Please note: I started writing this post last Sunday night, but haven’t been able to finish it until now, due to work travel and a mean cold that just won’t. go. away. Apologies for the radio silence! I’ve missed you!
As I mentioned in last Friday’s post, I went shopping this weekend to update my closet for spring. Though I didn’t get everything on my shopping list, I did manage to stay slightly under budget and came away with a few things I’m pretty excited about. I got a pretty blue cap-sleeve blouse at H&M, a bright floral scarf at Zara, a navy and green striped tee at Loft, leopard flats from Chelsea Crew, and cropped black pants and a purple skirt at J. Crew.
No doubt, I got some great stuff for my closet, and all just under the budget I had set for myself. However, I came away with some very important shopping lessons. At least, shopping in NYC lessons.
I spent no less than 2-3 hours waiting in line, both for the fitting room and in line to pay, between Zara and H&M. I came out with a scarf and a shirt. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do love me some H&M. The prices can’t be beat, and they do have some really cute stuff that’s always on trend and sometimes even fits. And Zara has some really great pieces…but the prices can definitely be beat. I can almost never justify Zara purchases, and their quality leaves a great deal to be desired.
After these shopping experiences, I was frustrated, tired, and hot. AND I still had so many items left on my shopping list! So I did what any reasonable American woman would do…I crossed the street to J. Crew. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was like walking into an oasis from the desert. It was organized, neat, softly lit, and NOT crowded. I didn’t have every kind of man, woman, child, and stroller jostling against me as I tried to peruse tangled racks. As I debated over some pants, a woman came over to ask whether I needed a particular size, and if she could start a fitting room for me. Why, yes, you lovely lady you. Please do! So I continued my leisurely stroll around the store, and then went back to the dressing room, where my items, and an empty room were waiting. Even the dressing room was a vast improvement over those other rooms. In the fitting rooms at Zara and H&M, the rooms were about the size of a bathroom stall, with no bench or place to put your purse or clothing. There was ONE hook on the door. At J. Crew, there was ample room, a bar to hang your items, and a stool to sit on/place your own clothing and purse. It actually makes a huge difference.
So, I spent more money at J. Crew. I normally don’t like to spend that much money. HOWEVER, taking these experiences into account, I would have gladly paid the extra $10-20 above the Zara prices to avoid that nightmare, and get the quality goods I actually wanted in the first place. Does this mean I’m developing adult shopping patterns?
What do you guys think? Are you willing to pay extra money for a better shopping experience, better customer service, higher quality?