A store for everyone..

Posted by Annie Mackenzie on

When I was in my twenties, the company I worked for put me through a sales course and I remember this story vividly as it really resonated with me. There is a similar story told in the Pretty Woman movie made all those years ago starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

 Anyway, the story is of a man, who made bucket loads of money and retired at a young age. He had a love of fast luxury cars and had a huge garage full of them. His other love, was a beautiful yacht that he was painstakingly restoring. Every morning he would drive down in his painting clothes and work for hours on his boat, stripping paint and repainting, replacing fixtures and fittings. One day, he decided he wanted to buy a new Lamborghini as he had heard about the new release. He went to the dealership closest to where his yacht was moored, and wandered in asking to see it. He looked like a bit of a vagrant as he was shoeless and wearing his painting clothes. He asked to test drive the Lambo but the young salesman looked him up and down, and told him he thought he was in the wrong place and did he know how much these luxury cars cost?  So the man left the dealership and went to another one. There, the salesman, used to the eccentricities of the wealthy, welcomed the man, took him for a test drive and sold the car to him. He drove his new Lamborghini back to the first dealership to prove a point to the salesman who had shunned him. In the same way, the sales assistant in the shop in Beverley Hills, Los Angeles refused to sell “Julia Roberts” anything because she was a call girl in the movie Pretty Woman. “Big Mistake”. This was a lesson taught to us very early on in our sales course. NEVER judge a book by it’s cover. This is probably one of the most important lessons I have ever learned and I try to apply it to my business and our team daily.

 I have always strived to try and make everyone comfortable when they walk into our shop. No matter who you are and what you are after, the ultimate aim is to make everyone feel welcome.

There are plenty lessons in the process as well. For example, I’ve learnt that Muslim ladies cannot wear anything with animal eyes on, so this season we have designed a beautiful bird print with this in mind. It is all about respecting someone’s views and customs and adapting. I love learning about other cultures and customs and the day we stop learning, or wanting to learn, is really the day we should shut up shop.  I really enjoy engaging with our customers to get this feedback, it is imperative for survival as the economies of the world falter.

 We offer a lay-by system for those unable to afford that special something. Lay-by is where you can pay off your purchase over one or two months and we keep it for you. It is a great system especially post COVID-19 lockdown when we are all feeling the pinch.

 As well as all the COVID-19 protocols such as humidifiers, blinds and sanitizers, we have a “husband or partner” chair in the shop for those men who just hate shopping and don’t want to stand around whilst you search for that special gift. It sits in the corner (like the naughty chair I guess) and allows them to check their phones in the comfort of an armchair, allowing you to browse in a more relaxed environment. In saying this, we get many guys coming into the shop for gifts for their wives, girlfriends, mothers and children and we help them choose the right gift with a pretty good hit rate. If size is an issue, we generally ask to see a picture and most of the time can determine the right fit from there, and then we have the discussion on whether she likes frills or is perhaps more relaxed. And of course if it doesn’t fit or it’s not the right style, we happily exchange or refund. Alternatively we also offer gift vouchers if you’re really unsure and don’t want to buy the wrong thing.

 Another area we try to help is in our custom-made programme. Where a customer perhaps has a large top and smaller bottom or vice versa and can’t really buy a regular size off the rack. Or perhaps hubby is 6 foot 7 and most pyjama bottoms end up at his knees! This is where we assist with our made to measure pyjamas. As long as it is our style and our fabric is in stock, we can make to those specific measurements.

 But, we must either have a pair of pyjamas that fit the person in question, or we must do the measurements ourselves. This is just to ensure that the pyjamas we make, fit properly and comfortably. Nothing worse than wearing something that doesn’t fit to bed! This made to measure option is only available from January through to October, as unfortunately we get a bit too busy in November and December to look after the made to measure customers properly in the festive season. We also do made to measure for bridesmaids, offering that special gift to your girlfriends who are sharing your special day with you. Pyjamas are a great gift they can take with them and remember you by. We make to measure as long as the style is ours, as some girls prefer longer length shorts and others the shorter length, whilst some styles suit specific body types and others don’t.  The made to measure option is unfortunately only available in-store in Parkhurst for fit reasons. In terms of price, if the sizes are within our regular range, there is no additional charge for made to measure. Please allow at least 10 to 14 days for single pyjama purchases, and 6 weeks for wedding. An additional 4 working days for any embroidery which will be charged separately.

 The lesson I learnt all those years ago is still so relevant today. Perhaps even more so now with the diversity of our populations around the world. The most important thing to me is that every single person who walks into our shop feels welcome and not uncomfortable. Our staff all try to be helpful without being pushy and they are genuine in their will to assist and respectful in keeping their distance if you just want to browse. And of course we’re all keeping our distance anyway with all the COVID-19 protocols!

 Stay safe and healthy!

Thanks for reading,

Annie

 

 

 

 

 

 


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