So a week or so ago, the beautiful Beauty Blogging Blonde did this post about her experiences with concession staff and it got me thinking whilst having a wander around town today.
As most of you know, I work as a teaching assistant and I also cycle the 4 miles to and from school most days. Hence I wear an ultra cool (read tragic) 3 in 1 raincoat/fleece thing most days (to keep me warm on the playground and to block out the wind when I'm cycling) and I have a bike pannier which detaches and can be used as a bag. It's massive, but it's still pretty cute. I also rarely wear make up on a school day because I leave the house at stupid o clock and quite frankly, I value sleep more than a made up face.
However, what I've really noticed is that on "school days", I frequently get blanked by sales staff at a variety of concessions. So today I thought I'd do a little test and see what happened. Here's my thoughts...
Clinique staff clearly hate me. I went to 3 separate Clinique counters in York and was not once asked if I was ok or if I needed any help. In fact, one woman actually lent in front of me to ask another customer if they were ok, yet still gave me no acknowledgement of my presence.
Estee Lauder, same goes for you - I was playing and swatching and looking but did you say hello? Did you jiggery.
Origins and Clarins - well done you! You gave me lovely sunny smiles and made me feel very welcome.
Benefit - you amazed me... for once in my life I walked past both of your counters WITHOUT being traffic stopped. Such a shame as I always enjoy being tangoed on a dull Tuesday afternoon.
Dior - Your concession lady was wearing a scary amount of blush, but she did at least give me a hello.
Lancome - no acknowledgement of me at either counter but other customers were approached.
Bobbi Brown - you were wonderful. Even though you were super busy, you gave me a lovely warm, open question and a big smile, and when I told you I was looking for a foundation you booked me in to come back and see you in 45 minutes and then spent almost an hour matching my awkward skin to a foundation (I'm a 3.25 - Cool Beige in case you're wondering - apparently a shade that pretty much never gets sold), and then matching my even more awkward under eyes to a corrector and concealer. You didn't give me any hard sell, and you were just generally lovely people. Thank you.
Now of course it may well be that these other counters were just distracted by other things (stock or jobs etc), but some of them were downright rude. Part of the reason I wanted to do this test is that I frequently feel intimated by these brands and not worthy of buying from them. I hung around all of the concessions for quite a long time and made sure that I was swatching and giving bits a try as opposed to just standing stock still starting blankly. At pretty much all concessions, I was not the only customer. I also know that when I've been wearing slightly less teachery clothing, I've been approached by some of the same members of staff that basically ignored me.
Ladies, what are your thoughts on the counter concession? Do you ever feel looked down upon/treated differently because of how you're dressed?
Disclaimer - This isn't a scientific bit of reasearch, but is just a comment on my own experiences. I used to work in Lush (very sales/demo driven) so I know that sometimes you just can't be bothered.