for me (just do a search of the blog). It seems retailers have become so focused on getting better deals from their suppliers that they are forgetting that if they don’t actually sell something, those deals won’t matter.

Last night we went to Lowe’s to buy a new dishwasher. Yes, we went to buy one. Didn’t, but wanted to. Why didn’t we buy one? They had plenty on display; lots of options; good prices; delivery and installation; remove and take away our old one. Trouble was they didn’t have anybody to sell us one.

Yep, nobody staffed the appliance department. Lowe’s has a clever device that if you need help in a department and no one is there, you can push a button and an associate will show up. Did that about 10 times, nobody showed up. I finally went up front to ask and was told the appliance person was on “dinner break” for at least another 30 minutes. Seriously. So, no store manager or assistant manager to back that person up? Guess not. We left. During our 20 minutes in the department I saw at least 15 other people looking. Not sure they were there to buy, but they certainly were shopping.

The one good thing that came out of the adventure is that we had to drive by Cold Stone on the way home, so I bought some ice cream. Not a totally wasted trip.

Seriously Lowe’s, maybe if you spent less time hammering your manufacturers and more time running retail stores well, you’d make more money and have less “reason” to whine about the online merchants “stealing” your business. Stealing isn’t necessary when you simply give it away. What exactly are you “improving” these days?

Mitch

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