It’s a sign of the times - Kevin Buckle

Bubble tea seems to go hand in hand with youngsters' shopping habits nowadays, says Kevin BuckleBubble tea seems to go hand in hand with youngsters' shopping habits nowadays, says Kevin Buckle
Bubble tea seems to go hand in hand with youngsters' shopping habits nowadays, says Kevin Buckle
I’m finding more and more I’m needing to tell young visitors to the shop how to behave. While I’m just saying things that to older customers are clearly obvious I’m regularly told by youngsters these days that “how are they meant to know if there are no signs to tell them”.

I’ve been reluctant to advise customers not to spill drinks on the records or simply put things back where they were found, but it looks like I’ll need to give it a go along with a sign apologising for the signs! The most recent problem has been people walking in the shop with a brand new record in their hand. If I see this I explain that records should be in a bag as if I hadn’t noticed them walking in I would challenge them for walking out of the shop with the record.

The normal answer is that they have a receipt but that of course does not solve the problem of them being challenged. We have to be vigilant about theft and all these people are doing is adding an extra complication to the process.

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We do of course encourage people to bring their own bags and for quite a while stopped having our own plastic bags but it became clear bags were needed for a variety of reasons. Many customers do bring a bag but some young people now feel they have the right to wander about just carrying a purchase. To a lesser extent we have a similar problem with t-shirts. It isn’t just a problem for Avalanche and for other shops who have a serious problem with theft it is a way thieves operate.

We may also need to ban food and drink in the shop. The biggest problem here is the popularity of bubble tea which seems to go hand in hand with youngsters shopping. When looking through records the youngsters gradually tip their drink without realising it and though there is a top that may not hold.

Similarly drinks will be left sitting on top of the records and the records can fall forward tipping the drink. It is also obvious of course that you can’t look through records with greasy fingers while eating McDonald’s or KFC. To be fair when asked most of the youngsters are understanding.

A far bigger problem is stock continually being put back out of place. This is a far wider problem than just youngsters with people just picking things up and then dumping them in a completely different part of the shop.

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We are regularly asked about the stock we have and are happy to assist customers in finding what they want so it is frustrating when we know we have what the customer is looking for but can’t find it. A lot of the time records or t-shirts are just dumped at the front of a rack so we can quickly spot them but often the only way to get things back in order is to check through every rack. I know what is going to happen as we have had signs up before for various reasons and the answer is always that a customer hasn’t seen the sign. We will need lots of “please read the signs” signs!