My partner is concerned about my behavior in stores

miss manners

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My partner and I have an amicable disagreement about window shopping.

In my eyes, it’s perfectly acceptable to walk into a store and look around, even if the chance of buying an item is a little low. On the occasions when I speak with a representative, I set expectations by saying, “I’m not sure I’m ready to make a purchase yet, but I have a quick question” — and I make a point of keeping the question brief. I also refrain from doing so if the clerk seems busy or if the store is full of other customers.

My significant other is deeply uncomfortable with this. They feel it is impolite to raise a store associate’s expectations that you may be making a purchase – especially if you ask a question or derive some benefit from the interaction without making a purchase.

I disagree. Stores know that not every customer will buy an item, but providing a reasonable level of assistance will increase the chance of converting a window shopper into a paying customer. I never bothered answering brief questions from polite visitors when I worked in retail in my youth.

On the other hand, my partner points out that some associates still earn commissions on sales, so every person who walks into a store will raise their expectations, despite my good intentions.

#partner #concerned #behavior #stores


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