I visited Jessops the camera retailer (or should I say ex-retailer) just a Month before their demise.

More staff than customers. Staff all disinterested in me as a potential customer. I was on a mission to purchase a camera for up to £800. They failed to ask a single question or to engage with me. How many other people did they fail to sell to?

jessopsEventually I attracted the attention of one guy and managed to prise him away from his conversation with his colleague.

I asked all the questions, to which he knew no answers. He asked me nothing about what I wanted from the camera, zero help. After 10 minutes he offered to sell me an extended warranty… What?! I still hadn’t found the camera I wanted!

I was taken by one particular model, it seemed to have all the features I was looking for, but every attempt to take a picture resulted in an annoying beep and no picture.

hmvHe grunted something about no memory card. I asked more questions, he didn’t know the answer and so it went on. A full 30 minutes into my visit he finally sensed my frustration at not being able to take pictures without a memory card and offered to put one in… No thanks, I’m done – what a waste of time.

Is your customer service going to win business – or send people elsewhere? Will you blame lack luster sales on your competitors or the internet? Is there really a market today for what you sell and how you sell it?

Naturally I feel for the thousands of staff to have lost their jobs. But why did we lose Jessops, Comet, Woolworths and now HMV and Blockbuster? Has the way we purchase simply changed and this is a sign of the times?

I could buy all the products on sale in Jessops on-line and cheaper too. They certainly had nothing special to offer by way of service that would make me buy from them.

blockbuster-logoSame maybe with HMV and Blockbuster – do we need to go to a retailer to buy music and DVD’s nowadays? Who buys CD’s? Isn’t this the age of downloading and streaming?

The world has changed – have you with your business – what’s your view on this?