Almost every day we hear about more closures of brick and mortar stores. Abercrombie is closing a bunch of stores, and Macy’s announced the closing of hundreds of stores. While we aren’t Abercrombie’s target customer, my wife had been (the operative word being the past tense “had”) a Macy’s customer until recently.
My wife was a loyal Macy’s shopper until a few years ago when she noticed a distinct change in their stores and their approach. I wrote about one of her store experiences a couple of years ago. She is also tired of going into stores that look like a tornado hit them and merchandise is all over the place, and no help can be found. While she still shopped Macy’s, it was no longer her “go to” store.
Now it is going to be her never go to store. Why?
To show how ineptitude is contagious and permeates an entire organization over time, the other morning my wife got a call from Macy’s credit to ding her for not having paid her bill for two months. She stated that she had not gotten a bill from them in over 6 months, because she didn’t shop Macy’s much anymore. The “collector” told her that she had purchased close to $3,000 in merchandise online. Stunned, my wife explained that was not possible. The “collector” cited what she had bought (my wife would never buy that kind of stuff at those prices) and asked her if she was still living in Miami. (We have never lived in Miami.) Not convinced this was a legitimate call, she told them to send her information to prove she had bought this stuff. (At no time did they suggest they cancel her card.)
A few calls later, it is clear that her card # was used fraudulently. They did decide to cancel her card and send her a new one, which is not going to be used. However, the hassle of dealing with the sales prevention department, that clearly does not have even rudimentary fraud prevention software (since all the purchases made over the two days did not fit anything my wife had ever bought), has caused her to decide Macy’s is not worth the hassle. She is done.
Of course, Macy’s management would blame this reduction in sales on “outside forces,” including changes in how people shop. Sure, they didn’t bill her for two months and don’t know why. They dun her for non-payment and she has to show them how fraud was committed by someone in Miami using her card. She has to complete a detailed fraud report to meet their needs. As she says, “who needs them.”
Meanwhile I got a defective item from amazon.com. I asked to return it, they sent me a new one, sent UPS to pick up the old one. No hassle.
Brick and mortar suicide continues. (And to be clear this is suicide.)