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Tempe AZ store has gone downhill...
8 days ago
I recall visiting this site years ago. It just came to mind that I should post a couple recent experiences with the Tempe AZ store:
1. A couple weeks ago I went there to buy some hookup wire. The entire wall was bare. The shrink tube area was *empty* (which was noticeable compared to the state of disaster it's usually in). I didn't have my hopes up because the inventory is always spotty. But, this was extreme. How does it reach that point of neglect? How does the store manager not see that? (or, see it when it's spotty and not let it reach this point?).
So, I sent feedback. I received a professional email from Roland Leon Guerrero, short and to the point that it's being taken seriously.
I went to the store a week ago and there was some wire on the wall (but, the heatshrink area was empty). So... a bandaid response, I guess. (Not getting to whatever the root of the problem is.)
2. I bought something a week ago that I couldn't use. I returned it yesterday. I was told to go to "the first register" for a return. When I emerged into that area, there were a couple unmanned registers (one was unnumbered). Register #1 was manned. #1 = "first" seemed reasonable.
I stood there, unsure of where I should be. I was obviously ignored, like the cashier was annoyed by my presence. Then an employee went to the unnumbered register, and helped two people who had walked up. He then beckoned another customer to step up, ignoring me. That customer had more tact, and asked if I had a return. I thanked him and walked up.
I mentioned to the return guy how they needed a sign saying "returns." He wasn't very interested. I said I had stood over there for 5 minutes. It didn't seem to mean anything to him. I said "maybe I should contact the store manager? Maybe he'd care?" Still no sense of caring about my experience.
So, I sent more feedback yesterday.
Today I received an email from David Keith, asking me for my phone number so we could talk. The email was sent from a gmail account.
I've shopped that store for decades. I remember it's grand opening. (I was getting off the freeway one night, and there were spotlights in the parking lot, and people standing on the balcony, lots of excitement and enthusiasm. It seems to me like it's steadily gone downhill the past 5 years(?), and especially the last 2.
Can anyone explain what's going on there? IMO, it's the store manager.
I don't see how employees can be that *broken* if they aren't inspired by a remote, distant, disengaged manager. It *always* starts at the top. (I've worked retail.). It's not human nature to spend hours of your life "putting in your time," not caring, etc. People want to enjoy their jobs. Those are *hours* of their lives. Why would they want to exist in a dreary, cold, 1984'ish uncaring, depersonalized environment? It has to be the environment. And, if that environment exists, and the store manager doesn't see it... it's the manager!
The things I see are "low-hanging fruit." Stuff that doesn't cost money. Just empowering employees to suggest "hey, how about a 'Returns' sign? I've seen customers ..." Detecting out-of-stock conditions and hanging a "ETA for more stock" sign. Something that says "I give a damn." From my experience in retail, that is *entirely* store management. They can't even *see* the opportunities to make lemonaide from lemons.
That's my take on what I see. I'm curious what others think.
Every time I go there (which is less frequent, because I find Amazon and eBay more pleasant to interact with), I look at that upstairs area, and the outer balcony. Everything screams "we died years ago." They could put the food court up there, have a fun vibe with people eating on the patio. Maybe appeal to area businesses that might come there for their lunch break. (Instead, the vibe is *bleak*, like the "upstairs/downstairs" British shows, where the elite are upstairs -- and the peasant staff are downstairs. The staff dare not speak to their superiors.
Even David Keith's email to me. How unprofessional is that to write a customer from a gmail account? It screams "I want to limit my exposure to you." (I imagine it's a throwaway email address.). "I want to distance myself." The *very* vibe I get every time I walk in that place. They heavy, oppressive vibe that seems to explain the robotic employees. The lack of passion. And... what's to talk about? Weren't the two feedbacks sufficiently detailed? Less talking, more doing!
I'm convinced it's the store manager. But, how does a store deteriorate like that without someone at a higher level not replacing that guy? Is it higher? A culture of nepotism?
Thanks to all who can shed light. (I hope my depiction of the returns guy isn't too harsh. I honestly believe he's a product of the environment. Certainly not the exception.).
EDIT: I sent the link to this thread to David Keith. It would be nice if people had an honest conversation about what's wrong.
4 days ago
you are a nut! retail does not need people like you. stick to online!
3 hours ago
Worked there for years...definitely comes from the top. For years only the bottom line mattered, not customers hell not even suppliers mattered. It's a shame because I've seen quite a bit of good/great people come and go during my time there. Used to be a saying there " Squeaky wheel doesn't get the grease, he get's replaced ". :face-plain:
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