Yesterday I took Fiona to 'WHAT' on Newport Road to buy Art supplies for her GCSE class and I never cease to be amazed at that shop. It is a CHEAP shop or POUND shop but it isn't necessarily the price of the purchases but the service that you receive that always impresses me. Yesterday, because the weather has turned, I decided that I needed to buy some blue plastic tarpaulins to put over the Rabbit hutch and the Guinea pig hutch in the garden. In WHAT there is a large DIY/car department so I thought that I would look there whilst Fiona was looking through the rest of the shop. Now in WHAT there are staff on the shop floor all the time filling shelves and on the DIY department it always seems to be the same person so when I couldn't find the Tarpaulins I went up to the guy putting out stock and I asked him and he knew straight away that they had sold out of the product. Not like ASDA or TESCO where they say OH I DON'T KNOW BUT I'LL CHECK FOR YOU! Larger stores locally(I don't know what the situation is across the rest of the UK) seem to employ the majority of their staff part-time as this is better financially for the employer.This means that in larger stores they really do not get enough time to know the stock that well as they are there so few hours and are constantly being moved from department to department.
Also in WHAT they do not use a bar code system, the till operators and the shelf fillers learn the prices of the products because of constant access to the product and this means that you ask them a question WHERE, HOW MUCH and they know the answer straight away. Here I am going to start to sound like a bit of a Luddite but I really feel that technology may increase productivity and profits but it definitely does not always make for better service.
WHAT may not have ALL SINGING. ALL DANCING SHELF DISPLAYS AND TECHNOLOGY but what they lack in technology they make up for in service.
I know many people will find this hard to believe in a woman but I REALLY do have a phobia for shops, specially large supermarkets but WHAT never makes me feel that way. I find that the smaller the shop and the less time I am in them the better, perhaps with WHAT it is because the shop is run on a more traditional basis that it doesn't bother me so much.