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Forum > Miscellaneous > Messy, dirty, disorganized stores ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Messy, dirty, disorganized stores
A US problem, regional or international?
Michelle T

Michelle T
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BC CANADA
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Date: 12/27/11 1:37 PM

I have read many times people complaining on these boards that their local Joannes or Hancocks was a mess. Now recent posts comment on messy Walmart, Sears and Kmart stores.

I have not shopped in the US in over 5 years, and have not shopped in a US Sears, Walmart or fabric store in over 20 years.

I do not often shop in Walmart, but the 4 within a 40 miles radius are always clean and tidy.

I have never had a complaint about Sears.

Our franchise fabric store Fabricland is clean, on big sales days tends to be messy, but has well trained staff who have worked in fabric shops and sew themselves for years.

I have shopped at Spotlight in NZ (8 years ago) and the store was neat and tidy. I loved the drapery fabric department. There was a huge variety of thermal drapery fabrid that I have never seen at home.

In Amsterdam and London the fabric stores were smaller but always clean and tidy.

Department stores in NZ, NL and UK that I have visited we all clean and tidy too.

So what is up with US retailers? How do they get away with dirty disorganized stores and staff who either do not know the product or just do not care? Why do people shop there?

Do staff wages make a difference? I have heard that some US states have pathetic minimum wages.

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Proud parent of a Dwight International School Honour Roll Student

beauturbo
beauturbo
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Date: 12/27/11 1:53 PM

I think that money $$$$$ has most everything to do with it. Not so much that if they paid a particular person more money, then that particular person would always do a better job, but more like maybe running on a skeleton crew and not enough manpower maybe.

When that kind of thing happens, I think they have often found if they sell stuff cheap enough, in a middle of a ressesion/depression, people will shop there anyways, and overlook that, and not care as much about that all, as at that point they only care about the $ they think may be saving.

Just go even go look at the bathrooms of some department store like Bloomingdales or Nordstroms in comparison. Fit for a queen there most likely, and probably checked and cleaned just many more times a day, and even since it looks nice, I think all the people treat it better, and probably each employee really does have a sectioned off area, in their very own department, that they really are responsible for keeping tidy. Maybe not so in some other places.

Not saying that is a good thing at all,when you got messy dirty disorganized stores selling the cheapest of stuff, but probably a big factor. Also, has to do with pride of employees in their workplace , Management, and if they have cut back on maybe their janitorial services and cleaners in order to save money to possibly.

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/27/11 2:10 PM

I believe it's more the local management than the corporation. I remember going into a Ross (discount store) and the shelves and racks were so neatly arranged, even color coded, that I had to comment to the cashier how applealing it looked. She told me proudly, their store was one of the top 10 in the nation for that reason. A Ross store 5 miles away looked my teenage daughters' bedroom. (clothes and shoes strewn everywhere)
I live in the NW where the minimum wage is among the highest in our nation.
Sometimes it's the location/neighborhood. My sister lives in Bergan County NJ, which is a very wealthy county. The parking lot at her local KMart is always packed, and she shops there too. The store is always neat and tidy. The closest Kmart is a store I would go to as a last resort, due to being so messy, slow checkout, etc.

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My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

jannw
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In reply to Michelle T


Date: 12/27/11 2:11 PM

I don't work in a fabric store, but I do work for a large retailer. Our store is messier than it used to be. Part of the reason is a reduction in hours. It is constant from the upper management and offices..We used to have about 5-6 people closing at nite in my department, in addition to a manager. Now its about 2 plus a manager and a cashier. The store is a combined grocery, apparel and home improvement with an electronics dept, deli with seating and a fine jewelry dept. Customers now seem to be less considerate also. Last nite when I went in, I found a box of kitty litter sitting in the paint dept, clothing dropped in the plumbing aisle. Someone stole two batteries out of a pack of 12 and left the extras lying on a shelf..they could at least opened the 4 packs! The gals in the apparel dept..3, I think, were there until about 1 am (store closes at 11) hanging up clothes, trying to put the shoes back in the boxes, etc. It is very common to find fresh and frozen foods shoved in anywhere..on top of sheets and towels, in with the clothes..Even 10 years ago, we didn't have these problems to this extent.

My local JoAnn's usually has only about 4 or 5 people in the store during the day..a cashier, one at the cutting counter, one trying to stock merchandise, and a manager. When you think about coverage for lunches and breaks, it's not many people. According to one of them, it is a minimun wage pay scale..a lot of very hard, tiring work for very llittle money!

Maybe the customers elsewhere are better behaved, but my company's damaged/stolen merchandise is in the millions(it is a very large chain) which contributes to less coverage which equals more damage and untidiness. It's a vicious cycle.

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2009-113.25 yds
2010-115.5
2011-80.25+30+donated
2012 86.3 yds..
2013 21.0
Everyone who sews seriously has a stockpile of fabrics, because it is natural to purchase more than can be sewn in any one season" Singer, Timesaving Sewing, 1987

purplebouquet
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Date: 12/27/11 2:48 PM

Maybe the stores are just too big to keep neat and tidy, for both shoppers and employees. I rarely go to a Wally Supercenter because I just loathe its expanse. It takes forever to find things. And then, if I put something from the back of the store into the shopping cart and on my way to the register realize it was not right, I just hate having to make my way all the way back to return it to the right shelf. I personally do return it to its proper place, but I can imagine a lot of people can't be bothered and that contributes to a messy store.

Retail pays notoriously little, and most big corporations don't train the employees to be knowledeable about the stuff they sell, just how to ring up the register. I can't blame the employees for not wanting to take any interest beyond that part, but it is irriating when I ask a question and just get a "Huh?" in reply. I went into Hollister before Christmas and asked for a sizing chart so I could pick the right size and asked four sales folks (all high school students by their looks) for advice, and nobody had a clue. They even seemed put out that I dared ask a question.
Claudia

quiltingwolf
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quiltingwolf  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/27/11 2:55 PM

You get what you pay for, as long as they expect people to work long hours for basically slave wages, that's your outcome. But I'm sure Canada has some messy stores also.

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quiltingwolf.blogspot.com

birdmcfarland
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birdmcfarland
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Date: 12/27/11 2:57 PM

Our local Joann's is kept pretty nicely most of the time but the women that work there seem to work pretty hard.
I was just on a US Air flight that was the filthiest plane I'd ever been on. It looked like someone's minivan that totes around 5 kids under the age of 4yrs; crumbs and debris between the seats and walls, etc. Horrible.

marec
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In reply to birdmcfarland


Date: 12/27/11 3:30 PM

yes, I have noticed that planes don't get cleaned up as well as in the past.

My local JA is very tidy, and well stocked. It is a pleasure to visit, which is good because I got a gift card for Christmas :-)


-- Edited on 12/27/11 3:33 PM --

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Sewing through my pattern stash-145
completed.

Coconuts
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In reply to marec


Date: 12/27/11 3:47 PM

But when were you there? Ours is spotless at 3 on Tuesday, but it looks like a series of small tornadoes hit it around 5 or 6 on Saturday- and frankly, when there's a line 20 people long at the register, and 30 at the cutting counter, they have more pressing things to do than tidy up the store.

kittykate
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kittykate
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In reply to purplebouquet


Date: 12/27/11 3:48 PM

Quote: purplebouquet

Retail pays notoriously little, and most big corporations don't train the employees to be knowledeable about the stuff they sell, just how to ring up the register. I can't blame the employees for not wanting to take any interest beyond that part, but it is irriating when I ask a question and just get a "Huh?" in reply. I went into Hollister before Christmas and asked for a sizing chart so I could pick the right size and asked four sales folks (all high school students by their looks) for advice, and nobody had a clue. They even seemed put out that I dared ask a question.

Claudia

Hollister employees are hired based on their looks, not on their retail smarts. So I'm not surprised at the reaction you got!!

The only place to cut cost in retain these days is on staffing. My husband has worked in retail all his life - which means he hates shopping and when he does, is incapable of walking down an aisle anywhere without "straightening up".

The disorganized store problem is akin to littering: if someone has looked at an item and says, meh, not interested and drops it on the floor, then the next person who comes along might not be so careful about putting something back. Within a space of a few hours, an entire section could end up on the floor, and then walked on.

To quote him, the worst offenders are women.
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