A few weeks before Christmas I needed some new dress shirts. I don’t love buying dress shirts, first because they aren’t comfortable and second because trying to find my size is nearly impossible. I almost always have to have dress shirts tailored.
Heading out to run some errands I asked Veronica where she needed to go and she replied that she needed to go to the Auburn Mall. On the outside I smiled and put the car in drive, on the inside I fell down on my knees and screamed “NOOOOOOOOOO!” while raising my fists in the air. I’m pretty sure it was a weekend (our days blur together) and the LAST place on Earth I ever want to be is a mall. I hate shopping so quid pro quo I hate Malls.
All right so we end up at the Mall and as she steps into the store she was looking for I saw a sign further down for Men’s Wearhouse so I told her I’d catch up to her. My shopping usually takes forty seconds.
I walked in and instantly was met by a well dressed guy who asked if I needed help, normally I brush this off but I decided to try it the way it’s supposed to work so I said;
“I need a dress shirt, neck size around 18— I hate buying dress shirts.”
The guy smiled and led me to a section with a huge assortment of nicely arranged dress shirts. They were $99 each— that’s a little higher than I wanted to spend, but then they told me they were having a sale— 3/$99! A second guy came over and asked what I was looking for.
“I need a comfortable dress shirt, something like Egyptian Cotton (I know my fabric) but I have a pretty big neck and…”
“And most shirts that fit your neck are way too big for your waist?” He chimed in.
He walked over to me and said he thought my neck was more like 17.5” and my sleeves were definitely 33”, he also called that I have a 32” waist but I like my pants a size bigger.
“You look to be a 44 regular.” He took out his tape measure and confirmed everything. He explained to me that if I’m normally buying 18” neck sizes that could be adding to the discomfort of the shirt. That made sense to me.
He pulled down six shirts from the display and laid them out on a table top and asked if I liked any of these. I did, I pulled three out of the group and said I’d take those.
He hesitated for a minute— I asked him to give it to me straight.
“That shirt” He pointed to one that I had chosen “Looks like a hipster version of the other shirt you picked.” He was right about that too. I often buy the same damn shirt over and over again, so I have multiples of nearly identical designs.
I didn’t want hipster so I went with his recommendation. The first clerk swooped up the shirts and walked me to the front register, a young woman was there with a gift bag of candy and popcorn. I assumed it was another order— she happily told me to take some from the bag as a thank you.
The young man rang me up, then asked if I’d like to be signed up for a rewards program, I absolutely did. I was bagged up and ready to go in seconds with the staff waving goodbye as I left.
That’s how retail is supposed to work.
I was so happy with the experience in the store that I placed another order at their website that night and I was stunned when it all showed up just a few days later exactly as described.
A win all around for Men’s Wearhouse—and for me. I now have a new regular place for clothes and more retailers should embrace this. A well trained staff that’s attentive.