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Department store stuck in a 1960's time warp run by arrogant staff
Member Name: shuttlex
Date: 21/08/09, updated on 21/08/09 (447 review reads)
Advantages: It exists
Disadvantages: CO-OP, staff could be a bit politer
One of my least favourite department stores to shop at if I ever do shop at John Lewis is extremely bland and boring. While Harrods is constantly under renovation, introducing new layouts and themes, John Lewis stores always remain stuck in a 1960's time warp.
With regard to the range of products available inside a John Lewis store, there's not much to complain about. John Lewis stocks everything from fabric to perfume to the latest televisions. Prices also seem fairly standard for a department store.
However a major flaw lies with the way John Lewis stores operate. The store is run as a co-op, everyone from the cleaner to the managing directors have a stake in the store. Employees believe they are part owners even if they only have an insignificant stake that is immeasurable. This affects the attitude of staff who don't believe they are employed to service the customers but part owners there to sell goods to customers. As a result they tend to come across quite arrogant and dismissive towards customers.
Once I was in the TV department a few years ago looking at freeview boxes. There appeared to be some kind of connector on back that resembled the shape of a VGA connector. I asked the sales assistant if it was a VGA connector and he nodded his head with assurance that it was indeed a VGA connector. Upon doing research later it appeared it wasn't anything of the kind. The sales assistant simply didn't want to admit their lack of knowledge when it came to the goods they sold.
To give another example, a couple of years ago I went to enquire about the new 1080p plasmas. At the time the John Lewis were selling Panasonic plasmas in excess of £1500. I asked about the possibility of a price match with another store and the John Lewis sales rep replied with a snigger informing me that they won't budge on price since John Lewis offer superior sales service compared to other stores.
Summary: See review