It was the week of Thanksgiving and we were in Houston visiting family when I realized I only packed dress up clothes for my (soon to be at the time) two year old daughter and she had no play clothes to get messy in in the daytime with her brother. So a girlfriend and I made the pilgrimage to the First Colony Mall. Children’s Place always has some great adorable, and affordable clothes for munchkins. I find myself always splurging a little since everything I need is always on sale. Although the store made it on the 2014 10 worst places to work from 24/7 Wall Street, it is one of my favorite spots to shop for both my munchkins.
The Store Maintenance
An observation I’ve made is Children’s Place locations are overstocked. There is so much repeat product on the floor that it starts to lose it’s order and becomes slightly less convenient to shop (I used to stick to two per size, per style personally). It’s difficult to move the hangers on the racks (I’ve always been a fan of a thumb distance spacing), difficult to decipher piles of styles and sizes on the tables. Product typically is piled in mass humps on the ground and on the fixtures, and even on the register. They always have back stock showing behind the point of sale. This particular day was no different, in fact due to the impending black Friday it was possibly a bit worse…yet I still had difficulty finding a decent variety in my daughter’s size.
The Organization of Ringing Up
In most cases walking into the Children’s Place you know you are in for at least a thirty minute commitment considering the long check out line. Not that the line appears long in length, it probably has about on average two or three customers per line, but the wait time per customer is ridiculous. Each customer will have to pilfer through their email on their phone to scan each and every coupon they can find stored up, (half of them are almost always expired), and the employees do nothing, or I guess have nothing they know to do to make this process go along faster. I never use coupons, mostly because I never remember to, but at the Children’s Place there is no way to forget, though by the time it is my turn I’m willing to pay the 10% ticket for a quick exit.
The Tragic Incident
While in line this particular Thanksgiving week there was a young girl and her mother shopping through the aisles. The young girl was full of spunk and life, she proudly donned a button on her shirt that read, “It’s my 7th Birthday!” The mom stood next to the daughter throughout the store as they picked out a nice birthday outfit for the girl, it was heartwarming to watch. The girl turned to attempt to sift through a single rack of hanging clothes, and due to her short height combined with the great weight from the overstocked rack the entire thing came crashing down on top of her. Everyone in the store rushed to the girl’s aid, the manger was quick to lift it and the girl was checked for any serious injury. She was only bleeding from her forehead, only centimeters from her eyeball so I guess that translates to fine? If this was my daughter I would have been furious for these reasons:
- There was not a band-aid nor any first aid care offered to clean up the young girls wound.
- They still made that poor woman wait in the long line, no one opened the second register to ring her up (at least 20 minutes, I know I was in line behind her).
- No one made an effort to lighten up the load of the rack so to prevent this from happening to future children coming into a children’s clothing store.
- When the mom finally made it to the register her coupon was expired, so they didn’t give her a discount. I would have at least offered her a 10% discount for my own fault in her child’s injury.
The mom never complained, the mom actually never showed much of a reaction at all, outside the obvious frustration that you could tell she was holding in. The little girl went from fun and skipping to sitting on a fixture with her arms crossed, and tears held in her eyes. It was the most tragic birthday experience I have ever witnessed.
As a Customer: What do you feel should have been done? Anything similar ever happen to you before?
As a Retail Employee: What do your racks look like? What do your lines look like? What ways could you have made this situation better as a retailer? Anything similar ever happen before?