Noticed anything different at Value Village lately? While I usually try and shop charity shops before “VV Boutique” I often end up there when I am looking for something in particular. Their sheer volume and the way they consistently organize their merchandise just makes it easier to find things.
In their wisdom, they’ve decided to stop colour-coding their clothing racks. Now they look like this:
I was absolutely flabbergasted when I saw the change. Things are still hung according to size but the colours are totally mixed up. It used to be that if I was looking for a white, short-sleeved shirt, I’d go to the white short-sleeved shirt section, look in my size and have dozens to choose from. Now I have to look through all the short-sleeved shirts in order to find what I want. That’s (almost) fine if you have tons of time – but my time is just as valuable as my money and it ticks me off when people waste it.
I asked two sales clerks why the change was made. Neither of them had an answer for me, neither of them liked it. I have struck up conversations with shoppers as we’re browsing and none of us like the change.
So naturally, I emailed customer service and to their credit, they responded within two days. This is what they said:
We’ve changed the way we merchandise the store to help you have a better shopping experience. Our freshest merchandise is now put out on each end of the rack, so you don’t have to search through certain colors to find the best items. We’ve also left more room on each rack so it’s easier to take garments off.
- Allows us to maintain a consistent inventory level
- No more over packed racks
- With better inventory control there is less undesirable merchandise on the racks
- While you may need to shop a few racks to find that black top there are fewer flawed tops to have to look through
- More fresh selection, allows us to get more newly arrived product out for you to see
- Cleaner store
Are you buying that argument? I agree that the racks are less crowded, which is very nice. And having new items on the ends of the racks is also a good idea. But they could easily have done both those things without messing up the rest of the space. The real reason they did this is because they think you will buy more things. If you have to go through all the short-sleeved shirts, you might come across something you weren’t looking for and buy that in addition to the short-sleeved white one you actually came in for. This undoubtedly works or they wouldn’t do it. But for shoppers like me, it just makes me mad and I wonder if the bean-counters ever take into account the possibility that they may tick off the faithful.
What’s ironic is that many volunteer-run, charity thrift shops try so hard to emulate Value Village because they are seen as setting the industry standard. In fact, one of the things that set Value Village apart when they first started was that they not only are a retail store, they look like one – until now. Imagine going to the Gap and having to look through their entire, unsorted stock. It’s unheard of.
Personally, I’d much, much rather shop in a thrift shop that looks like this:
What do you think?
I’m linking up with two of my favourite places: Apron Thrift Girl and Thriftcore – check out their finds from last week. And I’m heading off to the Okanagan for holidays and will thrift while I’m there – I’ll let you know what I find! I look forward to your responses on today’s post!