High street retailers that discourage customers! Middle aged rant

(40 Posts)
EvelynBeatrice Mon 03-May-21 13:43:51

I went shopping on our local high street last week for the first time since Christmas. It was a beautiful day and was mostly enjoyable.
However, I went to Monsoon to see a top that I had liked the look of online. I located the top I’d seen online (but wanted to do quality/size check in person) and liked the look of it, but wanted to see it against me in a mirror. It wasn’t possible. There were no fitting rooms open (although competitors like Mint Velvet did have open fitting rooms). I’d have been happy with a mirror on the shop floor, but there were none that weren’t either in the darkest corner of the shop or almost completely obscured by rails of clothing. Surely they would sell more even if they have less stock out, by allowing people to see what they look like?
Reminds me of Laura Ashley before its demise - our local one had such low level energy saving lightbulbs in its fitting room that you couldn’t see yourself at all - the staff seem demoralised and ‘not allowed to use any initiative at all to make it easier to sell things.
Another example is shop fitting in Phase Eight branches. The rails are too high. The average height of a woman in the U.K. is 5’4. It makes it much harder to look at the clothes properly. When they did their restyle a few years back, the local staff told me that they knew it was a mistake, but they had no input or discretion. Why?

OP’s posts: |
user1494055864 Mon 03-May-21 17:08:53

I went in Superdry at the weekend with my kids. It was so dark in there, with weird yellowish lighting, it was actually hard to tell what the colour of the clothing looked like. It put me right off.

ElGuardiandenoche Tue 04-May-21 02:08:15

I have the issue of being a wheelchair user and the height of the clothes on rails is ridiculous and nobody wanted to help me get clothes down.The mirror issue is also a problem for me too.Also trying to get my chair around some shops is awful.

BlackDaffodil Tue 04-May-21 02:47:57


it's like a blackout in mid winter and the only candle is 50 yards away.

Tisgrand Tue 04-May-21 03:27:49

Totally agree OP. However I had noticed even before covid that shops generally were doing away with mirrors on shop floors. And frequently if they didn't get rid of them then they deliberately covered them up with rails of clothes. My local M&S had replaced all their regular mirrors with these very strange dark-tinted ones. Why indeed??

EversoDelighted Tue 04-May-21 05:44:02

And the ones that don't have any visible size labelling on the hangers or tags so you have to peer inside each item to find the size you want.

VanCleefArpels Tue 04-May-21 08:15:50

And you have succinctly summarised why I have very rarely bought clothing in an actual shop for years. I order online, sometimes in different sizes if unsure, try them on at my convenience in a well lit room with a long mirror, and send back if they are not suitable. To the extent that any supplier charges for returns I think this is a price well worth paying for that convenience.

EversoDelighted Tue 04-May-21 08:29:37

Oh no, even with all those niggles its massively preferable to online clothes shopping which is the very last resort for me.

Fixitup2 Tue 04-May-21 08:33:18

We went in sports direct (I know, I was desperate) looking for DS a raincoat. They had some but I’d need to call the staff member over with their ladders as it was 3 metres off the ground. I ordered one online from elsewhere.

The not trying things on is so difficult. I need jeans, the ones I have are all a size 10 from 3 different shops, ordered a 12 from somewhere and they were too small. I can’t afford to buy numerous pairs to take back all that don’t fit. Equally I don’t want to spend all my time buying and returning jeans.

Ellpellwood Tue 04-May-21 08:38:36


And the ones that don't have any visible size labelling on the hangers or tags so you have to peer inside each item to find the size you want.

This is SO annoying. I can sometimes check 10 or 11 top labels to find my size!

Tehmina23 Tue 04-May-21 11:26:27

I'm 5'4" and really struggled to reach the jacket in my size in Primark it was so high up... anyone smaller would have no chance.

EvelynBeatrice Tue 04-May-21 11:27:25

Maybe I should have posted this in Feminism Chat. It seems to me that there’s a bit of sexism here or perhaps it’s a hierarchy issue in that retail management/ boards don’t seem to place any value on the views or ideas of shop floor workers. Do any of the fashion retailers have any mechanisms in place whereby they solicit staff views on maximising sales and prioritising the customer experience?!

OP’s posts: |
Pinktruffle Tue 04-May-21 11:37:00

Another vote for Hollister here, I bought what I thought (in the dark) was a red hoody from there years ago. Got it home and discovered it was in fact orange. Luckily is suited me and was excellent quality - I still wear it round the house now almost 10 years later!

To be fair, the menswear section in Hollister and A&F is just as bad.

Chemenger Tue 04-May-21 11:48:40

Now that my DDs are no longer teenagers I don't have to go to Hollister, but when I did, I made good use of the torch on my phone.

BlackDaffodil Tue 04-May-21 19:41:28


Now that my DDs are no longer teenagers I don't have to go to Hollister, but when I did, I made good use of the torch on my phone.

I hear you.. it was a nightmare for us too

Deathraystare Wed 05-May-21 15:20:57

Oh and the larger cup bras that are on the lowest hangers so you are on the floor!

I also hate that so often when I look at a tag for the size and material it is right next to the security tag! However as most of the shit out there is bloody viscose I tend not to buy in the shops now!

SquirrelFan Wed 05-May-21 17:36:44

I think it's marketing - maybe the more invested you are in finding out the size, the more likely you are to buy it, unconsciously thinking about your sunk cost. The mirrors! I once purchased a dress that finally showcased how tall, slender and beautiful I was. Then I got home and looked like a troll.

TheYearOfSmallThings Wed 05-May-21 17:41:32

I've noticed the lack of mirrors too. I'm not sure whether it's got worse, or whether it's just that I'm relying more on shop floor mirrors because I can't try stuff on in the changing rooms.

LivingDeadGirlUK Wed 05-May-21 20:06:28

Tbh even when you can get in the changing rooms the mirrors seem to portray you in another dimension, rather than your true appearance.

goose1964 Wed 05-May-21 20:12:02

I was in Primark the other day and bought loungewear which I thought was purple when I got home it was navy and a pale pink nightdress is actually apricot. What's strange was that the other stuff I bought was the colour I thought they were.

Mycatismadeofstringcheese Wed 05-May-21 20:33:36

The last time I went into Zara (pre COVID) the light in there was so yellow I looked severely jaundiced in the mirror and I had no idea of the colours of the clothes I was looking at. Didn’t buy anything. The yellow made everything look unappealing.

huuuuunnnndderrricks Wed 05-May-21 20:34:45

Mirrors have been taken away to stop people trying on in store and changing rooms are shut at the discretion of the retailers .. you can take anything back within 28 days in most shops so although a bit of a faff , it's just the way it is at the mo! 🤷‍♀️

Echobelly Wed 05-May-21 20:38:22

Hollister seems entirely designed to put off anyone over 21 from entering!

JaceLancs Wed 05-May-21 22:28:19

I stopped buying at any shop that didn’t have mirrors especially Sainsbury’s who taped them all up - I hate being treated like a young child who can’t be trusted to obey rules - sometimes I just want to hold up an item to check length or if colour suits me and respect being asked not to try it on
DKNY - boundary mill - tkmaxx have been the only places I’ve been inspired to give my business to recently for clothes - shoes have been easier as many shops will let you try

camelfinger Wed 05-May-21 22:31:54

I think they’re trying to kill off high st shopping and move all clothes shopping online. The benefits to physically going shopping are constantly dwindling.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in