It is last Monday afternoon 20/7 and I am in the shopping centre of my town. I need a ne short sleeved white shirt. So I go to the biggest clothes retailer in town – M&S. There are lots of shirts on display so I search for the white short sleeved ones and there are about 6-8 in a rack designed for 10-12. None are my size. May be they are elsewhere? I search through a display of around 50 white shirts. No they are all long sleeved, have various collars and styles and shapes. So I ask the sales assistant, who confirms that they have none, but explains that their next delivery will be on Monday evening and offers to order one for me. I decline. So what are the conclusions? This is the summer, but the stock of short sleeved shirts is too low. A wide selection of long sleeved filling display space is a waste. If my size is sold out then there was not enough stock held. This trend is predictable on time of year and weather and stocks should be varied to match. Delivery on Monday evening is no help to Monday shoppers. Size is a feature of their customers and again is predictable from past sales. I am willing to bet that your young stylish types, don’t shop in M&S whereas your typical older “rounder” types do and sizes stocked ought to be adjusted to suit. The sales person should know that offering to order stuff into store is fine on the face of it, but the cost of travel and parking into town make it a bad option.
So then we went to a specialist posh gents clothing shop, but they had no short sleeved shirts at all! Then we “Next” went to another store nearby and had no luck there either. As part of a customer focus training course we watched a film the theme if not the title of which was “Remember me I’m the customer!” I just wanted to buy a very basic standard ordinary item of gents clothing on a summer Monday afternoon – why was it impossible?