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  • Pamela Tucker

KISS @GAP

Updated: Jun 6


For years Gap has been one of my go to stores for buying basic cotton T-shirts for wearing at home. Glancing at an email from Gap this morning noticed there was a 40% promotion (with exclusions) and then another 10% off if shopped as a Rewards member. Too much fine print to read! Yet the prices of Gap T-shirts don't influence my purchase so no big deal. While walking around the Gap store today noticed signage for some items at 50% off, some 30% off and others for 20% off. These promotions didn't match my email but wasn't concerned. I prefer saving my retail energy and "fights" for higher priced items at other retailers where the percentage discount matters and could be a meaningful dollar amount savings.


After examining a few T-shirt styles, made my selection which I took from a pile that had a 20% off signage (not matching with the 40% off offer in my email) and joined the line to check out. I waited in the line and kept waiting. This long wait bothered me. Why wasn't the line moving?


Focusing on the two cashiers and their customers I heard the customers were asking about the prices and promotions associated with each of their items they wanted to purchase. One customer took out her iphone to show what she thought was a discrepancy in her promotional email compared with the price of the item in the store. Then another customer asked for the price of each item she wanted to buy. The cashiers were patient and told the customers the discount associated with each item. This took time and prolonged the wait to pay! The T-shirt I paid for was next to signage noting 20% off; yet it rang up as a 40% discount. Nice the discount matched the email. But I don't know how that happened! A strong explanation is that I put in my phone number for the cashier to pull my Rewards number. But I did not receive the additional 10% off noted in the email. Oh maybe a Rewards member is one who has a Gap credit card. This is too much to figure out!


Gap's management could fix this long wait to pay the customers experienced today (These waits probably occur on many days since Gap seems to have promotions almost every day.) and clear up the dense emails. They should look to the 50+ years old KISS principle: "Keep It Simple Stupid." Specifically, make it clear on the store signage if it matches what is in the promotional emails. It will also be helpful for those not receiving promotional emails. This simple information will make shopping easier and lead to the check out line move faster.

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