This post is by a guest contributor, Anita B.
When Health and Glow (H&G) first made an appearance, I used to be a loyal customer. There was usually one in the neighbourhood, making access easy. The products were also displayed nicely in aisles, making it a vastly different experience from the grocery stores where I used to normally stock up on toiletries and cosmetics.
I still use the store, but only occasionally and only because I am used to shopping at H&G, but the experience is nowhere near as nice as I remember it. For one, the novelty of having products displayed neatly is now gone. Everybody does that. Also, I invariably don’t find at least one item on my shopping list in H&G.
The biggest problem though, is the service provided in H&G. This is what I have observed:
- There are too many salespeople in each store. The aisles are quite narrow in the stores and when they are filled up with so many salespeople, it is difficult to move around.
- The salespeople just stand around gossiping the whole time. Possibly because there are usually fewer customers than salespeople and most of them have nothing to keep them occupied.
- I can never expect anyone to actually help me purchase a product. For instance, when I asked for a sunscreen for combination skin, SPF 20 and above, waterproof and to be used in a pool, the salespeople were stumped. The only times when I have actually been helped are when I’ve asked for a specific brand. Alternately I browse the aisles myself.
- Sometimes even that does not work. I was once told that a specific brand I was looking for was out of stock, only to find it myself on the shelves when I did a little digging around.
- The only people eager to assist a customer are the brand-specific salespeople such as the persons handling Olay or Neutrogena products. That said, these people are eager to the point of being aggressive. Without being asked, I have been subjected to a loud and embarrassing analysis of my skin’s pigmentation levels in an effort to get me to buy a night cream.
I shop at H&G not because of its sales force, but in spite of it.
[This post was written 3 months ago but we recently heard from Anita that she had a much better experience when she recently visited the store. The sales service has improved considerably at H&G; perhaps branded retail outlets are realizing the need for better sales staff and service and investing more towards it. – Editor]
Here are the links to our previous posts on the theme of this month: experience of shopping for premium branded goods in India, for high-street apparel and accessories and for premium cosmetics & skincare products.
>> Coming up next: Jewelry