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Firstly I would like to give a huge thank you to UK Mystery Shopper for giving the opportunity to visit Dunelm to carry out the Mystery Shop.
My wife and I chose to visit the Poole in Dorset Store, and went on Saturday 7th May around mid morning so the shop would be fairly busy. On arrival the car park was very busy although it is shared with other stores. I did notice that the trolley park was quite untidy and there was a lot of litter around it. Outside the front of the store there was rather a lot of litter and I felt that this had been there some time.
Moving into the store my first impression was that there was no lighting inside and I then realised that they were in fact very cleverly using the natural light coming in through the roof and the light background music, all added to making it a pleasant shopping experience. The store looked very well laid out with lots of displays in the middle of the main walkways which were promoting some lovely products. These were clearly labelled with prices and some were marked as special offers. The layout of the store generally looked clean and tidy and good use was being made of the floor area. Moving around the store we found that all the shelves were well stocked again all clearly priced up. We decided to replace our dining service set so headed to the relevant area. We were both surprised at the large selection there was and there was a large range of prices, colours and shapes available to choose from. Having chosen the set we wanted we decided to look at some cutlery and after looking in several aisles we found a good range to choose from. We also decided to buy a burger press and thought this was a good opportunity to ask for some help. We quickly came across a male member of staff who we think was fairly new to the role. He was very helpful and quickly advised us that he did not know where to find them. He then found a female member of staff who was also very friendly and helpful, engaging well in conversation whilst taking us to the right isle to find the burger press in. Although both members of staff were helpful, it was difficult to praise them by name as neither members’ of staff were wearing name badges.
We had a look in the cafe area in the back of the store and there was certainly quite a lot of people sat eating. The tables all looked clean and were clear of empty plates. We had a look at the serving counter and this all looked spotlessly clean and tidy. The food that was on display all looked very appetising and fresh. We eventually made our way to the checkout area and all the checkouts were open and even though the store was quite busy there were no queues. The checkout operator was a lady called Ione and she was very polite and cheerful. She offered to put the packages into bags but as we had brought our own we declined this offer. The whole experience went very well and I could not fault the staff or selection of goods and would rate the store as 4 out 5. I would like to thank UK Mystery shopper again for the £100 voucher and the chance to do this.
To start off I just want to say a big thank you for choosing me to be a mystery shopper at the Disney Store, I decided to play safe and go online to the store locator, as I thought the nearest one to me was Portsmouth, but turns out the store locator said they don't have one there but the nearest one is Southampton.
Once we got there, me and my two sons, one who's four years old and one who is seventeen months old, so we had the pram, we went to the toilet which is easy to find as sign posted we had to use the lift, as we came down the Disney Store was right in front of us with big bright display windows, the first thing we did was look for any litter or any toys laying on the floor, indoors and out the doors where clean and tidy.
The layout of the store is easy to get around especially with a pram or even with a wheelchair, you don't find yourself knocking anything off the displays. I found some special offers for back to school items such as, back packs, pencil cases, notebooks, knickers and pants etc. I did go past a couple of reduced items but they weren't clearly pointed out. In total there was three members of staff on the shop floor, one of which greeted me within minutes of entering the shop, he was very Friendly asked if we was ok, and how are day has been, he also said he was there if we needed anything and left us to look around to shop, very friendly and welcoming. As we walked around the shop which was very well laid out and no shelves empty all stocked full, we came across another member of staff who caught my sons eye and nicely bent down and ask him if he likes cars, as he's shy I replied to say he loves cars, and out of kindness she took his like of cars into interest and gave him a poster for free of the movie cars 3 which is the latest movie out of disney, she was very friendly and helpful and also asked if I needed anything she would be there to help.
Did eventually get around the store with two children in tow and I asked the last member of staff her name was Charlotte, I asked is they had a bell mug that goes along side a beast mug, both together would make a heart side by side, I couldn't find the bell mug so I asked Charlotte if they had any in stock, she called down to the stock room for me and said Unfortunately they don't have any in stock and the next stock won't be till Thursday, she was very apologetic, which she had no reason to be as I found another mug I preferred.
When I finished my shop with my boys Charlotte helped again asking if I wanted any gift boxing or any of the heavy duty disney bags, I asked for prices which she happily replied with he prices, she then scanned all my items and placed them all in the Disney bag for me, she asked me if I wanted anything that was on offer at the till, which was stitch note pads three for £1.50 or Mickey or Minnie silicone pencil cases, I kindly replied no thank you she also asked if I’ve found everything I was looking for, which I had. Over all the boys felt like they where at disney world the staff where lovely and helpful and never just standing around there was a cue but of two people both of which were served in minutes, when I went to the till I was the only one there and staff where quick and helpful all staff where wondering around helping other customers and interacting and stocking shelves, we entered the store between 3pm and 4pm on Tuesday 12th September 2017, we really enjoyed our shop and hope to be chosen for another brilliant opportunity. Many thanks
On Thursday 16th February I received a £100 gift card to spend at Monsoon Accessorize as a Mystery Shopper. The store I chose to go to was Monsoon Accessorize in the Castlepoint Shopping Centre in Bournemouth, and I went there on Saturday 18th February, around lunchtime. Normally on a Saturday I would have thought the store would have been busy but it was actually very quiet. I went with my partner, and we did spend the whole £100 in store. Upon coming up to the store, there was no visible litter on the long walkway in front which also has several other shop fronts on it, and the pathway itself was also in very good condition. Inside the store, again there was no visible litter, however in the fitting rooms there was visible dust on the floor around the walls of the stall I was in. The store layout was quite standard, with most of the floor being women's clothes, and a small section at the back of the store for children's clothes. Also at the back of the store were products in the sale, the fittings rooms, and the lift to the first floor hidden behind the staircase at the start of the children's clothes. I feel this layout slightly lets down the amount of customers that come into the store as the whereabouts of the sale products and children's products were not easily visible from outside. From what I could see there was only one sign for the Sale in the store window, which was under eye height on a red board, saying Final reductions. Inside the store there was no other communication for it, and it was only when we went to the very back of the store we saw the sale products. However I did like that the clothes were organised into what size the garments were and further organised in catergories, i.e. trousers, jeans, skirts/ dresses etc,. There were a few that were in the wrong place but overall gave a good standard of organisation.
For me another 2 points that let the store down was the lack of clothes for young boys, as the children's section was dominated by clothes for girls, and there were no men's clothes that I could see, when I looked on the website I saw Monsoon also sold men's clothes, but in the store I couldn't see any on the racks. At the front of the store there was also a flight of stairs that I assume led to the Accessorize floor, while I did not see a sign that this is what was upstairs, my partner who came with me said he did. Also down one side of the store were a line of full length mirrors, however it was hard to use them as there were products infront of them, mainly the racks of products in the sale. When I was ready to try on a few things I had picked up, I waited around at the fittings rooms entrance for a few minutes to see if anyone was actually manning them, as normally when I've gone into changing rooms in the past I was given something to say how many items of clothing I was taking in to try, but after maybe 5 minutes I just went in as there was no member of staff there, it was only in the middle of trying on my clothes that I heard a staff member out there.
The fitting room stalls were fairly small, but big enough to move around in, and to have a cushioned stool in there as well with another full length mirror and a pendant light that hung above the stool, it was above my head height but I could easily touch it and only seemed to be in there for mood lighting as the main light was a recessed spotlight on the high ceiling in the stall. I also notice there was a wall hook set which looked like it normally had 4 hooks on but only had 2 of them on there to use. The “door” was just a heavy red curtain which I managed to hit a few times so whoever was looking in to fitting rooms could see me, this could possibly be addressed with something like Velcro on the curtain and door frame, or magnets in the curtain and on the door frame, just something to secure the sides of the curtain for better privacy while changing. As mentioned above, there was a Sale going on in the store for the Monsoon clothes, however I could only see the one board in the shop window with it advertised until we got to the back of the store where the sale products were. On each end of the Clothes racks there was a tag standing up that said up to 70% off, so it was easy to see which products were in the sale, so this was communication. On each tag we looked at, the sale prices were written in a red pen, which did get slightly harder to see when some of the clothes tags were a darker colour, but could still be seen nonetheless. On the children's clothes that were in the sale, there were bigger tags hanging from the hangers in front of the clothing, this is another example of good communication as it would be hard to confuse with products that were not in the sale. The Children's clothes in the sale were kept in the Children's section of the store. I feel the store might have been able to attract more customers into the store if the Sale products were move visible from outside. When walking through and looking at the clothes I could not see any visible gaps, none that drew my attention to them, so this was another example of good organisation for the store. Since the staff do not wear any kind of uniform, it was hard to see anyone from a distance, it was only when we saw someone close to us wearing a Monsoon Lanyard we knew they worked there.
The lady we spoke to was very polite, listened to our query with a smile which was finding a certain size in the boys clothes. When we had finished talking she told us exactly what she was going to do to answer our query, in this case it was going to the tills and checking if the products we were holding were available in the size we wanted. After some minutes she came back to us and said she was going to go to the stock room and have a look for the items in there, again telling us exactly what she was going to do for us, which I thought was good customer service as we knew what she doing each time to help with our request. Some minutes passed again and the lady came back with 2 out of the 3 items in the right size, the 3rd item she explained was not in stock but offered to order the item into the store for us to pick up at a later date. Once again this was very good customer service, offering this option to us if we wanted to use it. Unfortunately I didn't see what the ladies name was but she was very polite, friendly and professional throughout, and of course very helpful with getting us the items we wanted. After we had chosen the products we wanted to buy we headed to the tills. When we got there, there was no queue at all, so we were able to go straight to paying without waiting around. The till operator was a young women and again was very polite and seemed friendly. She packed the products for us herself and even accommodated our request to have the clothes for me and the clothes for our nephew put into 2 separate bags.
The only conversing during this time from the young lady was to ask if I had a monsoon points reward card and asked if I wanted to sign up for one. Her customer service was good but I don't feel like she tried to go above what she needed to do, for me if she had added conversation it would have made me think she was more interested in her job and her customers, she just did her job as much as was required. Also I know is most clothes stores the till operator asks if you would like to keep the hangers, so I was disappointed when we didn't get asked as normally I prefer to keep hangers for my clothes, but I am not sure of the policy for this. While I was not overly impressed with anything in the store itself, I was impressed by the customer service we received from the lady who helped us find the items we were looking for, I really do feel she went the extra mile to help us and tell us at each stage what she was doing to get us what we wanted. Overall, I would rate the store 4 out of 5. The layout and organisation of the store, for the most part, was very good, it was all very tidy, very few things were in the wrong place, the store had a good atmosphere, good lighting, and good temperature throughout. I was pleasantly surprised their sizing went up to a size 22 which there seemed to be a lot of clothes for this size. I also liked the fact that we were left to do our browsing in peace, while in retail you tend to get told to try sell to customers I liked that they didn't, but I know some people do prefer staff coming and offering help when you are browsing. While there was a lot of good things about their store, there were bad ones too, like the lack of boys clothes, there were no men's clothes, and the red curtain for the fitting rooms stalls which didn't give a full amount of privacy, as they opened if you managed to hit them accidentally. Due to having social anxiety I was not able to go to the 1st floor of the store but greatly enjoyed the experience of being a mystery shopper and hope to have the chance to do it again, and do it better =)