It seems David Jones is in a bit of a bother, and their sales are down - dramatically. The finger is pointed squarely at the Carbon Tax, but could we just be moving away from large department stores?
I just love workshopping a subject like this. It's so interesting.
I don't really frequent department stores myself. I find them overwhelming, and just too 'overstuffed'. My eye doesn't settle on anything long enough to want it that much.
I also think they've propped themselves up with 'sales' and discounts so much that customers now expect to pay less than the rrp for their purchase. If the item isn't on sale now, it probably will be next week.
Maybe it's just me, but when I look at the lack lustre, mass produced merchandise on sale, with all the quality of a movie prop, it seems like it's just something to sell, rather than a great product that people will want to buy. Here's a shelf, quick, put something on it to sell!
I think the service has improved in department stores, but only once it hit a crazy low, when it was near impossible to find someone to take your money. One day when I was buying a toy in the other big department store, the woman who worked there actually, literally, tried to talk me into going to another counter so she didn't have to serve me. She said the toy I was buying should be 30% off, but she didn't think the discount would work on her cash register. I said I didn't care, and I didn't, I just wanted to pay for it and get out of there. Hey presto! Her register worked perfectly, I got the right price and she skulked off, I'm assuming to hide from any more customers.
When I was a teenager I worked at Sportsgirl and we did training in customer service. We were encouraged to suggest clothes to customers if they were having trouble finding something. We swapped sizes for people, said hello to them and made eye contact.
Maybe DJs customers are all off shopping in their neighbourhood boutiques, where they get attention and an already edited stock which they know will suit their taste.
We must also be approaching a point where we do not need any more retailers. There must be a stage at which there is the perfect number of shops for a population, when they can make a decent living. Past this point, business is thinned out and making a buck becomes more difficult. What is the economic term for this?
Could it be that retail therapy is not filling the void it once did? Are we evolving?
I may be a mad consumer, but I would estimate four out of five things I buy are second hand. It's more of a sport, I get something that's more unique and interesting, it's recycling, and quite often, better quality than something that's new. It's win, win, win.
Now, The Red Hill Fair is on Saturday, July 30th at Woolcock Park. You must all come and buy a cake. I am the Cake Stall Convenor, and we take our cakes very seriously. I've even set up a blog, which you can see here.
The Red Hill Fair is our kindy's major fundraiser, and every family has to make eight cakes for the cake stall. I set up the blog to distribute the recipes. Maybe it will be of help to you too as cakes are often used to financially prop up educational facilities.
The Fair is a great day, it starts at 10 and finishes around 3pm. Don't worry, I intend to remind you again before the BIG DAY.