Anyone else lost the art of shopping in real life?

(47 Posts)
MrsCampbellBlack Sat 12-Jan-13 06:26:00

Don't worry I'm still very good online but had a wander round the shops yesterday and it was awful.

In the smaller more expensive shops the assistants were overly attentive which I found off-putting compounded with comptoir not havng a mirror in the fitting room. And really I do not want to be dragging my post christmas podge out into the shop to look in a mirror.

And Banana Republic - where I never buy anything - well their mirrors are so unflattering - are you seeing a theme here?

Anyway I realised that I just much prefer buying online and getting to try on in the comfort of my own home.

So am I the only one who now does 95% of their clothes shopping online?

noviceoftheday Sat 12-Jan-13 07:13:06

Me too! I don't think I went clothes shopping this week for the first time in about 4 years and just wondered around aimlessly. What's happened to me??grin

littlemissnormal Sat 12-Jan-13 07:15:03

First name terms with the delivery agent here!

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 12-Jan-13 07:15:43

I suppose its not helped by the shops being full of the sale dregs either but honestly I just so much prefer online now.

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 12-Jan-13 07:22:39

Littlemiss - yes its when you're giving them a christmas tip that you know you do a lot of online shopping wink

merlottits Sat 12-Jan-13 07:24:11

Me and the delivery guy are on first name terms.
I get EVERYTHING online. With all these local and national store closure I feel really upset and then really guilty because I'm responsible.
I can't see myself ever shopping on the high street again TBH.

bunnymother Sat 12-Jan-13 07:31:34

I still like a mix of RL and online shopping. Either way, I seem to return about 70% of what I buy. But, my successes come from both ways of shopping. I had a browse, whilst chatting and laughing, in Forever 21 with my sister last night (when the shop was almost empty) and really enjoyed it. And she helped me choose a few things. Lovely. On the other hand, to get stock that isn't damaged and/or confusingly laid out, I would need to order clothes online from most shops and then try it on. I find it a much nicer experience to try on at home, as well as giving me a more accurate idea of what the Sam Hill I actually do look like in it.

Of course, I am under a spending embargo, so this is really academic for now. wink

rubytutu Sat 12-Jan-13 07:32:22

I do most of my shopping online now, never get chance to get to the shops for a proper shopping trip, if I do go into town it is for something specific that is sold out online, or to return stuff to somewhere. My local post office is a 10 minute walk and am def on first name terms due to the volume of returned items. Until my youngest is in full time school I can't see how I will have the chance to go shopping again.

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 12-Jan-13 07:33:03

I think for the high street to survive then they need to offer that extra something and for me they're just not doing that really.

There's the odd store where the staff are helfpul without being obtrusive - the Jigsaw at Cribbs Causeway (Bristol) has a fantastic manager and also they have toys in the shop which makes shopping with my youngest a pleasure.

I don't understand why more of those type of shops don't offer the same really as it means you can look around in peace so far more likely to spend money.

rubytutu Sat 12-Jan-13 07:34:39

meant to add the downside is that so much stuff is not right, poor fit or just poor quality but its a trade off and no way I could trail round clothes shops with the kids in tow, don't want to go at 8pm as exhausted and weekends are family time with kids doing various activities so no time then.

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 12-Jan-13 07:35:17

I seem to be returning less that i order online now as find it easier to work out if something will suit me when I can see it on the model online - because obviously I look just like a model wink

The other thing I noticed yesterday were pricining discrepencies - I went into Jack Wills to try on a stripey top someone on here recommended. It was in the sale but was still a few pounds dearer in store than online - what's that all about?

Bunny - yes I think shopping like that is fun if its quiet and its basically a social thing.

Emo76 Sat 12-Jan-13 07:37:54

Same here. I certainly don't feel I am partly responsible for the decline of the British high street though. The only nuisance is returning things, need to be organised and have the time to do so. I get tired of the hard sell, constantly having to explain I am just browsing, and the bl**dy weather - that's why it's OK with me for the "British high street" to decline.

QueenCadbury Sat 12-Jan-13 08:00:41

I still love going shopping in RL. Even if it's just browsing around. I only tend to online order when I know exactly what will fit me as I can't be arsed with the faff of returning things. Or I try things on in store and then wait for discount codes or sales.

mrscb I love going to cribbs in the evening as it's a quiet and pleasurable experience and it gets me out of bedtime duties!

dexter73 Sat 12-Jan-13 08:02:32

I also like the fact that you can return things if you buy them online. No quibbling with snotty sales assistants or having to get a credit note instead of a refund.

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Sat 12-Jan-13 08:06:05

I haven't brought clothes on the high street for years, i actually can't remember the last time.

I do all my shopping online, much less stressful!

DonaAna Sat 12-Jan-13 09:37:52

I think most SAs are in the process of killing their trade.

They very rarely get the level of attention right. Luxury SAs tend to be too schmoozy (you can see them calculating the commission in their head) and then if you go to Zara there is no help to be had.

My favorite way of shopping is online, listening to third party advice (you, MUA, Pin). I find that if the site has item measurements for each size (Outnet excels at this) I can work out whether it will fit and this will reduce the need for returns. Deliveries and returns are painless because we have a doorman.

I almost never go to b&m stores during sales. I recently had a disastrous bra shopping experience in a department store - they had almost nothing in stock, were very snooty about it, tried to push ill-fitting alternatives and I ended up ordering online.

I like people and extroverted, but I rarely enjoy client-SA interactions. The vested interests are conflicting ("Leave me alone so I can look" vs "Buy a lot and go away").

DonaAna Sat 12-Jan-13 09:46:01

There is one department store I like though. They let you browse, don't push, have a great range of goods and services instore, but are very helpful if there is an issue. I have been a loyal customer for about 25 years, go there regularly and buy a lot - especially items that are difficult to buy blind, such as shoes and makeup.
Their fashion buyers are conservative, so it's a good place for basics and work clothes, but not for cutting-edge fashion.

joliejolie Sat 12-Jan-13 10:33:30

Sadly we all do the same, which means things sell out online that are sitting in stock in the shops. Went into Joules the other day and all the items that were gone online were all there with further reductions.

monkeysmama Sat 12-Jan-13 10:42:09

I'm similar to Rubytutu and do all my -prolific shopping on line. I also far prefer returning on line with no questions and snooty assistants. The one difference I do notice when I go to the shops is that I pick up things I'd never look at to order on line.

So with you about CdeC. And all French stores to be honest, they all do that damn mirror thing. CdeC are particularly effusive though. Many is the time I have bought a load of stuff, clouded by the assistant's platitudes, then returned it all when I realise it's very average and I don't, in fact, look like Carine Roitfeld.

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 12-Jan-13 11:39:40

Yes CdeC is rubbish quality - viscosetastic.

Actually Amber - I nearly bought a rag and bone jumper in the sale on asos and then checked and it was viscose as remember you saying their viscose knitwear is shocking - so you've saved me £70 wink

bananamilkshake Sat 12-Jan-13 11:47:44

i had exactly this yesterday - bought a jacket online from wallis in sale and had to go to store to change it for smaller size as had sold out online.

I noticed that the store sale price was more than I had paid for it and did not reflect the latest price on line - which was even cheaper. When I mentioned this to the manageress she kept going on about "on line promotions" but as a gesture of goodwill would not charge me the extra £10 - but there was no way she was going to match the new price.

Her attitude was appalling & hacked me off so much that I totally lost the mood for shopping and came straight home vowing never to go in there again and sent a nice little email about "my experience" to their feedback site.

No wonder the high streets are struggling and this is a major shopping town!

littlemissnormal Sat 12-Jan-13 11:49:02

Ahhhh Cribbs...I used to work in Aztec West and spent many a lunch time sauntering round there! Long before DCs!

justasecond Sat 12-Jan-13 11:50:19

I bought something in Comptoir for the first time yesterday and the SA (french) was very pushy. I felt practically bullied into buying. I would have ordered online but its a ridiculous delivery charge.
One thing that would make online shopping for me better would be if they would put the length of stuff on there. Many a dress and top have been returned because they are too short. Some have started doing this but most don't. It especially annoys me when they say "mid thigh" or "knee length", on who? a 5ft 11 model or the average woman?!

I am like the Mumsnet Martin Lewis, MrsCB, buying all the shit so you don't have to. Honestly £145 that thing was and it was pulled and bobbly by the 3rd wear. Maybe it was special American viscose. One of the few times I paid full price for something too. And the sales assistant was pushy - maybe if the clothes were decent they would sell themselves.

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 12-Jan-13 12:24:44

Ah yes - you see if it'd been french it would have been fine Amber.

Cribbs is great for a little wander and doable with child/ren in tow.

I do like a little wander round Harvey Nichols in Bristol where they're not pushy at all but they carry quite old stock as its a 'provincial' store but still sell at full price which is naughty.

Justasecond - you see that's just so silly of that SA as you'll probably return it and won't feel like shopping in there again. Sites like nap are very good for putting the item measurements but yes wish more did and also put what size the model is wearing. Whistles do this but put all the teeny models in size 10's so hard to get an idea of what stuff will look like on a normal person in the right size.

Banana - its rubbish isn't it. Was reading an article about how now people try something on but whilst they're in the fitting room they're googling to find the best price - must confess I've done that myself with jeans as know I can get them a lot cheaper from the US.

DerbyNottsLeicsNightNanny Sat 12-Jan-13 14:10:37

I prefer online as you can usually get a discount of some kind, I don't mind shopping in RL but 9 times out of 10, I see something in a shop then go home & order it online anyway with a discount! I do spend way more online though as it doesn't feel as though its real money (until I check bank balance!) blush

Scarlet76 Sat 12-Jan-13 16:03:20

I was thinking before xmas that I now rarely buy clothes for myself or DC in store anymore. In fact, my main reason for setting foot on the high street these days is to do returns for online purchases!
The high street just seems to irritate me: crowded stores, shabby changing rooms, unflatteting mirrors, availability of stock. Also, as a petite person, there's more choice online.

GeorginaWorsley Sat 12-Jan-13 16:37:21

Always buy online,except very occasionally if I find a gem in a little boutique.
Mainstream stuff I always get online.
I do occasionally wander around John Lewis though!

I'm kind of split about online shopping V high street.

I admit that there's more to choose from online and newer items reach the web much quicker than here in this small town (and the stores here never stock all that much). But sometimes I am appalled at the cut and quality of an item when you see it in real life, especially if it looked lovely and well styled on the online model. It is easier to dupe us with gorgeous online images.

Went to Selfridges yesterday and saw some of my coveted items by Rag and Bone, COS, Acne, etc and they were pretty pitiful to the naked eye - yet had looked awesome on the web models. I think so much of the designer stuff is wholly dependent upon clever styling. I am always in awe of how beautiful things look when accessorized via NetaPorter, La Garconne and Matches. It really tempts you to hit the purchase button and I have had to hold myself back on quite a few occasions, determined to check the stuff in a store first.

So there's the convenience of online shopping, but it has its drawbacks for sure. On the other hand, stores are largely a disaster here, rarely stock anything new or interesting and the SA's are not very helpful.

Online stores really need to get to work perfecting their inventory: we need item measurement for all garments (not shitty standard size charts), model views (ASOS is perfect for this, such a shame I don't get along with much of their stuff) and better descriptions. Zara almos never write any kind of description to their items, which is so damned lazy in my opinion. I am still awaiting an email from Esprit telling me the heel height for a pair of their shoes - and it has been over a week with no reply.

In conclusion, shopping in general for womens clothing is a below par experience, both online and off.

Real life shopping success here sold out online, but snapped up the last 8 in store! Sometimes it pays to go out into the real world!

That's another value point about sizing Toasted, would have probably ordered a 10 in those trousers if I had bought online, when in reality 8 was fine and 6 would possibly have been even better!!

Can't remember the last time I bought anything to wear in an actual shop. I like the fact that I have more rights when buying over the net and I like to see pictures of things being worn rather than just hanging on a rail.

And I would rather be cuddling DS whilst he watches a scarey Spider-Man movie and being able to mumsnet than be out in the cold any day.

I always get free delivery too and if its not available I think it's only what I would pay in parking and petrol and a coffee and cake for the kids if we went out.

Hell last time we went shopping spent 7 quid on parking, 22 on coffee and cake for 4 of us and only bought a bloody birthday card.

I suppose it helps that I live in London and very near an excellent shopping area - no parking costs and my annual travel card covers any central London jaunts.

shopafrolic Sat 12-Jan-13 18:07:28

LOL at Mumsnet Martin Lewis Amber grin

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 12-Jan-13 18:26:18

Wow - gorgeous and such a bargain Amber.

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 12-Jan-13 18:26:53

Well you know in terms of discount

PretzelTime Sat 12-Jan-13 18:39:58

The one thing I dislike the most about IRL shops is that there is no order. Online there are always a list of categories - tops, dresses, etc. I don't have the energy to go through the entire stock of all the shops I visit - which is probably more than one while looking for something specific. You could of course ask but not all shops have people around.

ApuskiMcClusky Sat 12-Jan-13 18:41:08

Completely agree about the fantastic manager in Cribbs' Jigsaw, MrsCB - best service I've had in a very long time. One time when it was really quiet the staff were were all practicing putting outfits together and talking each other through what they'd chosen and why.

But I hardly ever go shopping in RL - I generally would have to take one or both ds's, and they have very low shopping tolerance (or else my tolerance for them running round the store hiding in the coat racks is very low!). I suspect I'll have forgotten how when it becomes more feasible again.

shopafrolic Sat 12-Jan-13 20:20:59

I definitely buy more online since I've had DS. The first time I ever took him over the threshold of a store he started crying (as though his dad had had words with him before we went out!). He is a bit better now but it's still pretty stressful. I go to London once every 6 weeks by myself which is a luxury but everything else is now bought online. The exception is my recent shopping trip to our local Anna store but the staff made some interesting comments about some of their own stock (calling it chavvy!) and every pair of premium jeans I tried on looked "AMAZING" even though I knew that wasn't the case.

DonaAna Sat 12-Jan-13 20:45:14

Yep Shop I think that's what happened to all of us.
I sometimes left the babies home with DH and scrambled to the stores at 8.30pm to do some frantic sales shopping.
<blows kiss to RED Valentino dress found that way>

But retail is changing too. Online stores have gotten so much better, and the best of them are much more enjoyable than any fitting room experience ever was wink

I still enjoy shops that understand that they need to offer something more. I regularly visit a perfume heaven that looks like an art gallery, and the Zara on Corso is on some of the best real estate in the city (looks and feels like a temple inside). I love and frequent bookstores and record stores that provide armchairs and coffee and play areas for children, and those few specialist shops that have friendly and genuinely knowledgeable staff.

PretzelTime Sat 12-Jan-13 20:57:44

I also enjoy visiting shops that offer something more/a nice environment.
Do y'all think RL shops will change/are changing because of the popularity of online shopping? That they will be forced to improve?

CHOOGIRL Sat 12-Jan-13 21:07:33

Am glad it's just not me sick of the High Street. There are a few rl stores I like but these are mainly the branches I've been going to for years and where the SAs know me (and give me discount).

Reiss need to security tag their stuff - then they wouldn't grab it from me to put in the changing room as soon as I've picked it off the rail. Oh and when I'm in the changing rooms (with the curtains that don't quite reach the edge) don't keep asking if I'm OK.

SAs need to familiarise themselves with their own stock so when I ask for an item by name they can tell me if they have it - rather than look at me vacantly.

I can do Canary Wharf (not too busy and knowledgeable staff) and Selfridges. Other than that it's online all the way.

PretzelTime Sat 12-Jan-13 21:14:23

I really do hate it when SAs keep peeking inside the changing room and ask me if I need something. Yes, I need privacy, being seen half naked and half-stuck into various illfitting clothing is not dignified!

Bunbaker Sat 12-Jan-13 21:14:47

"So am I the only one who now does 95% of their clothes shopping online?"

I very rarely shop online as I find it so difficult to find clothes that fit properly. I usually have to take at least two sizes of clothes into the fitting room depending on the style and I really can't be bothered to keep traipsing back and forth to the post office to return stuff.

Changing rooms destroy my shopping experience, but have saved me a few £££.

discorabbit Sat 12-Jan-13 22:08:21

i much prefer to shop in the shop so i can try on, check fabric etc, but am lucky as live near london and have brent cross etc. though saying that i do order alot online but only if they don't have the sizes in store.

the john lewis changing rooms are worse imo, you cannot escape any part of you grin

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