One of the activities I enjoy during my time abroad is *drum roll* shopping. I won’t talk about the quality and quantity today, but I would like to mention something else.
I am sure you have heard of Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and the likes in New York. These are huge stores with countless high end shops.
I want you to take a moment to look at this picture taken at Macy’s in Hawaii.
Yes, this is a smaller version of the Manhattan store, and yes this is an island so a bikini is not frowned upon. However that’s not the point. The point is, whenever a customer walks in any of these shops, they are welcome as they are, and the sales people are enthusiastically willing to help. And by help I mean, pointing out the hot deals, and advising on upcoming sales dates in case the customer wants to wait and come back later. By help I mean spending an hour at the makeup counter in Sephora helping the customer try all types of lipstick and cosmetics to choose the right shade, and at the end giving a gift ‘just because’, even if no purchase has been made. By help I also mean not judging based on appearances, where all customers are kings and are all treated as such. It is truly a freeing experience to shop at such stores in a bikini with or without a cover up, in sweatpants and an oversized t-shirt, in running shoes. To enter Bergdorf or Tiffany’s and have the sales people at your service, these people know true salesmanship and don’t judge a customer’s buying means according to what they are wearing.
Below is a photo of me at Rodeo Drive.
I base this on my experience and from observing others. Many instances in Lebanon I find a swarm of salesmen around a specific person only because they are dressed up, and that person ends up more or less trashing the store and walking out with nothing. While no importance is placed on the dressed down casual customer that is short of begging for help and actually makes a purchase.
I truly hope that one day in Lebanon, the customer-salesman relationship can be more honest and transparent.
I hope that it won’t be frowned upon when a customer enters and asks about the sales section.
I hope that we can get back to earth and recognize the price tags as low or high and not be pressured to buy just because we are in a luxurious boutique and being eyed by the staff.
I also hope that when someone enters certain high end shops not wearing the products these shops hold, that he may be treated in the same respectful way as another person in full designer clothes.
Until then, I will continue to dress as I always have, in my comfy attire to which ever mall or boutique I go to, I hope you do the same!