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Our Crack Tongue & Groove

shoppingexperience.jpg What fresh hell is this?

Give me brickbats, give me death, give me sodding Kendall Jenner solving the world’s problems with a can of Pepsi, but, for heaven’s sake, please don’t try and get me on board with a “retail experience”.

Debenhams. Remember them? They’re the high-street store that hasn’t yet gone the full Woolies. What they have been doing is looking a little tired of late and to that end have drafted in a new chief executive, Sergio Bucher, who is all set to give them a makeover in an attempt to woo customers. Apparently he plans to transform stores from a place you can nip in to pick up a cheap pair of open-toe tights, or some pineapple papaya face scrub, into “arenas of delight, where all of your senses will be driven to hitherto unexplored heights as you waft between counters, floating on paroxysms of glee” (I’m paraphrasing, but only slightly). The focus will now be on “social shopping” (ie yet more nail bars – exploiting a gap in the market that is now slimmer than Gary Glitter’s chances of being named the new Doctor Who) and turning “functional” trips to pick up internet orders into “experiences”, which means offering customers the chance to combine the collection of their goods with a consultation with a personal shopper (thus defeating the purpose of internet shopping which, at its best, erases interaction with simpering boobs trying to tell you that those ill-fitting culottes look “absolutely amazing” on you). Shopping is not an “experience”. It is a chore to be endured and dispatched with as quickly as humanly possible.