A reader called in a rant this week about the loud music in retail stores. The rant said it needs to be turned down so customers can shop. Amen!
Incredibly loud music is one of my pet peeves, and this is coming from someone who has blown speakers in at least 3 vehicles over the years, so I obviously have no issue with the volume, it’s the venue.
I’m gonna pick on a national retailer that I think is by far the worst offender, and I hope their google search catches on their name and maybe someone in their corporate office will read this. Also, they don’t have a local store so I won’t be hurting anyone’s feelings that I might know.
Ready? Abercrombie & Fitch. I have a teenage daughter, and this used to be a great place to shop for trendy clothes for a fashion-conscious teen. However, neither of us can stand to be in the store anymore long enough to buy anything. Not only is the music so incredibly loud that she and I were shouting with just a dressing room door between us and we couldn’t hear each other, but they also spray their perfumes and colognes all around the store and on the clothes. Being allergic to many fragrances, and wanting to be able to have a conversation as simple as “how does that look? Does it fit?,’ the store is not conducive to a pleasant shopping experience. Shopping with a teenager is stressful enough without adding jet engine decibel level music in the mix.
A few local stores do the same thing, and I asked one of the store’s managers once why they felt the music had to be so loud. The answer was that the kids like it. Great, I’m sure some do, but since when do 12-year-olds support themselves? The people paying are the mothers, not the kids, so maybe stores should cater to the one with the money. Excellent concept, but not practiced often enough.
Retailers blame their woes on the economy but all too often, it’s ridiculous marketing strategies that drive their customers away and their sales down. People go where they feel comfortable and they spend their money accordingly. And teens shop where their parents will pay for it.
So in other words, turn the music down and you might see your sales go up!
Good news! The Kirklands is opening on Tuesday this week. The home decor and gift store is locating in a portion of the former Goody’s store on St. Augustine next to Crystal River Seafood. The national chain has a dedicated following of customers and has been a highly anticipated addition to the local retail scene since they announced they were coming to Valdosta.
Also on Tuesday, another national retailer is holding its official grand opening. The Mattress Firm, Inc., located on St. Augustine by Valdosta Mall, will host a large grand opening event at 9 a.m. that morning, and will be making several very generous donations as part of the event. The company will be donating pillows and mattress protectors to The Haven and Habitat for Humanity; they will donate a sleep set to a local veteran; 50 stuffed animals to the Toys for Tots and SGMC pediatrics; more than 100 nonperishable food items to Second Harvest (if you go to the grand opening, please take a donatable food item with you); and will be sponsoring a team at the Boys and Girls Club. Coupons will be given to customers at the grand opening as well.
Unfortunately, not all news is good this week as the owners of Shorty’s Steakhouse are closing the restaurant. The popular venue on North Valdosta Road had a very loyal local customer base, and some have eaten there just about every week for years. The last official day for Shorty’s will be this Saturday, July 21.
Also, it looks like the DJ’s American Subs in the plaza on Northside and Ashley has closed. It was Larry’s Giant Subs for several years and the name recently changed, but I heard from several customers this week that the closing took them by surprise. Maybe they’ll relocate somewhere else in town.
Back to the good news for the week: Chancy Drugs is opening its new location in Valdosta on North Ashley Street near SGMC on Wednesday. The Chancys have had a drug store in Hahira for decades and a few years ago, they added on in Lake Park, but this will be their first in Valdosta.
The renovation work on the former Ryan’s Buffet on Inner Perimeter Road is still going strong to turn it into a Mama June’s Home Cooking restaurant, a new concept by the O’Neal family. I understand it should be open in about two weeks, around the first of August.
Also, a third location of Pizza Quick opened Saturday on Bemiss Road. It’s located where the Buck’s Pizza was in the retail center near Guest Road.
That’s it for this week, but if there’s something I missed, please let me know!