Monday, July 11, 2011 devil is (apparently lost) in the details

It is wonderful to see how well Macy's Inc. (parent of Bloomingdales) has been doing of late. They are in their second year of comp store increases and they do seem to have the company heading in the right direction. In their last press release, they also made note that their e-commerce division is performing even better--up a spectacular 40% year to year.
As a retail consultant, we tend to live in the kind of numbers above. As a customer, things tend to be a little different. We recently bought some California King sheets during a great sale at Bloomingdales...good item, great price, etc...
When the sheets arrived (in a horribly oversized box with no padding, by the way), they were not the "latte" clor we wanted but a very lovely purple. This is despite the fact that the bar code tag said latte...oops.
So, now what?
1. Called our local store who nicely explained that they don't sell Cal Kings in Chicago but we could try and call a California store...
2. Returned the item (at our expense) and explained they got the color wrong
3. A few weeks later, the replacement comes...and yes, still purple! Two observations--they clearly mis-tagged the product and; there is no human checkpoint to distinguish between latte and purple..
4. Return the sheets to a local store and (again) explain the problem. Their advice? Wait about 30 days before ordering again and HOPEFULLY, they will have figured out the whole latte/purple mix up by then
5. Receive a Bloomie's gift card (no credit refund) for an amount that is less the cost of the original shipping, return shipping, etc
6. Bottom line--no sheets, an enormous hassle and out money
What's wrong with this picture? It's almost impossible to figure out where to begin--failures in process, quality control, customer service, and so on.
It's nice to hear that on-line sales are up 40% but how will they be able to position themselves in the long run against a growing number of competitors who have figured this stuff out?


  1. Didn't you know that Latte = Purple?

  2. The obvious answer is to change the decor in the bedroom, or, have Starbucks develop this new color/flavor!

  3. What color is Latte?

  4. What color is latte? Not purple.. Here's the link to the Bloomie's site and good news--the sheets are back on sale....buyer beware*&Keyword=latte+sheets&KEYWORD_GO_BUTTON.x=22&KEYWORD_GO_BUTTON.y=1&KEYWORD_GO_BUTTON=KEYWORD_GO_BUTTON

  5. Hi
    I have been looking for one of these star projectors for a while but knowing what Im like with gadgets I didn't want to be spending over the £100 mark on some of the star projectors on sale.

  6. 1. It was an expensive gift with a Bloomingdale's tag in a Bloomingdale's box. There was no gift receipt, but it was clearly their merchandise.

    2. My request for a return was denied as the clerk said there was no proof of purchase. Three more clerks circled the area more interested in my problem than waiting on the other customers in the store.
    3. A manager was called. She was rude and impatient, stating that she would only give a store credit for 40% of the actual price of the product. This was unacceptable to me and ultimately the manager agreed to give me a store credit for 70% of the items value.
    4. I was upset but stayed in the store to choose another item that I needed.
    Here is where Bloomingdale's showed its dark side. After waiting for an attendant I chose a suitable item and offered the store credit along with my receipt for payment. The credit was DENIED! One and a half hours passed with them in possession of my gift, my gift card and my receipt. I frequently inquired about what the problem was, with a vague reply that a manager was called and was not responding. At one point I saw an official store people coming onto the floor with the purchase that I had returned. I again asked what was going on. In the end after two incredibly frustrating hours, a customer service rep and the store manager approached and informed me that they were taking care of the problem. I still didn't know what the problem was. It seems that the original manager who handled the return, blocked the gift card in passive aggressive manner and involved the loss prevention department. She made me feel like I was a criminal. From my perspective they acted like criminals. It took me hours to calm down and I will never enter the store again.