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Small shops

(25 Posts)
JessieMcJessie Mon 25-Mar-19 16:18:23

Today I walked past a local independent shop with a sign outside saying “Free next-minute delivery, better than Amazon!” which made me laugh. It was a teeny tiny shop selling kids’ clothes, about the size of a box room. I realised that I would never go in because I absolutely hate tiny shops which are so small that you have to greet the salesperson and they then watch you browse- I then feel I have to be all apologetic if I decide to leave without buying anything. Same with market stalls selling non food stuff. I’m all for preserving the High Street but I like to do my browsing without being watched. Am I being a bit silly?

Shadow01 Mon 25-Mar-19 16:31:25

Not silly at all.
I like to shop and browse in peace but knowing that I can ask for help if I need it.
I also work in retail where there is pressure to make a sale. However I and my team treat customers as we would like to be treated - we acknowledge people as they walk in, keep an eye on people looking around for help, but essentially don’t ‘smother’ customers just for a sale if that makes sense?!

JessieMcJessie Mon 25-Mar-19 16:34:51

I’m not thinking so much about pushy sales people, just shops that are so teeny that you can’t help but make eye contact when you go in, and they have to watch you because they have nowhere else to look!

bigbluebus Mon 25-Mar-19 17:06:37

I shop in a small town with lots of independent little shops and often go in for a browse - nobody minds. Mostly you and they say 'hello' when you go in, you browse, and if you don't want to buy anything you go to the door and say a polite 'thank you' as you leave. Job's a goodun'. No shopkeeper i going to expect everyone to buy something - although obviously it would be nice if they did!

WhatdoImean Mon 25-Mar-19 17:12:29

My favourite sign (for a small pub):-

Wanted:- Customer. Apply within.

Well.. made me chuckle, anyway

nometal Mon 25-Mar-19 17:14:06

I hate small shops because I am big and tend to knock the displays over. I wrecked a souvenir shop in Wales when the paper bag of spuds I was carrying split.

JessieMcJessie Mon 25-Mar-19 17:39:52

That sounds like an episode of Miranda nometal grin

Leeds2 Mon 25-Mar-19 17:43:25

I don't go in small shops for the very reasons you describe!

I also don't go in Lush anymore, because their assistants hound you repeatedly, despite being told no!

ScreamingValenta Mon 25-Mar-19 17:44:13

I get quite tense if the sales person is too pushy - I'd rather be left by myself to browse. I don't mind being approached, but I wish more salespeople would understand when I reply 'I just want to browse for the moment, thanks.'

Comefromaway Mon 25-Mar-19 17:48:06

No not silly. Bit it’s not alwYs about the size.

I was in the little town where ds goes to school. I rarely shop there as the shops all close at 5pm but for once I was there Saturday.

I had a lovely browse in a little shop that sold watches, clocks, leather handbags etc.the assistant nodded to me as I went in but then carried on with something else. I found something I liked but it was the wrong size and the assistant was very helpful.

I then went into a bigger hardware type store. I as greeted with hello straight away and as I went up and down the aisles I was watched every second. He asked can I help you & are you looking for anything in particular. So I left the shop.

Spudina Mon 25-Mar-19 17:53:58

I really try to shop independent, though I know what you mean about it being potentially uncomfortable! We have some great little independents where I live, that really make the high street what it is. I strongly feel that you get the shops you deserve. If we don't use these businesses, they don't stand a chance against Amazon and the like. Please go back in. It doesn't matter if you are only browsing.

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Mon 25-Mar-19 17:59:31

I'm the same, OP. I feel like it is a personal rejection of their little shop if I don't buy something, so I don't go in unless I am 100% sure I want to buy something they stock.

Fluffyears Mon 25-Mar-19 18:00:33

Smothering assistants make me anxious. I do tend to avoid small shops as I feel guilty for not buying anything. Recently I was in boots as I wanted to sniff the perfume testers and an assistant wouldn’t leave me alone despite saying I just wanted to look. She then asked if I had an advantage card, I do but I said no hoping she’d leave me alone. She launched into a spiel and whipped out a form and said ‘hang on i’ll Just get a pen!’ I said ‘oh I have to leave now!’ She grabbed my arm and said ‘it takes a minute!’ I pulled my arm away and legged it. Read the leave me slone signs i’m Sending out. I did say ‘i’m Just having a look’ a few times, his cheeky can I actually be, is saying ‘please leave me alone’ too rude!

JessieMcJessie Mon 25-Mar-19 18:01:47

Exactly that Tawdry! Small shop owners the country over are probably face-palming now saying “FGS how will you know if you want to buy anything if you don’t look!”.
It makes no logical sense but I just feel horribly awkward and choose to avoid feeling that way...

PengAly Mon 25-Mar-19 18:06:18

I think its really not a big deal. So what if they say hello to you? Its called good customer service. They will be used to people coming in to browse and not buy anything- nobody is judging you. I think we should support small, independent shops more often. Its sad to see so many chains appearing and even sadder to see threads like this where people are so anti social that they wont be support a local business simply because they may have to engage with a shop assistant? How sad.

JessieMcJessie Mon 25-Mar-19 18:10:05

It’s called good customer service Ah but you see, that’s the thing- surely whether or not the service is “good” is subjective, and depends on the customer’s POV? It’s like hairdressers- some people hate the chit-chat, others absolutely love that their hair appointment is also an opportunity for a natter.

I’m not criticising the shop owners though, what else can they do?

PengAly Mon 25-Mar-19 18:17:18

@JessieMcJessie yes, i understand you point. But surly a business shouldnt be penalised (loss of customers) for the intention of good customer service? Personally i find rude when store assistants ignore me but I wouldnt avoid a store for that reason.

Sparklingbrook Mon 25-Mar-19 18:21:22

I went into a lovely little shop just after Christmas. Scarves and little trinkets, gifts etc.
Bought my Mum a really nice scarf for her birthday. The lovely shop assistant (who said hello when I walked in but didn't question me further) said I was her first customer. It was 3pm. sad

Whynham Mon 25-Mar-19 18:31:51

Buying produce from the small local independents helps the local economy and helps pay for the shopkeepers dancing lessons for their daughter or helps to pay for their sons school uniform but you'd rather avoid completely and buy from the faceless corporate giants to line the shareholders wallets all because you don't want to say hello or feel uncomfortable to say no thank you. This is so sad sad

JessieMcJessie Mon 25-Mar-19 18:35:46

Shareholders and employees of big corporations have kids who need dancing lessons and school uniform too!

JessieMcJessie Mon 25-Mar-19 18:39:06

But for what it’s worth, my point is that I get it, am just wondering if many other people generally feel uncomfortable in small shops, so will have to make extra special effort to use them. And how we get past this, for the sake of the high street?

sam221 Mon 25-Mar-19 18:41:35

I think it's difficult to strike the right balance but small businesses strive very hard to try and read their customers and behave accordingly. Give them a chance, honestly they will not mind you just browsing.

Whynham Mon 25-Mar-19 18:45:39

They're just ordinary people you can say hello as you walk in, have a look around and say thank you as you leave. There's no need to feel uncomfortable.

NailsNeedDoing Mon 25-Mar-19 18:57:16

I'm fine with saying hello and thank you on entry and as I leave, that's not really the problem, because I totally get what you mean OP.

It's like you can feel the weight of expectation following you around the whole time you're looking. I'm sure if it were guaranteed that the shopkeeper would say hello and then busy themselves with something else, then people that feel this way would be less reluctant to use small shops.

PengAly Mon 25-Mar-19 19:10:20

just wondering if many other people generally feel uncomfortable in small shops

Honestly, no i dont feel uncomfortable in small shops. So apologies but i do think its a bit silly

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