It has been long held belief that local retail stores that do poorly is partially due to stocking the wrong product. I much rather shop at a local store than on the Internet for some products, like clothing and shoes. Here is a prime example. As the winter of 2018 and 2019 gets colder I start to reach for my pull over long sleeve shirts that partially button down in the front, typically 3 or 4 buttons. I require a typical shirt collar that lays flat. I do not like knit shirts. I had tossed out about 10 shirts for donations as they no longer pleased me or they showed wear. Here are my results from shopping locally for replacement shirts. I list each store I visited followed by the total shirts I found:
Ross Dress For Less = 0 Brea Calif. The only Ross Dress For Less that I found amazing was in Santa Barbara – huge selection at great prices.
Nordstrom Rack = 0 Most of their stock is expensive. Their discount racks did not work for me. Their selection of varied items was limited.
J.C. Penney = 0 I found no shirts that even came close to what I needed. They did not carry a varied selection.
Kohl’s = 3 separate recent purchases. (they had only one shirt in the store and I liked it and purchased 2 more of different colors, from their web site. I went back a few days later and found a terrific heavy long sleeve shirt. They only had one so I ordered 2 more from their web site. A few weeks later, my daughter needed to buy black work pants. She found those pants at Kohl’s).
Burlington Coat Factory = 5 (They sell overstock clothing like Ross. They sell coats only in the cold season I was told.) I purchased 2 shirts here but I got screwed because one casual shirt needed to be dry cleaned.
Walmart = 0 Selection was simple, typical, uninspiring and very limited styles.
Nordstrom = 1 for over $100 (I did not buy any product here.)
Banana Republic = 0
Macy’s = 2 I had to go to my local Macy’s because their web site showed a pack-able Hawke & Co. men’s vest. I was so impressed with this vest that I purchased a pack-able coat which I LOVE!. I have to admit that I almost never shop at Macy’s thinking they are expensive. I think I will give this store future visits. Their stock does seem quite varied in styles.
In summary, I did find a lot of shirts that were short sleeve. Excuse me but winter is upon us. I want long sleeve. I found a lot of shirts had partial zippers, which I have too many of and I have no use for. I have found that my knit shirts collars fails to lay flat easily if there is a partial zipper and the I slide the zipper up closer to the head. I much prefer solid fabric and not knit shirts for this reason. I really do think the store buyers for many if not most of these stores, are not doing a very good job of buying what the public wants. I have seen more crap garments hanging on the clothing store racks in my opinion.
So far, Kohl’s is a surprise solution for me. It seems their buyers offer a more varied selection.
A new, rather radical, solution for local stores, that also have Internet sales, is to offer items in the store for people to try on but don’t sell the remaining single items in each size unless the item is being deleted from being offered in the future. While the item is current, do not sell the last small, medium and large sizes but instead offer the customer to see if it fits and if they like it enough to buy it and would pay to have it delivered. The store could even offer a discount for any delivered item. This would drastically cut down store inventory but hopefully not sales. The store could then expand in store product for the customer to try on. From my experience at Kohl’s, this worked perfectly for me.
Posted Jan 2, 2019.
Updated Jan 24, 2019
Updated March 9, 2019 when links to this failed: pack-able Hawke & Co. men’s vest. I was so impressed with this vest that I purchased a pack-able coat which I LOVE!.