Some Small Sense

Shopping experiences and store reviews by a very petite woman. Indeed, it sucks. 4'10", 87 pounds, and full grown - is it a surprise I have trouble finding clothes?

June 18, 2006

It's All Above My Head!

Ok, the typical scenario. I'm out shopping and I see something I kinda like hanging on one of the mannequins. Doing a room scan, I see a rack of them across the room...hanging overhead way out of my reach. How annoying! Everyone that shops here is 5'4" or under - what were they thinking to put stuff so high up???

Well, in a word, wall space. As much complaining about it might be fun, the reality is, stores need to shelve or rack their inventory somewhere. Yeah, they know it's a hassle, but ceilings aren't going to be dropping in height anytime soon. Anyone else thinking of the 13 1/2 floor from Being John Malkovich?

At this point, several options are available to you:
  1. Forget about it. This usually involves justifying it to yourself with weak rationalizations. Oh, it's probably more than I want to pay. It's probably not as nice as I think it is. It's probably not gonna look good on me anyway.
  2. Ask a taller, and hopefully sympathetic, fellow shopper to reach up and help. This usually involves some chit chat about the garment, your height, or both.
  3. Ask a taller, and hopefully sympathetic, salesperson to help you. This usually involves hearing a few more suggestions for other items from a helpful staff member (along with 'can I set up a room for you?') or an almost rude interaction from a disgruntled worker.
  4. Strain mightily on tiptoe at first, and finish with a mighty leap. First, extend a few more inches to peer up and search through the rack for you size. Once the prize has been spotted, lower yourself, bend your knees and jump. Extra points for a successful landing. As items are usually arranged smallest in the front, advanced practitioners of this technique may also become quite adept at guesstimating sizes and skip the first step.
  5. Carry a foot stool or robo-arm around and use it. Learn to stop paying attention to funny looks and outright laughter.
Fine, I'm a big fan of #4 because I usually like to do things myself - and because it's kinda fun to do something sort of undignified once in a while.

However, I also think stores, particularly those that know they have a shorter clientele, should be a little more accomodating. After all, if customers choose #1 most of the time, stores will wind up selling a little less. Requests to the stores:
  1. Use more of the higher wall space for displaying apparel or accessories instead of hanging racks of clothes. This hopefully promotes greater sales for the merchandise up there, as it's easier for customers to notice it and like it.
  2. A few small steps (that match the decor) could also be set against walls so that customers can easily reach higher items. Steps would also be helpful for staff to put new items up, and can be moveable so that wall setups can be changed.
  3. Piles of clothing should have the smallest items shelved lower. This is most applicable for non-petite stores, where height and size are more closely coorelated. I like to help myself rather than be forced to ask staff for help, but even so, doesn't the salesperson get tired of constantly pulling down size 0 jeans for shorties like me?
I figure #3 is painless (after rearrangement) as floorspace is not sacrificed. For the first two, there's no reason that a small amount of space can't be given up. After all, mirrors are on the floor and they take away from the merchandise space - but they help push sales too. And if that doesn't help, think of the number of customers that won't be hurting themselves after attempting arial manuvers like me.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Steven Swain said...

Those are greta tips. Hopefully somebody that designs stores will find this blog and listen to your suggestions.

June 20, 2006 1:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kohls sometimes leaves a few 'grabber pole' things in the corners. I think more stores should have those available for customer use, with plenty more of them.

May 06, 2009 10:02 AM  

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