Snooty Service Falls Out of Style
A new solicitousness at high-end boutiques
By RAY A. SMITH
Angel Yimsiriwattana still remembers feeling intimidated when she walked into a Chanel boutique in New York two years ago.
When she approached a salesman, he "was snooty and reserved," she says, and barely spoke to her. Clad in a casual sweater and jeans, she figured the sales staff sized her up as someone unlikely to buy. Even though she spent $7,000 that day, she still felt unwelcome.
The atmosphere is a lot different at the Chanel boutique in Soho these days. On a recent visit to the same store, the 27-year-old says she was treated like a princess. "As soon as I walked in, [the sales associates] were smiling and said 'how are you?,"' she says. "Everyone circled around me like little fish. They were extra nice and helpful." Even though she didn't buy anything, the sales staff cheerfully wished her "a nice day" as she walked out of the store.
As the luxury goods industry suffers a massive slump in sales - many sales clerks at designer stores who were famously haughty and patronizing suddenly read more.....
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