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Hi, my name is Kate Edington, Im 38 years old and I was luckily chosen to be a mystery shopper at Home Sense. My nearest store is a half hour drive away from me, but it is a beautiful drive and I was so excited that the journey just flew by!
I was surprised at the size of the store upon arrival, it had a much larger front than what I was expecting. There was ample parking spaces, and plenty of disabled bays ( I am registered disabled ) which were located directly outside the store. The outside itself was clean and tidy and the store front looked very inviting and welcoming. On entering the store the first thing I noticed was how bright and airy the store seemed. There was ample room in the aisles for me to manouver around using my crutches, which is very important to me. The designated areas were clearly recognisable with clear, concise signs. All the shelves were fully stocked, but displayed perfectly to enable you to see everything clearly, and be able to pick things up and look at them without fear of knocking something else over.
I was surprised at the amount of choice that they had in stock. This was my 1st ever visit to a Home Sense store so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I was hoping to find a bulldog ornament for my home, I have been looking for a very large one for a long time but have never found one I have fallen in love with. I found a member of staff and asked them if they could tell me if they had such an item in stock and where I could find it. The staff member informed me that yes they do stock items of that description and she proceeded to take me to the relevant area of the shop, all the time walking at my slow pace with me, asking me how my day was, where I had come from ( I have an english accent and live in Scotland so I often get asked this) and once she had helped me to locate what I was looking for, asked me if there was anything else that she could help me with.
I instantly saw a bulldog ornament and fell in love but there was only one on the shelf and I would of loved a pair of them. I asked the staff member if they had any more in stock and she asked me to wait a moment whilst she went and checked. A few minutes later she returned, and very apologetically informed me that they only had that one in stock, but there was some more due in on the next delivery and would I like her to reserve one for me and she would contact me to let me know when they were in and I could go and collect it. I thought this was extremely courteous and helpful and I said that that would be perfect. She said she would go talk to her colleague at the customer service desk and if I went there when I had finished my shopping she would take my details.
Once I had chosen the items I wanted to purchase, I made my way to the till area. The waiting aisle was roomy and wide enough for me to easily walk through with my crutches. There was 1 other person in the queue before me so I did not have to wait long to be served. The till assistant instantly greeted me and asked if I was having a nice day. I explained to her that I was purchasing one bulldog now and I was having one reserved for me and would I need to pay her for it, or the customer service desk. She said if I go to the Customer Service desk they would take my details and I could either pay there for it or pay for it when I collect it. The till assistant that was serving me took great care in wrapping up my bulldog to avoid it getting chipped or damaged, and efficiently packed my other items in to my bag for me. She then took my payment, wished me a good day and directed me towards Customer Services.
I did not have to wait any time at all to be seen. Again the assistant greeted me with a smile and asked how she could help me. I explained to her about the bulldog and she told me that her colleague had informed her I would be wanting another one and she had the page ready on her computer to take my details, which did not take very long at all, and she advised me that I would receive a phone call when it comes in to store and they would hold it for a week for me, and that I am to pay on collection of it. All in all the whole experience was fantastic from start to finish. The store was bright, clean, well laid out with plenty of choice to suit all tastes and all budgets. The staff could not have been more helpful or any more courteous than they were. I am looking forward to my return visit, and now that I have experienced Home Sense I shall definitely be visiting it again in the future. Not only for items for myself but I also spotted so many beautiful items that will make the most amazing birthday and Christmas presents.
Out of 5 I would have to give Home Sense, Fort Kinnaird Shopping Centre, Fort Kinnaird Retail Park, Newcraighall, Edinburgh a straight 5 out of 5 ... The whole experience was fantastic.
Firstly I was pleased when I got selected to shop at New Look, so thank you UK Mystery Shopper! Secondly as winter is approaching, time for a new wardrobe, a nice coat along with some boots and maybe even a nice bag!
I haven’t been to New Look for a while so I was excited to go and see what I could find. I went to the Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough. The outside looked lovely, on one side they had bags and shoes displayed and on the other a few mannequins with different coats displayed. There was a small sign which said sale – which wasn’t very attractive! I went inside and straightaway there were a few rails with selected sale items. They were divided by price and size so it was easy to see. I had a quick look but didn’t find anything I liked. It was all clean and tidy, no litter inside or outside. Also they had my favourite song on (backstreet boys) so that made me happy! All the clothes were neatly on the hangers and some shoes or bags were displayed on top which looked nice and tidy, not overflowing!
Before I came to the store I had a quick look online to see if I liked anything, so I had seen a long jumper but couldn’t find it in store. I was looking for someone who worked there but couldn’t see anyone, so I went near the tills and found someone! I asked her about the jumper and she said we don’t have that one but we have something similar. She took me to where the jumpers were and showed me another one, but it wasn’t the same! She advised to check online and buy on there as some clothing is different online. I thanked her and went over to the shoe section. Again I couldn’t find the shoes I had seen online so I left it. As I was walking back I saw a display of gifts, which looked very attractive. I passed the bags section and spotted a lovely bag! All the bags looked very outstanding. I picked up a small side bag, it was a good quality product and very nice colours so I took it and joined the queue.
There was a few people in front of me, but it didn’t take long and it was my turn. I handed the bag over. The lady at the till said hello and asked how my day has been. She was very friendly and asked if I needed a bag, she put the item in the bag and told me how much I needed to pay. I handed the voucher and she swiped them, it went through ok..... Phew!
As I couldn’t get some things in store I decided to use the rest of the vouchers online. So I went online, the website was very easy to navigate on. At the top they had the women’s, men’s section etc. The drop down list had sub headings of categories and it was easy to click on what I wanted. While I was browsing I got a pop up to say join our newsletter and get 10% off! So that was a bonus. I couldn’t find the jumper but got three pairs of shoes (I got 2 sizes for each pair as I wasn’t sure which one would fit properly) and also a few things for my husband and had a safe and secure checkout. The order summary had come through to my email very quickly and I would be getting another email to say when my parcel will be ready to deliver. Overall it was a good experience, I would give it 3/5 due to not having same products in store as online. I really enjoyed it and will definitely be shopping there again.
I visited the Waterstones book store in Chatham, Kent on 15th April 2017. My first impressions were it is a small store but the layout is very user friendly with good signage that is easy to follow. As the store is quite small, there is a limited selection of books but the different genres are basically covered. There are tables with recommended books and ones included in the buy one get one half price offer, however there seems to be a lot less covered by this offer than has been included in previous years and they no longer appear to offer the buy two get one free offer which was a very attractive deal. There is an increasing number of adhoc items such as knick-knacks, memorabilia and children's puzzles which make it feel slightly cluttered and detract from the overall objective of being a book store. There is a table and pencils for children to use which means shoppers with children can browse the shop at their leisure without dragging around bored children, however this was not being used at the time and there was no paper or anything for children to draw on.
Maybe if some activity sheets or colouring sheets were made available then it would be used more and parents would me more likely to browse longer whilst their children were colouring, which means they would me more likely to buy books that have caught their attention whilst browsing. A coffee shop within the store would give it a really nice atmosphere but given the size of the store would be impractical as the space it would take up would reduce the already limited book selection. Maybe a self serve Costa Coffee machine within the store would be a possible alternative. The reference section is upstairs and quite limited due to the size but covers most things, however the only access to the upstairs section is by way of a flight of stairs which means it would be inaccessible to anyone with certain mobility restrictions. Also there was not a member of staff upstairs should anyone need assistance as there appeared to be only 2 staff members on duty which would mean you would need to go back downstairs to ask for any assistance with finding reference books which was a bit disappointing. I asked for assistance from a member of staff to find a reference book suitable for my 9 year old daughter to assist with a school project on Anglo-Saxons.
The staff member was quick to offer assistance and very helpful in taking me to the right section. He was able to find an appropriate book straight away. I found both members of staff were very helpful and had a very good knowledge of different authors from all types of genre, they were able to offer advice and make recommendations on books from specific genres without being too pushy and overbearing. Overall, the shopping experience was a pleasant one mainly because of the assistance of the staff as I felt they genuinely wanted to help me find the sort of books I wanted and were not just trying to sell me more books to boost their sales.