AIBU to think shops should put the children's/babies' section on the ground floor?

(76 Posts)
GingerPCatt Tue 12-Feb-13 15:49:31

Just home from shopping in town and every shop except in the mall and specialist baby shops had the children's stuff up a level or two. Big stores like boots and M&S. You would think sections that people with pushchairs would be more accessible. I was browsing for clothes for DS, but after a couple of shops I couldn't be bothered to look for the lift. And if there's no lift, forget it! I'm not carrying DS and the pushchair upstairs.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 13-Feb-13 09:07:31

You only have to count the number of people on the ground floor and then on the first floor to know why the departments are that way round. Last Saturday I went into Boots on ground floor (make and pharmacy around 40 ) on top floor baby stuff, beach stuff and opticians 3 customers. M&S ground floor food and womens wear around 100 people and first floor mens and childrens 5. In this day and age make it eaisest for the biggest number of customers.

elliejjtiny Wed 13-Feb-13 10:36:51

YANBU. The lift in my local boots is so tiny it can only accomodate 1 wheelchair/buggy. This means I can't go to the baby department if I'm on my own with all 3 children unless I send DS1 (aged 6) up first with either DS2 in his wheelchair or DS3 in his buggy. I don't do this because I don't trust DS1 not to wander off if he gets bored waiting for me and if the lift breaks down I'd rather we were all together. Clarks has their childrens department in the basement with no lift and another shop has a lovely restaurant on the top floor with no lift apart from a stair lift.

landofsoapandglory Wed 13-Feb-13 10:49:17

YABU. I like shops as they are, thanks. I am disabled, if I go into Boots I don't want to go upstairs for my painkillers or toiletries so the Baby stuff can be down stairs. I don't want to mess about with lifts in M&S. There are lots of shops where I do have to go upstairs, and it is a PITA, I grant you that, but please bear in mind, having a child in a pushchair is temporary, having a disability is permanent!

sashh Wed 13-Feb-13 11:25:12

I think the fact it would be easy to just put a few things in a buggy and walk out influences where baby stuff is too.

Meglet Wed 13-Feb-13 11:29:46

yanbu. Our local H&M, M&S and Zara had the kids clothes on a different floor. So they never got my money. I couldn't be bothered fannying about with a lift just to see what was in stock <<very impatient>>.

GladbagsGold Wed 13-Feb-13 11:38:00

I used to boycott shops with children's things upstairs and no lift. Or ask the staff to bring me things down, if I was after something specific (e.g. boys coat age 2). 9 times out of 10 it then wasn't what I wanted and I didn't buy it.

JulesJules Wed 13-Feb-13 11:45:12

I used to work in a bookshop. Our childrens books section was in the basement because the ground floor had two main doors opening onto a busy street.

TheCraicDealer Wed 13-Feb-13 12:12:36

If you make things slightly more hassle for someone who needs something they will buy it anyway. If you make things slightly more hassle for someone who doesn't need anything, they will wander off somewhere else.

Exactly. The reason why womenswear is often on the bottom floor is because we're bloody fickle. Most shops need to "grab" us within a short space of time of walking into the store, unless a lot of women will just walk straight back out again without bothering to browse. How many of us buy an item because we just saw it and fancied it?

On the other hand, men and parents will often realise they need a specific item and go to a specific store to look for or buy it, they won't bother to look around much because they simply can't be bothered. They're a much more loyal customer base and make less impulsive purchases.

And as well, what about the elderly or people with mobility issues who want to shop as much as a person with a pram? Are they supposed to go upstairs because parents can't be bothered?

As Omni, Nancy and Doctrine & others said, the Baby/child departments are nowhere near as productive as the departments already on the ground floor for stores like Boots. The parent demographic is important to these stores, but is not the most valuable, and therefore it is a simple calculation of sales/profit per sq metre.

Very inconvenient for pushchairs and lots of kids, but these companies are there to make as much money as possible.

Whydobabiescry Wed 13-Feb-13 12:25:28

YANBU all children's departments should be accessible to the people who use them ie parents with prams and small children.

My pet hate is the Mothercare store in Cwmbran Wales, it's a two storey shop with lots of essential things like prams, cots, bedding etc on the 1st floor - but no sodding lift ffs! This is a Mothercare shop aimed at new parents ie those with prams and yes that's right no lift just about 40 steps! When I queried how I was supposed to get upstairs with dd 2 months old at the time, I was told to either leave her and pram downstairs or someone could bring down whatever I wanted to look at. You couldn't make it up. I did think that I'd ask to see the fitted sheets, crib blankets, and 4 different prams and a cot just to see what they'd do but tbh I just couldn't be bothered. Needless to say I've never been back and they wonder why Mothercare is doing so badly at the moment. biscuit

Whydobabiescry Wed 13-Feb-13 12:29:33

Btw I actually don't mind having to go upstairs but I object very strongly when there is no lift.

peeriebear Wed 13-Feb-13 12:37:45

We used to have a really strange shop here in town (will be obvious to anyone who went in it!) It was a toy shop and a fishing shop combined.
On the ground floor, older children's toys, and fishing supplies. The whole shop REEKED of boilies and maggot substrate.
Upstairs, baby toys/equipment/supplies. No lift.
WHY WHY WHY didn't they put the revolting fishing supplies upstairs where the presumably mostly able bodied fisherpeople could examine their boilies in peace, and put the baby equipment downstairs so people with babies could get to it?!

FeistyLass Wed 13-Feb-13 12:38:28

Beehatch the lady in Clarkes told me that too - about the upper floor being used to stop children running on to the street. I was a bit hmm
It sounded like faulty reasoning especially when they don't have a lift and you do most of your shopping on ground level with children (without them running out on to the street).

So by that token our clarks, who have men/women downstairs and children upstairs should have women/children downstairs? If I'm buying school shoes and trainers for dd1 and shoes for dd2 then for my £100 I want to be able to get in a lift or leave my pushchair somewhere. Otherwise Start Rite get the money.

nailak Wed 13-Feb-13 14:33:47

nancy but kids stuff in my local m and s is downstairs, behind the cafe. presumably people who come in to have a drink are normally sahms?

Fillyjonk75 Wed 13-Feb-13 14:39:56

Shops run a business, not a service to the public

It's this attitude which means that many shops are closing. They would be a lot more successful if they put the customer first.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Wed 13-Feb-13 14:43:04

Nailak, that might well be due to eg plumbing/venting layout at your M&S which meant the cafe had to be sited where it is and the rest of the shop was planned around it.

flowery Wed 13-Feb-13 14:54:35

YABU

They are a business and it's a commercial decision. They put stuff at the front/ground floor that might entice in passers by. Stuff that isn't as profitable/people will specifically come in for goes in less accessible areas.

Long as there's a lift there's no issue.

However our local Monsoon has baby clothes upstairs with no lift and not even an escalator. Their answer to my query was to say I could leave the pram at the bottom of the stairs, take baby DS1 out, carry him up the spiral stairs and do my shopping. hmm Er, no thanks.

choceyes Wed 13-Feb-13 15:05:49

I actually prefer the childrens area to be upstairs. I wouldn't be able to browse around or even pick up stuff that I need when I constantly have to keep an eye on my DCs if they running around. I have 2 bolters and would run out on to the street if I turn my back for 2 secs.
If there's no lift (and there always is IME) I just leave the buggy downstairs and drap the DCs upstairs.

Or just go shopping in my lunch hour from work. I don't actually shop with the DCs anymore. Toooo stressful!

There are only two shops in my local town that sell baby clothes: M&S and Matalan. M&S used to sell loads - then they rejigged the store so you can't get a pram into the children's department (too narrow). Matalan kept wide aisles, and now get so much more business they can justify expanding their children's section.

And consequently those people who like a one-stop shop get our pants from Matalan instead of M&S now.

Kafri Wed 13-Feb-13 15:36:26

I don't mind where the children's area is in the store but I do have a problem with one of my local shops - the kids section is right at the back - its only one level. But, you cannot get a pram past all of the clothes stands to get to the kids clothes. Slightly useless to me to be honest as the only time I am on town is when DS is with me, unless DH has a weeks holiday in which case I might get a couple of hours off duty.

Luckily, that particular store has a limited supply of kids clothes so only go in there when i've tried everywhere else and usually have no luck there either

Oh and...

does anyone have any idea where I can get a nice coat in 3 - 6 months. Have tried M&S, Next, Primark, Peacocks, Tesco, Asda etc. DS will be in 3-6m in March/April time so i'm guessing there'll still be a chill along with April showers so wanted a coat for him but I can only seem to find fleece jacket things at the min.

Most people buying prams, cots and other large baby items don't currently have a baby, though. They might huff and puff on stairs grin but they tend not to have a full pram yet.

JenaiMorris Wed 13-Feb-13 16:34:14

I don't actually think my ds had a coat at that age Kafri - he was still in layers; jumpers, cardis, fleeces, blankets I think. This was a million years ago so it's possible I've forgotten. He did have a snowsuit iirc that I barely used.

He was an autumn baby so it was still chilly at 3-6 months.

PurpleStorm Wed 13-Feb-13 22:43:32

YANBU to find it annoying when the kid's / babies section is upstairs.... but, as others have pointed out, the shops quite reasonably put the most profitable sections on the ground floor where it's most accessible to shoppers.

I do think it's madness to put the children's section upstairs if there's no lift though. There's no point in having a children's section in a shop if it can't be accessed by parents with a pushchair.

"But, you cannot get a pram past all of the clothes stands to get to the kids clothes."

I wonder - the majority of parents of young children nowadays are of the tech-savvy, online generation; do the shops anticipate that these parents will mostly shop online nowadays, and so don't feel the need to provide lifts/aisles wide enough to get a pram through?

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