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Hi my name is Sharon Williams, I am 48 years old and I was lucky enough to be chosen as a mystery shopper and to receive £100 in MARKS & SPENCERS vouchers. I visited my local MARKS & SPENCERS in Talbot Green, South Wales at around 11:30am on Saturday 18th June 2016, I thought this would be the perfect time as it was not likely to be too busy nor too empty so I could evaluate the store and how helpful and friendly the staff were.
As I walked up to the store front it was clean and tidy and I didn’t see any litter, they have a seating area right outside the front door (seen in the photo), the inside of the store was also very clean and bright. As you walked in there was a security guard at the door, smartly dressed but quite obviously not a customer. There were plenty of baskets should you need one and they too were clean. As you walk into the shop it is laid out in such a way that the clothes racks themselves almost create lanes that you can walk through to get to another section, sounds complicated but it works very well as there are separate sections for different designers, for casual wear, holiday clothing, shoes, bags etc. At the back of the store was the food shopping area which was very nicely laid out. There is an escalator up to the second floor which houses the ladies underwear department (making it very discreet and comfortable to browse in), men’s and boy’s wear, perfume, make-up and beauty products as well as the in store cafe.
It was very easy to navigate around the shop and find whatever you were looking for. The items on special offer were displayed well and prices and information was clearly but discreetly displayed, so that it was not in your face but was easy to see and read. I found the labelling on the clothes to very clear and of all the clothes items I looked at were all clearly priced, as were the racks containing the clothes. In the food hall everything was clearly labelled and priced and any offers were visible and you could distinguish between what was or was not on offer. However when it came to the make-up and perfume area this was not quite so well labelled as I had to go across to one of the desks to ask for prices on a couple of items but in general it was still very well labelled. The racks and shelving were all well supplied and I found very few gaps where items had not been replaced, even in the food hall.
I asked a couple of members of staff for help in finding particular items, one was the food hall where I was directed to the item I was looking for by a helpful and friendly staff member and the other was on the main shop floor where I enquired about a particular top design that they do regularly and the staff member was again very helpful and actually took me to the section it would be in, however they didn’t appear to have my size in stock but she suggested that if I went to the cash desk they would be able to check if it was available on line and order it for me if I wished.
MARKS & SPENCERS has a reputation for the quality of its clothing and of recent years of its food. I must say that it deserves the reputation as I found the quality of the items I purchased to be of a very high standard and of the food Items I bought my partner and I both said how good it tasted and what good quality the food and packaging were. When I first went to the checkout desk there was only one member of staff at the till and she was already serving another customer however I did not have to wait very long before another staff member came to the desk to serve me. I think I waited for less than 3 minutes in total. The member of staff serving me was very friendly and engaged me in conversation regarding the purchases, she also asked if I needed a bag and proceeded to pack my items very carefully for me. As she was doing this she asked if I had a “sparks” card as I was not certain what this was she explained that it was free of charge loyalty card, and went on to say that if I went online every other Thursday to my account it would tell me about special offers etc. She also advised me that before I pay for any items to remember to hand the card over first. She explained that I would need to go online to activate it but that she had added my points from this shop onto the balance which would show up once the card had been activated.
Having experienced such a friendly and helpful member of staff at the cloths checkout I was somewhat disappointed to find that the food hall check out staff were not quite the same. The two staff members who served me were neither particularly chatty nor did they offer to help pack for me and in fact the one proceeded to scan the next persons shopping and sat waiting for me to put my items in my bag and giving me little time to put away my receipt and change, I was made to feel that I was holding everyone up.
I have to say though what impressed me the most was the wonderful staff in the underwear department as one of the things I was interested to see was the way I would be treated when trying to be sized for and purchasing a new bra. Well I was very pleased with the way I was treated, I was made to feel comfortable whilst I was measured and all the while the staff member was very professional but also very friendly in a way that put me at my ease. She made several trips to get me different bras to try on and we discussed what felt comfortable and the correct way in dressing oneself in a new bra. After finding me a pretty and well fitting bra she also took the time to explain that although they did have matching panties the design on the bra was a theme throughout all their underwear so any item I purchased was likely to match the bra
. I have to say that as far as I am concerned the experience I had in shopping at MARKS & SPENCERS was definitely an excellent experience and I would give it a 5/5.
So today I was excited to go to Hotel Chocolat to spend my £50 gift card. I decided to visit the store in Cambridge which is located in the Grand Arcade, Lion Yard. I visited at 10.30am so the store was not too busy and it was very clean and tidy.
The store is very welcoming and the smell of the delightful chocolate and hot drinks on offer means that you can't help but go in and be tempted by the wonderful goods. The display on the outside of the store is advertising their Halloween chocolate as well as their selection of hot drinks. The shop front is very stylish and the soft lights inside the shop make for a warm, cosy and inviting feel. Within a few minutes a member of staff came up to me to offer me some of their latest chocolates, Halloween chocolates. She was very pleasant and told us all about the samples and the cost should we wish to purchase them.
The layout of the shop is very good, all chocolate related cooking products in one place and everything labelled clearly along with the specialist sections and areas. There is enough room between each display and section to roam around and make your choices in a very relaxed environment. I decided to ask a different member of staff about the new Christmas advent calendars and where to find them. She took me to the designated area and explained the different choices available, She know her stock and was very friendly, telling me all about the Milk, Dark, White and Caramel chocolates. I was amazed at the variety of different chocolate available and the shelves were well stocked although not packed full that they looked overcrowded.
Everything looks like it is replenished regularly and staff keep the shelves well stocked throughout the day. Once I had decided on my purchases I went to the till, There were two tills and only two customers in front of me so I was served within minutes. The area at the tills allows you to make any last minute purchases as well as making some discounted stock available to you. My goods were nicely packed into a paper Hotel Chocolat bag and I paid with my gift card. The cashier asked if I was interested in receiving money off vouchers at Christmas, I said yes and gave her my email and contact details. There were customers behind me waiting to pay as the store was getting a bit busier by now but I did not feel rushed and was able to take my time sorting out my payment and taking my goods.
Overall my experience was excellent and I would score Hotel Chocolat in Cambridge 5/5. The shop and service made it a very enjoyable experience and I will definitely be going back at Christmas to purchase some of the advent calendars we saw today especially if we receive some money off vouchers in the post in a few weeks.
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.