Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Justice - the store, the concept
I'm going to give a shout out today to a store that I shopped in the other day. We are staying in Dedham in a hotel across the street from Legacy Place and, on Sunday we used part of our free time to explore and do a bit of shopping. One of the stores there, Justice is a shop full of girls clothing. There is something that we pick up for Ruby and Sadie at every holiday we can, and we had yet to find what we wanted. So we popped in.
We asked one of the clerks if they had what we were looking for and they did, but it was way back in the store. The aisle were narrow and there was no way that I could make it back there. They nicely offered to bring a selection up to me but I no longer do this. Two reasons for that, first, they might leave out in their 'selection' something I'd really prefer and, more importantly, when they go to all that trouble, I feel really pressured to buy. "We got them and brought them to him and he just said, 'no thanks' and left the store. Can't please those people."
As we were chatting about what we wanted to buy, another clerk came along, listened for a second. Looked at where I was and then looked at where I'd need to be and simply said, "Follow me." All the racks were on wheels and she just pushed them back making a bigger passageway. I got to where I wanted to go, saw the complete selection. Joe and I then could look through them, find what we wanted and then, buy them.
Something difficult, became easy.
Somewhere inaccessible, became accessible.
I know that the next person in a wheelchair that comes in will face the same narrow passageway. But the clerks now know what to do to make the place accessible.
Should this ever make it to the manager or owner of that shop: Your staff are awesome and welcoming. I have never had any clerks in any store ever do that for me before. Tell them that their actions represent well the store, and that with them there the name of the store actually means something ... Justice.
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Great post as always. And I just reverted back to being 9 years old and wanting to be on the receiving end of a gift from a store like that. Oddly my 9 y.o. hasn't been smitten by it even though it appears to be totally her style. Those girls are SO LUCKY to have you in their lives and not just because of the sparkly Justice swag!
You accept too little: when all the staff in the store are routinely trained AHEAD OF TIME to do what that nice proactive clerk did, THEN you're close to Justice.
Justice would be not having had to ask for it in the first place.
I know real estate is expensive, but I often leave with money in my hand because it is just too much work: aisles which are wide - and blocked with 'special' displays, access which requires a lot of work and patience on my part.
We should boycott inaccessible stores one day a year, or pay for everything with $2 bills (in the US) - not just us, but our aides and helpers, family and caretakers. There are a lot of us, and we ARE an economic power (even if many of us are on disability) - but nobody knows it.
I want to go to that place!
Glad you had a great experience at an aptly named store. This anecdote is a good example of how the attitude of true barrier free living and the needs of a retail store to display stock are both met. Ethical values are the "why" and this event is the " how" of removing barriers.
How fabulous! I think this also speaks to how confident the clerk felt to just take matters into their own hands. I do think many employees feel they must follow policy and procedure all the time, including not moving things around unless they're expressly told to do so. I can imagine that a lot of employees would feel cowed by the power imbalances in the world of retail, including possible push-back from other customers temporarily inconvenienced by moving wracks. Glad you had such a wonderful retail experience.
I see you are in my area, unless you've left already. I was wondering if you have any events open to the public while you're here. I've been really enjoying your blog, and I'm a special ed teacher in the area. Glad the staff were able to be accommodating, even if the original setup was not. I'll remember the store when getting presents for my cousins-they're about the right age for that kind of stuff! :)
I would love to know, too, when you are in my area and whether any of your events are open to the public. Would you consider posting a link of your schedule that includes those events open to the public?
Hi, I'm still in the Boston area, I am consulting to an agency here and will be doing a training but it's just for their staff. I don't have a schedule posted anywhere, not that organized or computer literate.
When my daughter went on her first shopping trip with her chair, she went on a rampage in our small town mall.
She lives in your great city now, but I still check out the shops and bring it to their attention if I feel they are not accessible.
I'm really glad that she was still feeling angry at the time of that outing because it gave her the strength to get after these shops.
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