Today I was at two stores to see if I could get one last thing that I need for my Halloween costume (still not telling! it’s a secret!).
In short, I didn’t get anything. But in long, here’s what happened and here’s what I observed:
First I went to Party City. As overloaded as the place is and as cheesy as the costume and the props are, I don’t really mind this place. The ambiance of Halloween is really there… at least I suppose it would be to a child. Personally, I find the creaky floor music and “spooky” talking mannequins kind of annoying. The costumes are cheaply made there, too. However, I give the store credit for probably having one of the best costume systems worked out of all the stores. I love how they have a wall of all the pictures and plenty of happy workers who are more than willing to run to the back room to get you exactly what you need. It’s very efficient and I’m sure does wonders for keeping the store clean during this time of year. Good job!
Anyway, then I went down the road to the pop up Halloween Spirit store because I was still looking for that one last thing. Actually, they had what I was looking for. But I wasn’t willing to pay $20 on something which was already a mess to begin with. So, no sales for them! The store was rather depressing. Yes, they had a lot of stuff. And the layout was kind of interesting with all the little sections devoted to different themes. However, I have never seen more unhappy, unenthusiastic workers in my entire life. I spoke to one woman, asking if I could use the fitting room, and she gave me this look and this answer that basically screamed “shoot me, I hate my job.” I mean sure, I’m certain that a pop up retail store isn’t exactly a dream job right now. Heck, even I’M avoiding retail, and I’m really breaking the bank left and right with these costumes I’ve been working on! But still, there’s something very sad and rather annoying about people who are just so clearly pissed off about what they’re doing. It’s not even like the store was crowded. It’s not like the woman was overrun with customers. I was one of two customers in the entire, warehouse sized store! To make matters worse, while walking out after finding what I wanted but not wanting to pay for it, I passed by that pretty Alice in Wonderland Alice dress that they’ve been advertising and decided to try it on, take a pic with the camera on my phone, and post it to my blog (which is why I wanted to get into the fitting room). Even before trying it on, I realized that the dress 1) was a thin piece of crap which would probably freeze you at a moment’s notice on Halloween, 2) DEFINITELY wasn’t worth $60, and 3) sported two nice-sized holes some lovely customer must have ripped into it prior to me trying it on. When I went to point out the holes to the woman who had been so grudgingly guarding the fitting room so that I couldn’t run off with their treasured Alice dress, she gave me this sour look and muttered, “Oh, perfect.”
So in conclusion, Party City is awesome! Halloween Spirit lacks just that: anything in the way of energy or pep (or professionalism, for that matter).