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I was selected to mystery shop for Boux Avenue, I decided to shop at Boux Avenue in Victoria Square Belfast (Northern Ireland). The store itself was clean, tidy and well presented. The shop front was well decorated, the windows were spotless and invitingly lit. The window displays themselves showing a good variety of styles and colours, alongside bold advertisements declaring their seasonal sale. The pavement outside was well swept and litter free.
Upon entering the shop, the shelves were well stocked..there wasn't an empty rail or drawer in sight. Sale and new items were clearly marked for potential customers. The only downside to this being that a few of the sale item trays were a little messy, therefore making some sizes hard where to find. Nothing unusual when it comes to the so called “bargain basement”. I did not need to ask a member of staff for assistance as one promptly approached me when I seemed to be having trouble finding what I wanted. She was quickly able to point me in the direction of the size and style I was after, explaining all the current offers and letting me know the cheapest way to buy a set or multiples (e.g. Knickers 3 for £12).
As I browsed the rails, several other girls checked on my at intervals, I was never left in need of assistance. After I had assessed the shop interior and stock, I selected a few items both from the sale rack and the full priced items before proceeding to the fitting rooms. These (again) were also very clean and very well maintained. The carpets soft and clean under foot. Inside each room there is a concierge button with an intercom and several light settings to view your soon to be purchased under. A few items I picked didn't fit me quite right, so I pressed the concierge button for assistance. The girl who came to help was friendly and helpful, bringing me other sizes in the products I wanted to try, as well as a few other styles she thought I might be interested in. She checked the fit of all my items and confirmed that I was wearing the correct size and style for my frame. After trying them on I selected my items and proceeded to the till.
The queue was of medium length but was very fast moving, with other girls coming to help as the queue grew in length. In the end, however, I only had to wait for a few minutes. The girl who served me was very cheerful and asked me if I wanted my items gift wrapped or just bagged. Chatting away to me about my purchased items and how to store them while folding my items and bagging them.
Overall my visit to Boux Avenue was very pleasant and stress free. All of the girls were lovely, attentive and well turned out, the shop floor was very clean and well cared for without a peck of litter in sight. The girls recommended items were fabulous and exactly what I was after, she knew exactly what style and fit I needed, even guessed the styles correctly. I even ended up buying more than a few of the items she suggested! Honesty here was definitely paramount to all my purchases when it came to if certain items suited me. However I cannot fault them, giving them a solid 5/5. I shall be back Boux Avenue!
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 =)
Thank you for selecting me to be a mystery shopper for Toys R Us. I chose my local Toys R Us in Bolton on Saturday 26th November at lunch time to do my mystery shop and took my partner and 2 year little boy along too. We went by taxi. Upon approaching the car park I noticed there were lots car parking spaces, most of which were taken so I took this as indication that inside the store was going to be very busy too. As we got out of the taxi there was a member of staff who was going round the car park collecting trolleys that had been left lying around, she had collected quite a few and was managing them well so looked like she was used to collecting them up regularly.
In the window were huge signs with Black Friday offers and big colourful half price signs. I also noticed there was no litter anywhere in sight but there was 2 big bins outside the store. As we entered the store there was customer service desk and then we turned right and then entered into the main part of the store where all the toys were, my little boys eyes lit up! I immediately saw 2 members of staff replenishing stock on shelves. As I was walking around the store I noticed it was very tidy considering how busy it was. The layout of the store was good, and the isles where wide enough for prams and wheelchairs.
The labelling was very clear also and if there was an offer on then there was an extra label which was pretty bright so you couldn't miss it! We browsed up and down and came to the sit in cars so my little boy decided to have a play in them all for a while, he loved them. My partner tried to get him to sit on a small bike too but he wouldn't lol. We spent about an hour in store browsing and my son was playing with the interactive toys that were set up and he was playing with the cars too. I didn't see one piece of litter on the floor, and I only saw one toy on the floor which I think was left there by a child after they had been playing with it. Also my little boy needed the loo so my partner took him and when he came back he said they have tiny little urinals for little learners that made me smile!
While my little one was in the loo I asked for help to find bing bunny toys as it's his favourite cartoon, I was pointed in a direction but not given clear directions but I found them eventually and found a cute bing phone and then went on to pick up a George pig too! When it was time to go to the tills there was only one lady in front of us and we didn't have to wait long. The lady on till was very nice and didn't rush us like some shops do. We was in the store a little over an hour and feel our experience was very pleasant. The store was welcoming and child friendly and even though it was very busy it wasn't left untidy. There was always a member of staff around if you needed one and there was no litter to be seen anywhere. I would rate my experience 5/5 and I'm certain my little boy would love to go back!