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Hardly a week goes by without our various newspapers analyzing the changing retail scene – the introduction of Target, Ann Taylor, Nordstrom and other American giants into the Canadian market – and how the home-grown Canadian retailers are handling it, particularly Holt Renfrew and Hudson’s Bay. Has anyone talked to us – the consumer? I have a couple of very simple suggestions for Hudson’s Bay which seem to go largely ignored.
Several years ago I wrote to the President of The Bay, as it was called then, suggesting they forgo one or two pair of expensive designer jeans in their inventory and hire some extra sales staff to assist shoppers. Shopping in large European department stores such as Selfridges, Harrods or Harvey Nichols is an experience quite different from our tired old Hudson’s Bay. While I really appreciate Bonnie Brooks’ efforts to edit and improve the merchandise and redecorate the stores, it drives me crazy that I can never find a real live SALES person to close the deal. In the British stores, every department, in-house boutique or even small designated area of the store is staffed with a smartly dressed, helpful and knowledgeable person willing – and dare I say it, eager to be of assistance in finding a size or style to meet my needs. In the American department stores, if they don’t have your size they’ll happily source it at another location and ship it free of charge to your home if you have an account with them.Hudsons Bay
And I absolutely hate the supermarket-style checkout desks at Hudson’s Bay. When I’m spending what is often several hundred dollars on merchandise, I expect a bit of personal attention. Adding to my frustration is the shortage of visible sales desks. I’m often stomping around the floor unable to even find a place to pay for my purchases and when I do, the attendant is on her lunch break and the station is closed. While I am sure the flagship downtown stores are well-staffed, the suburban mall stores are no better than Costco.
Bonnie, listen to me girlfriend. What’s the point of having all that merchandise when I can’t find a sales person to help me or even pay for it. Like I said, withhold a couple of items from stock to pay for staff. I guarantee it’ll be worth the investment. And while you’re at it, please, please do something about those gawd-awful, stuffy, disgusting ladies washrooms in the mall stores. They’re so disgraceful I want to hold my breath when I go in and not touch anything. I shudder to think what the men’s rooms must be like.
Let’s work together here.

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How to improve sales at Hudson’s Bay

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