Ready To Wear: Shop assistants are meant to be haughty
It's survey time.
The French marketing consultancy Presence hired mystery shoppers to grade some 400 stores and revealed last week that the attitude of sales assistants working at the gilded totems to capitalism lining Paris's Champs-Elysées were among the least helpful in the world. They ranked 16th out of 30 with New York's Fifth Avenue scoring more dismally still: it came in at number 26.
In fact, anyone brave enough to enter the more upscale boutiques in the French capital would be nothing short of disappointed were it any other way. In New York, similarly, while a polite (robotic?) veneer may be the order of the day, simmering just under the surface is the fact that sales assistants in that city apparently can't help but despise those foolhardy enough to enter their workplaces.
Perhaps, though, that is as it should be. Maybe employees in these proudly élitist spaces are simply meant to be thinner, more beautiful and more haughty than the humble likes of you and I. Were they anything less than dismissive, the effect might be disconcerting.
Who hasn't been made to feel like a shoplifter in such places, after all? Who hasn't been told something looks "great" when it's a size too small? And who hasn't considered buying something simply to spite the person serving them by proving that they're not some woeful pretender, thank you.
Might the same be the case, I wonder, were one to shop in a friendly city – in Sydney, for example. Would everyone there throw open the doors, beaming, and shouting "G'day!" before lavishing attention on those they are there to serve?
Although London wasn't included in the aforementioned market research, a frosty insouciance is often the order of the day in the British capital. There are notable exceptions. Balenciaga and Rick Owens in Mayfair, Matches in Notting Hill Gate, Margaret Howell in Wigmore Street, Prada in Bond and Sloane Street and Dover Street Market are, in my experience, staffed by men and women who prove that shopping for fashion may not necessarily feel like heading into battle.
More generally, however, it's small wonder that online shopping is increasingly appealing: no heavy-handed surveillance tactics the likes of which might make Inspector Clouseau blush, no disingenuous flattery, not even a curled lip.
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
The 10 Best Scotch Whiskies
Scottish salmon sales leap as Asia develops a taste
Grim second life of the 'breastaurant': The oft-loathed sector is booming in the States thanks to Hooters, Twin Peaks and Tilted Kilt
Health: When masturbation can be fatal: The practice of auto-erotic asphyxia is often concealed by a coroner's verdict. Monique Roffey looks at a lethal taboo
- 1 The political parties aren't all the same – which means 2015 will be a 'big-choice' election
- 2 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Naomi Wolf reacts to Isis 'conspiracy theories' critism after she questions whether beheading videos are real
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...