@Kohls – Kevin Mansell – So I just had an experience at the Gateway Kohl?s at about 6:00 this evening

Tony Brown sent a message to Kevin Mansell that said:

So I just had an experience at the Gateway Kohl’s at about 6:00 this evening. It’s Friday, the 17th of January. I’ll tell you about it. I’ve been into this store several times over the past few months (since they started taking Amazon returns). I do much of my shopping on Amazon and it’s pretty convenient to be able to drop off the returns at the store. It’s close to my house, on my way to/from work, etc.

Anyway, I went in with my wife who was returning two pair of jeans that she’s bought from Kohl’s for my son. They didn’t fit. It’s a whole other story…

While she headed to the back of the store to return the jeans, I figured I’d just go look for a couple of pair myself and wandered over to the Levi sign after my wife read my ass to see what size I wear. Levi’s jeans were on sale, buy one get the next pair at 50%, so not a bad deal but hardly novel.

The Levi area was a mess. I looked for my 35/38, original 501 shrink-to-fit, but there was (and I looked) literally not a single pair in the correct cubby on the wall. Everything was misplaced, lots of jeans had just been tossed onto the shelves willy nilly. I looked for a bit and decided it was a waste of time. I moved off toward the back of the store.

As I passed the checkout stand at the East entrance to the store, I heard the gal ringing up a customer. They were standing there, transaction completed, discussing whether it was, or was not a good idea to have one’s eyebrows tattooed on. Waiting to check out was a woman, appeared to be in her late 40s, but she was being completely ignored by the twenty-somethings a the check stand. “Boy,” I thought, “if I were that woman, I’d be too pissed off to buy anything here.”

I found my wife working a kiosk that was supposed to find her products for her, assist with returns, etc. But it was one of those kiosks with the really terrible touch screens. The buttons don’t actually work, so you have to very patiently, hold each key until the machine knows that it’s been touched, maybe one second per touch. It was taking forever. Furthermore the machine was not aware that a Kohl’s existed within 5 miles of the 97213 zip code (we were standing in the zip code at the time). It also seemed unaware that 97213 zip code was in Portland, Oregon. So she had to choose the city and state after putting in the zip code. I got bored and wandered off to the kitchenware section.

On the way, I passed a young man putting away stock. Although I made eye contact and passed within a few feet of him, he didn’t say hello or ask if I was finding what I was looking for. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t. I was looking for a pastry scraper (a utensil I use in cooking). It doesn’t look like that’s something Kohl’s carries.

My wife texted me from the front of the store; she was finished with her business and ready to go. While she was waiting for me, a customer had come to check out within 10 feet of a knot of employees chatting together at the front of the store. She said the woman, clearly frustrated, had approached the group and said: “Is someone going to check me out, or is there a way for me to do that on my own, or what?”. Omigosh!

I generally avoid the whole “Amazon is killing brick and mortar.” argument because I figure the marketplace is going to do what it does. When people bring it up to me, I will opine that I’ve met a couple of farriers in my life but plenty of people don’t even know what a farrier is.

I tell you all this because I hate to see poor management in general. I think it trains a substandard workforce and affects all of society in that way. I don’t own any stock in your company but, if I did, I would sell it - right before I went to Amazon and ordered a couple of pair of Levi 501, shrink-to-fit jeans. In 35/38. They’ll be at my door by tomorrow, maybe the next day.

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