Friday, 30 March 2012
Do I need retail therapy?
So I am well up for a bit of miniature retail therapy of the shoe variety. The problem is, our local children’s shoe shop. Don’t get me wrong....it’s a great shop. Award-winning, in fact, according to the signage. It stocks all the right brands, or should I say all the Start-rite brands, and is part of a small chain in our area.
The problem is the staff. Oh they’re friendly enough. Very welcoming. Couldn’t be more helpful. Helpful, that is, until it comes to actually selling you a shoe or two. Yes, it is one of those really weird shops where the staff appear to be somehow loathed to part with the stock and seem to do everything in their power to prevent you from purchasing and therefore removing it.
I have a friend who is really good at sourcing things on the internet. For her, this shop is perfect. She can go in, get her little girl’s feet measured with absolutely no pressure to buy and then go order online.
But as a genuine customer, it’s a long old slog. “He’s in his growing room.....should be ready in the next couple of weeks...come back then”. Back we return, again we are turned away empty handed. It is more like having a heart condition that needs regular monitoring than growing feet. His current shoes are often worn to rags, he needs some new one before these get holes. Somehow though, that’s not the rules.
But it is when you come to the more seasonal, extra-curricular purchases that you really have a problem. You would have thought it was easy enough to pick up a pair of wellies or – more topically – a pair of rubber summer clog things. Shall we call them Hippos to avoid brand plugging?
Two years ago, when he was 18 months, admittedly I went in a bit late in the summer. “They’ve pretty much all gone and you won’t find any anywhere,” I was told. So, last year, I went earlier in the ‘season’, to avoid disappointment. His feet were duly measured. “Because of the sizings of the Hippos and where your little boy’s feet are, I just don’t think he’s going to get into any this summer”. I slunk away downhearted. But, wait. How could this be? Every child I see seems to have a pair!
I managed to sneak in when a new girl had been left in charge of the shop, try a pair on him and quickly, mercilessly, buy them. Ha! They lasted all summer, he was never out of them. They were invaluable.
This year I was braced for a fight. In our mini March heat-wave I went into a packed shop and headed for the Hippos. I sussed out the ones that were his size and held them protectively, lest they were snatched away from me. As we waited to be measured, DLB announced he needed a wee wee. This would mean leaving the Hippos unattended....I was torn. But I couldn’t smuggle them upstairs to the toilet with us. That would be weird, right?
You will be relieved to know that I left the shop with the shoes lawfully secured, without being carted off to the police station or the asylum. Job done for another year.
I know what you’re probably thinking: go somewhere else! But this shop is on our road, a mere stroll away, we’d have a long drive and it would be a big faff to go somewhere else. And I like their shoes. I want their shoes......and the more they try and deny me, the more certain I become that I HAVE TO HAVE THEIR SHOES.
Hmm. Just thought. Do you think their strange behaviour is a cunning ploy to make me want their shoes?