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12-12-2013 03:34 PM
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  1. ben55124's Avatar
    I made a dash through the Microsoft Store at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, IL on Saturday, 11/16. I wanted to see the XBOne and Lumia 1520. No plans to purchase, just browse. I was a little hesitant to go in -- they have their employees lined up down the center of the store like sentinels looking to take you down. I felt intimidated from the mall entrance. There were no other customers browsing, so I knew I couldn't be stealthy. They had the "bouncer" position front and center. He was demonstrating himself playing XBOne and blocking the Lumia 1520 podium. I snuck through the Surface isle and got caught by employee #3. I told her I was just browsing. I pulled out my Lumia phone hoping to imply I knew what I was doing. She challenged me to find the 1520 that the bouncer was leaning on. I proceeded around the perimeter being watched by #3. I picked up an anchored 1020 which triggered #2 and #3 to close in. I finally reached around bouncer and grabbed the 1520. #3 complemented me on my accomplishment. I looked around for a HUD showing achievement points. I exited the store as soon as possible.

    I haven't been to many Microsoft stores, but I don't think this first person shooter atmosphere is a good strategy. Perhaps I was just being paranoid. The Apple store upstairs was packed with people wanting to be there. I felt uncomfortable the moment I walked into the MS store. Sad for a showcase of stuff I like a lot.
    snowmutt likes this.
    11-18-2013 11:03 AM
  2. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    That's too bad. I've been to the Beachwood, OH store, and nobody bothered me when I said I was just looking. However, I went when the store was pretty busy. I spent about an hour playing with tablets and was left alone.
    stmav likes this.
    11-18-2013 11:21 AM
  3. stmav's Avatar
    I've never had an issue with the employees letting me browse and look at things. And never felt like a salesperson standing there waiting for a customer was a sentinel. But then I don't walk into a store looking at it as a game.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    11-18-2013 11:36 AM
  4. Indistinguishable's Avatar
    I'm a pretty introverted guy... I've never ever had a problem at the Schaumburg store. If someone asks if I need help or have any questions, it's really easy to say "Just looking." If multiple people ask, I give the same answer. On top of that, when I do have a question, people at that store actually seem able to answer it or find an answer.

    Seems pretty harmless to me.
    Laura Knotek and dznk like this.
    11-18-2013 11:42 AM
  5. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    I've never had an issue with the employees letting me browse and look at things. And never felt like a salesperson standing there waiting for a customer was a sentinel. But then I don't walk into a store looking at it as a game.
    I think that's actually a big thing with any brick and mortar stores nowadays. To me it's not really a game, but I have to admit that 95% of the time I enter a brick and mortar store I'm showrooming. I've never purchased anything at Microsoft store, and I haven't purchased anything at Staples or Best Buy in eons. I usually get a better price at Amazon.com and purchase from Amazon.com after looking in some brick and mortar store.
    snowmutt and stmav like this.
    11-18-2013 12:20 PM
  6. stmav's Avatar
    I think that's actually a big thing with any brick and mortar stores nowadays. To me it's not really a game, but I have to admit that 95% of the time I enter a brick and mortar store I'm showrooming. I've never purchased anything at Microsoft store, and I haven't purchased anything at Staples or Best Buy in eons. I usually get a better price at Amazon.com and purchase from Amazon.com after looking in some brick and mortar store.
    I don't buy electronics from amazon. I can get a price match at Best Buy and then get my reward points. Plus if it's not in stock, I'll get it shipped to store for free. Cert books and sports items, I'll go online for, but not my electronics.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    11-18-2013 12:32 PM
  7. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    I don't buy electronics from amazon. I can get a price match at Best Buy and then get my reward points. Plus if it's not in stock, I'll get it shipped to store for free. Cert books and sports items, I'll go online for, but not my electronics.
    Another reason I like Amazon.com for anything is because I can use my Bing Rewards toward Amazon gift cards and then use those toward my purchases.

    Bing Rewards are great for my Amazon and Starbucks purchases.
    stmav likes this.
    11-18-2013 12:42 PM
  8. stmav's Avatar
    Another reason I like Amazon.com for anything is because I can use my Bing Rewards toward Amazon gift cards and then use those toward my purchases.
    I have around 2000 bing rewards I need to do something with. Last couple of times used them in the Microsoft Store for apps. Maybe I'll splurge on some games for the Surface.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    11-18-2013 12:45 PM
  9. ben55124's Avatar
    I didn't approach the store as a FPS, that was just my impression thinking back. If the Apple store is packed and the MS store is empty, something is wrong especially the week of big product launches (XBOne, lumia tablet, phones). In my observation, the sales staff were the only thing that made me uncomfortable. Part of that was the 4:1 employee to customer ratio. If that ratio can't be avoided, they need to find a way to get into the background, not be front and center. They acted like if I was in there, I must need help -- even if I said "just browsing". Browsing doesn't mean watch me like a hawk -- it means don't distract from the showcase. In a mall traffic attracts traffic (see Apple store) -- browsers are good for you.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    11-18-2013 12:48 PM
  10. dznk's Avatar
    That writeup was brilliant, had me laughing

    I must admit that it can sometimes feel like that when there is not so many people in this type of store. When I go into a Phone shop or PC shop etc, after I glance and see that there are not too many peole in the store I know full well that I will be approached fairly quickly. If it's quite quiet the staff will be much more likely to approach you as they are always looking to keep themselves busy. I can't really comment on MS stores on the whole though, as we don't have any in the UK :(

    Quick question, what are MS stores like in the US, are they usually busy most of the time, are they on par with Apple stores would you say?
    11-18-2013 04:20 PM
  11. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    That writeup was brilliant, had me laughing

    I must admit that it can sometimes feel like that when there is not so many people in this type of store. When I go into a Phone shop or PC shop etc, after I glance and see that there are not too many peole in the store I know full well that I will be approached fairly quickly. If it's quite quiet the staff will be much more likely to approach you as they are always looking to keep themselves busy. I can't really comment on MS stores on the whole though, as we don't have any in the UK :(

    Quick question, what are MS stores like in the US, are they usually busy most of the time, are they on par with Apple stores would you say?
    I don't know how busy MS or Apple stores are here in the Cleveland area. I've only been to them twice. I try to avoid malls if possible. I'd rather shop online.
    dznk likes this.
    11-18-2013 04:40 PM
  12. ben55124's Avatar
    Thanks dznk - glad someone found humor in it. I don't see too many MS stores, so can't say if this is typical. This store is in a busy mall for the Chicago burbs. I had some time to waste so figured I would see the L1520 / XBOne. Thought the L1520 was too big, but glad to have options.
    dznk likes this.
    11-18-2013 05:04 PM
  13. stephen_az's Avatar
    Thanks dznk - glad someone found humor in it. I don't see too many MS stores, so can't say if this is typical. This store is in a busy mall for the Chicago burbs. I had some time to waste so figured I would see the L1520 / XBOne. Thought the L1520 was too big, but glad to have options.
    I didn't find the humor in it since in my experience it is untrue. All Microsoft Store's train their employees the same way and that training is comparable to the Apple Stores. I live less than a mile from the Scottsdale Microsoft Store and have never encountered it empty nor have I encountered sales staff acting in that manner. If I say I am just looking, I will only be approached again if I ask for help or a new employee is over enthusiastic. Guess what? The latter happens anywhere. As far as foot traffic goes, the store has as many people at any time as the Apple store on floor below. Much like the Apple store, there are also always people in for some event, demo, etc., or for service visits. I also didn't find humor because it seems like you have/had an agenda in making the post and have put an intentionally negative spin to emphasize that to the reader.
    Editguy1900 likes this.
    11-19-2013 07:16 AM
  14. snowmutt's Avatar
    I didn't find the humor in it since in my experience it is untrue. All Microsoft Store's train their employees the same way and that training is comparable to the Apple Stores. I live less than a mile from the Scottsdale Microsoft Store and have never encountered it empty nor have I encountered sales staff acting in that manner. If I say I am just looking, I will only be approached again if I ask for help or a new employee is over enthusiastic. Guess what? The latter happens anywhere. As far as foot traffic goes, the store has as many people at any time as the Apple store on floor below. Much like the Apple store, there are also always people in for some event, demo, etc., or for service visits. I also didn't find humor because it seems like you have/had an agenda in making the post and have put an intentionally negative spin to emphasize that to the reader.
    Think you are being way too negative about him being too negative.

    I found it amusing, and find that that experience can happen anywhere. I hope most Microsoft Stores are pleasent, welcoming shops, but even the best run store can have a day where it is slow, employees are antsy, and maybe a member of managment is there making things uncomfortable.

    I do not think Ben had any agenda other then to share an experience.

    Which I guess IS an agenda in of itself.

    Hmmmmm....
    11-19-2013 07:30 AM
  15. mary beth hale's Avatar
    Have worked retail for 15 years. This sales behavior is typical when a store is slow especially if the salespeople are commissioned. Also depends on what the manager requires of their staff. No biggie. Can happen anywhere.
    snowmutt likes this.
    11-19-2013 07:40 AM
  16. anony_mouse's Avatar
    I hate being approached by sales staff for any reason and avoid buying from shops where they do so. If I want help, I will ask.
    BTW, I've never been to a Microsoft shop. Are they busy? Is it really worth the effort, or are Microsoft just slavishly copying Apple? I don't see any Android shops...
    11-19-2013 07:50 AM
  17. stmav's Avatar
    If a salesman doesn't at least approach a person and ask if they need help, they won't be employed for very long just standing there.
    snowmutt likes this.
    11-19-2013 09:14 AM
  18. ben55124's Avatar
    My agenda is I like the MS ecosystem and I get discouraged when I see it being showcased poorly. MS is obviously trying hard on their stores. Apple makes retail look simple. There is something Apple is doing right and in my opinion, the MS staff could have made the MS store feel more welcoming if they were in the background and let the product demo itself.

    I usually shop online, but for the L1520, I would encourage handling it first. It makes a big impression.
    snowmutt likes this.
    11-19-2013 09:19 AM
  19. stmav's Avatar
    I guess it's a matter of opinion and preference. Myself I would prefer a person to acknowledge my presence in a store, even if only to tell him I'm looking. A person just standing in the background gives me the impression he's lazy and doesn't want to make a sale, or thinks he and/or the product is so good, you need to approach him. That type of showcasing would have me turn around and leave the store.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    11-19-2013 09:29 AM
  20. anony_mouse's Avatar
    I guess it's a matter of opinion and preference. Myself I would prefer a person to acknowledge my presence in a store, even if only to tell him I'm looking. A person just standing in the background gives me the impression he's lazy and doesn't want to make a sale, or thinks he and/or the product is so good, you need to approach him. That type of showcasing would have me turn around and leave the store.
    I guess I am exactly the opposite. Maybe it's a cultural thing (I don't like shopping in the US, partly for this reason). I don't care if a sales person is lazy and I especially don't like the impression that a sales person (I prefer the term 'shop assistant') 'wants to make a sale'. If I want to buy something, I will, and I appreciate the chance to ask questions, but I assume someone actively trying to sell me something is doing it for the money and therefore can't be trusted.

    BTW, I have actually worked on a shop floor!
    11-19-2013 09:44 AM
  21. ben55124's Avatar
    Just to further clarify, I'm ok with being asked if I need help, but MS staff should know what "just browsing" means. It doesn't mean keep staring at me. It doesn't mean ask me again every time I stop at a new object. If you see me walking away as soon as you re-approach, get a clue. Also if you have a new attraction (Lumia 1520), don't station yourself in front of it.
    snowmutt and Laura Knotek like this.
    11-19-2013 09:46 AM
  22. anony_mouse's Avatar
    Also if you have a new attraction (Lumia 1520), don't station yourself in front of it.
    I strongly agree with that one!
    BTW, I wasn't having a go at Microsoft shops. I've never been to one.
    ben55124 likes this.
    11-19-2013 09:53 AM
  23. stmav's Avatar
    Like I said, we just have different opinions. No one is right or wrong. And who's to say all MS stores do the same thing?

    On another note, how was the size of the 1520 in person? My son is thinking of getting one, but when he saw the picture of one next to a 1020, he's not so sure now.
    11-19-2013 11:10 AM
  24. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    I guess it's a matter of opinion and preference. Myself I would prefer a person to acknowledge my presence in a store, even if only to tell him I'm looking. A person just standing in the background gives me the impression he's lazy and doesn't want to make a sale, or thinks he and/or the product is so good, you need to approach him. That type of showcasing would have me turn around and leave the store.
    Just to further clarify, I'm ok with being asked if I need help, but MS staff should know what "just browsing" means. It doesn't mean keep staring at me. It doesn't mean ask me again every time I stop at a new object. If you see me walking away as soon as you re-approach, get a clue. Also if you have a new attraction (Lumia 1520), don't station yourself in front of it.
    I agree with both of you here. It's fine if a salesperson says "hi" and asks if I need help when I walk in a store. But if I say I'm just looking, I don't want them to hover around me and bother me unless I ask them for help.

    On the other hand, I don't want to have to spend a lot of time hunting them down if I do have a question.

    My preference: acknowledge me when I walk in the store, then help me if I want help, but otherwise leave me alone.
    N_LaRUE likes this.
    11-19-2013 11:18 AM
  25. anony_mouse's Avatar
    I haven't seen a 1520 either. I agreed with you that shop assistants should not stand in front of their best products. :-)
    Last edited by anony_mouse; 11-19-2013 at 11:43 AM. Reason: Added the word 'not' which was quite important to the meaning of the post
    snowmutt likes this.
    11-19-2013 11:20 AM
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