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  • Writer's picturePamela Tucker

Shopping at Bloomingdale's-The Ups And Downs

In my last post I explained my pleasure with the attentive service of an associate at an optician, Robert Marc, NYC. I didn't make a purchase there and noted when I do need prescription glasses, that would be the first place I'd visit to buy them. A shopping outing at another retail outlet turned out to be the opposite experience.

A few weeks ago I went shopping at Bloomingdale's on 59th Street in Manhattan. I was on a mission to buy clothes for the office, where for months I've been working three days a week. Oh boy! My experience with a few of the sales associates left me exhausted and perplexed.

On the second floor I was pestered by a sales associate wanting to hold the items I selected. No, thank you I told her. And said it again. I wanted to hold on to the few pieces until I decided I really wanted to try them on. When finally opting to try on I fled to another part of the floor as I didn't want to be bothered while in the fitting room. Yet, another sales associate appeared. Though, happily she stepped back once she knew I wanted to be left on my own. I selected a dress and brought it to this sales associate to ring up the sale. Mission accomplished.

On the third floor I was greeted by a sales associate standing around the escalator. She then followed me through parts of the third floor. I felt uncomfortable and didn't want her to keep following me so I did not try on anything on and left the floor. See you later Lafayette 148 NEW YORK.

My next stop was the fifth floor, the shoe department. This department is hit or miss when interacting with a sales associate. Sometimes I circle the area for five to ten minutes trying to find someone to help me and at other times two to three sales associates in quick order ask me if I need help. Oddly, this does not matter how many customers are on the floor. I recall times when there were just a handful of people shopping and I couldn't find help; while at other times the floor could be full of shoppers and there were plenty of sales associates asking me if I needed help. This time nobody asked if I needed help and I didn't find anything I want to try on. I was let down there weren't enough solid black high heel pumps. (Especially those with pointy toes). Perhaps Bloomingdale's views these as commodity items and focuses selling them on the website. I hope not and if so, it should reconsider.

About a week or so after this store visit, via email I received a questionnaire about my store visit. The ratings I listed in the questionnaire were quite low. When asked for written comments, for the most part, I filled in what I described above. A few days later a Business Manager at the 59th Street store sent me an email. In addition to apologizing for my unsatisfactory experience, she competently addressed each of the points I brought up. Also, she nicely asked for some more information. I provided more input and again she promptly and professionally responded.

The above listed some irksome points about Bloomingdale's. However, in a number of ways I'm a big fan of the Bloomingdale's. Of course, that happens when not followed by sales associates. I like: (1) The merchandise assortment, breadth and depth is a big plus. (Yet not enough of this in the physical store) (2) The Bloomingdale's senior leadership and the store level management are responsive, upbeat and always seeking ways to improve anything that involves the customer.

As a special note, Tony Spring, the Chairman and CEO, quickly responded (on a Saturday!) to several of my emails. One of them concerned the extensive problem I had with using e-gift cards in the store. And back in 2013, when he was the President of Bloomingdale's he personally and rapidly responded when I notified him to complain the sales associate was unaware of a promotion on certain merchandise lines. Others in "lower" positions were as speedy in being in touch with points that needed attention.

My impressions of #Bloomingdale's outlined above included a few ups and downs. What are your impressions of Bloomingdale's and have they changed recently?


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