Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Creepy Shopping Moment: Hollister

Normally I stay out of Hollister. I'm not a high school surfer chick in California so I tend to not be interested. But my brother had a merchandise credit there that he didn't want and I had seen their pretty summer scarves on their posters so I figured what the hell.
I immediately see a pretty deep blue one that I like on a mannequin at the front of the store and ask the cute little brace face folding shirts where I might find it. She directs me to the cash registers by yelling over the loud punk-pop soundtrack. 
Anyway I amble along in the dark (why is it so dark in there? Isn't it sunny in California?) until I find a set of shelves by the registers containing a very meek selection and not one in the style I want.
I pick through the ugly colors until I see the one I want on a headless mannequin behind me. I start to untie it when this really tall, angry looking girl says, "Excuse me." 
"Um. Yes?"
"The clothes on the mannequins are NOT for sale."
I blink. They have price tags on them. That was what I want. I'm about to spend money in their store. Why would they not be for sale?
"Oh. But...I want that scarf?"
"I'll check in the back to see if there are any left but everyone wanted that one."
She leaves. I'm shoved by a faux-Louis Vuitton toting 14 year old whose trying to get in line with her frazzled looking mother.
The music appears to be getting louder and more throbbing. 
I think about ripping the one I want off the mannequin and making a run for it.
Angry girl reappears and says, "Yeah. We're all out of those styles. You'll have to pick out another one or leave." 
I feel like I'm being threatened by a 19 year old who hates to smile.
"Um. Can't I just take this one? And you can put one of the other scarves onto..."
"No. These are not for sale!"
Right. Got that. 
I don't want to be an annoying, pushy customer so I say thanks and walk to the sale racks. Nothing cute to be found here.
I see another set of shelves and find the same color scarf but with a different pattern folded neatly. I actually like this one better so I feel bad about being the obnoxious customer before. I see angry girl trying to re-stack boxes of foul smelling cologne near the line for the registers so I go over and smile.
"I found a better one. Thanks for trying before though."
She looks up at me. She looks around and in a terrified whisper tells me,
"We get the mannequins fully dressed. They arrive like that and we can't touch them. We just put them out for a time and then send them back."
Uh, okay. I sort of figured that out myself but I smile again anyway until she says,
"We can't touch them! JUST LIKE WE CAN'T TOUCH THE MUSIC OR THE VOLUME!!!!!!"

If anyone is at the Burlington Mall watch out for the girl from Hollister who might have a nervous breakdown at any moment. 




9 comments:

Angela said...

My sister has hilarious stories about people who have worked at Hollister and Abercrombie. We're actually thinking of writing a horror screenplay based on an Abercrombie/Hollister like retail store. I like this story. I'm glad you got the scarf you wanted, Bostonista.

Miranda said...

hahahaa oh my goodness.
i'd go nuts too.
i work retail and seriously...that stuff puts you on edge.

Elle, Author of Label Ho said...

LOL!!! Your description of your experience there is exactly how I remember all of mine being when I've stepped foot into either Abercrombie or Hollister. Aside from having THE WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER, it seems like their managers hire the most retarded and rude teenagers to work at their stores.

la petite fashionista said...

hahah i used to be a hollister wearing middle schooler back in the day.. i can't even step foot in their anymore. i've heard tons of horror stories.

& to angela above: you should definitely publish one, i think it would be hillarious to leave

Teresa said...

Oh god I feel your pain.

Hollister sprays their stench/cologne around the store so that it would lure people to buy a bottle. Which only makes me want to leave the store faster IMO.

kpong said...

A similar event happened to me in a Victoria Secret. After the illiterate sales staff had me run up and down 2 flights of stairs (twice) going from associate to associate that was supposed to be able to help me, I was finally told they could not sell me an item on the mannequin. I too pointed out the tags and that if indeed it was the last one, wouldn’t they rather sell it and close out the inventory than see a good customer walk out having bought nothing and now disgruntled. However it was pointless. I was told repeatedly that the mannequin was not to be touched and if I didn’t like it I could go elsewhere. Which I did and found what I wanted and a whole lot more. I don’t understand what marketing genius came up with this new policy of not selling the merchandise but if they want to be that stupid that deserve to loose some of their customer base. IMHO

Bostonista said...

I agree Kpong! It doesn't make ANY sense!

punky said...

I worked at af in high school they are super weird about stuff. I lasted a month.

Anonymous said...

i used to work at a&f as a manager, i must add i lasted a month, district makes us choose "floor models" based solely on appearance if they are good looking they get put at the front of the store, if they are cute they get put stocking shelves and if they are ugly with the best work ethic, no chance. Its absolutely ridiculous, most people who work there have one 4 hour shift every two weeks and they only come because their daddys tell them they need a job. They would look at me liek i had four heads if i god for bid asked them to do some work.
Trust me i went absolutely insane about people wanting things off the mannequins, the barcodes dont work in the computers and they will literally fall apart if you wear them because they are sprayed no word of a lie every 30 minutes with the cologne. The clothes are considered damaged, you dont want them anyways

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