(The Blog Formerly Known as "Countdown to 30" and "30 is the New Twenty")

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shopping Tales

In between my battle with the flu, I was able to sneak in some shopping. Christine and I checked out the Buffalo Exchange that just opened up at 27th and Lyndale in Uptown. I was really excited because I've heard good things about Buffalo Exchanges. Unfortunately, I left somewhat disappointed. Word on the street is that Buffalo Exchanges carry designer and vintage apparel. Not the Minneapolis one. The store was packed with Target, JCP, GAP, Forever 21, and Old Navy castaways. Many of the garments were priced higher than their actual retail price and looked like someone dragged them behind their cars for miles. I was expecting Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Betsey Johnson, Chloe, etc. I would've settled for Free People. Even vintage Marshall Fields, JCP or Sears would've been a treat. Valu Thrift and Unique have a better selection of clothing. The shoe selection was pretty decent and reasonably priced. I found a pair of classic black canvas Vans for only $15. They were in good shape--maybe worn once. I didn't buy them because I really don't need anymore sneakers. Ahhh.... restraint.

What really got me was the customer service. As a seasoned retail veteran, I am understanding to sales associates having bad days or simply being too overworked to go above and beyond the call of duty. What I don't tolerate is non-existent, appalling levels of poor customer service. We were greeted with a feeble "hello" when we walked in the door, but that was the extent of the customer service. Most of the sales associates were too concerned with prancing around in the little outfits they were modeling to even say hi. I am not a high-maintenance shopper, but a little acknowledgement is always nice. Especially when its a new store. Christine and I both got the too cool for school Uptown hipster vibe. I noticed one associate eying me up and down with a nasty look on her face. Apparently, shopping shouldn't be done in a funnelneck sweatshirt and jeans. The kicker was the line at the register for about five minutes. No one noticed, the associates were too into their modelling and staring down the customers. The last time I checked, the name of the retail game is making money. Finally someone came over and rang everyone up.

I did find a cool kelly green leather jacket for $12.50. Here it is:

The picture really doesn't do it justice. It's made of super-soft leather and is perfectly broken in. I love it when I don't have to break in a jacket. And it'll be great for St. Patty's Day.
I will probably give the Buffalo Exchange another chance. It was their opening weekend and they might have been picked over, however, I can't excuse poor customer service.
Last weekend, I checked out one of my favorite stores, Rewind, in NE Minneapolis. They have an excellent selection of vintage clothing and lack the hipster attitude. I can always find something there. Here's what I found:
The denim vest is the coolest vest ever! The brand is Country by Loretta Lynn. How cool is that? I never knew that Loretta Lynn had a line of clothes. I love the 80's country grandma trucker look. The bag I couldn't pass up. I had a tan one when I was little that I carried my piano books in. I also found a cute little panda pin. All of that cost me $20. Hooray!
The moral of my shopping tales is shop with your money. Yes, I did buy a jacket at Buffalo Exchange. I doubt though, that I'll make a habit of shopping there. I'd rather support stores that don't have the too cool for school attitude. Fashion isn't just for the hipsters; it's for everyone. I put up with enough bad attitudes when I'm on the other side of the register (I handle it all with a smile and kindness) that I don't need to deal with them when I'm shopping.

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