Author Topic: Shopping  (Read 5086 times)

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DuBois

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2011, 04:29:10 AM »
Up until 2 weeks ago I also lived in a city centre and the only shopping area to stay open later than 5:30/6ish is an outlet centre which is open until 7.

I'm in Manchester, I suppose its one of the 'main' cities.  The shops in the outlying towns generally shut at 5.30/6 still.  It was the same when I lived in London, Oxford Street and so on would be open till 8ish but the outer shopping areas were earlier.

I think that's about what I remember from being on the outskirts of London, too.  It was a real change going from Chicago shopping to Barnet shopping!

I was in Enfield for a while, we were almost neighbours!

Wow, I was in Golders Green! Which I think it closer than it looks on the tube map ;) When I wanted to do some fun shopping (as opposed to grocery shopping) I would take the 360 bus (I think!) to World's End in Chelsea. That was such a beautiful bus ride. Or there was another one that took me to Charing Cross. Golders Green was the best of both worlds. It was beautiful, remote, and away from all the bustle. But it was close enough to the centre to be convenient. I also lived in Wood Green, but I preferred Golders.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2011, 04:48:47 AM »
I think one big difference between US retail and European retail is the tolerance for people who don't speak the national language.  Maybe it's because y'all are more likely to be within a weekend trip distance of somewhere the people don't speak the same language you do, but here you're lucky to get any help at all if you don't speak English (in most stores - there are certainly ethnic sections of most larger cities in the US where English is not the dominant language).  From my experience in France, the shopkeepers were very tolerant of us American students as long as we tried to say something in French first.  Then they'd reply in perfect English and be very polite  :P  I realize the areas farther from the usual tourist routes are less likely to have multilingual shopkeepers, but from everything I've heard, visiting somewhere you don't speak the language is not impossible.

In contrast, a good percentage of US retail employees would look at you like you had two heads if you attempted to communicate in anything other than English (and probably even if you tried English but had a heavy accent).  The nicer ones would try to help you via hand gestures and maybe would track down a fellow employee who spoke your language if they knew of one, but that's absolutely not universal.  Most Americans are also functionally monolingual, and I know very few people who have ever vacationed somewhere English wasn't widely understood.

DuBois

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #32 on: October 10, 2011, 04:58:24 AM »
I think one big difference between US retail and European retail is the tolerance for people who don't speak the national language.  Maybe it's because y'all are more likely to be within a weekend trip distance of somewhere the people don't speak the same language you do, but here you're lucky to get any help at all if you don't speak English (in most stores - there are certainly ethnic sections of most larger cities in the US where English is not the dominant language).  From my experience in France, the shopkeepers were very tolerant of us American students as long as we tried to say something in French first.  Then they'd reply in perfect English and be very polite  :P  I realize the areas farther from the usual tourist routes are less likely to have multilingual shopkeepers, but from everything I've heard, visiting somewhere you don't speak the language is not impossible.

In contrast, a good percentage of US retail employees would look at you like you had two heads if you attempted to communicate in anything other than English (and probably even if you tried English but had a heavy accent).  The nicer ones would try to help you via hand gestures and maybe would track down a fellow employee who spoke your language if they knew of one, but that's absolutely not universal.  Most Americans are also functionally monolingual, and I know very few people who have ever vacationed somewhere English wasn't widely understood.

I'm afraid that the UK is the same. I would be very surpised if foreign tourists could get help in their own language here, even in London and let alone anywhere else.  Most people who come to the UK to shop are pretty fluent in English.

iridaceae

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #33 on: October 10, 2011, 05:20:19 AM »
I think one big difference between US retail and European retail is the tolerance for people who don't speak the national language. 

My sister worked at a retail store here in Tucson and is fairly good at Spanish. So much so that when Mexicans would come up to shop from Mexico (not uncommon), the other employees would steer them towards her.  You'd think Spanish would be widely spoken here, and it really isn't.  Parts of it- South Tucson, for example- yes, but mainly no.

My sister and her husband were in Germany for two years (he's in the Air Force) and she said she was surprised that after-Christmas sales, at least where she was, were non-existent.

In Italy we were in a town that doesn't get, I suspect, a lot of the tourist trade, and I bought a little stuffed animal in a clearly non-tourist shop (it sold mainly school supplies).  The nice woman behind the counter starting talking a mile a minute in Italian, and eventually slowed down, looked at my bewildered face and said (this much I understood) "you don't understand Italian!" I said "si! non capische!" and she went right back to talking away cheerfully a mile a minute. 

Snooks

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #34 on: October 10, 2011, 06:35:48 AM »
Manchester is great. It's a big city, but quite compact at the same time. I moved here in 2002 and the city centre has changed unbelievably in that time period. When I first moved here I was repeatedly told the the IRS bomb was the best thing to ever happen to the city centre. Now there's a comment on what it must have looked like before.

Really angry American tax men?  ;)

Zilla

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #35 on: October 10, 2011, 07:35:50 AM »
I my previous state, we had regular stores with cashiers ringing you up and stockers in the aisles helping you out.  I tended to go to mom and pop places so there it's smaller and less intrusive in terms of customer service.


But then I moved here, the land of customer service and them trying to outdo each other. 


My grocery store won't allow you to unload your cart let alone bag. When you enter the other stores they hover and help you pick out stuff etc.  It drives me bonkers.  I actually shop more online or go further to avoid these stores.  ;D




Thipu, I was puzzled by this in your post.  Is this store in the US?  Why would you feel nervous going in there?


Snipped


One shop is run by a family from Yemen.  With the problems going on there, we're a bit concerned about the safety of people at home.  We've been assured that all is well.




iridaceae

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #36 on: October 10, 2011, 07:41:33 AM »

Thipu, I was puzzled by this in your post.  Is this store in the US?  Why would you feel nervous going in there?


Snipped


One shop is run by a family from Yemen.  With the problems going on there, we're a bit concerned about the safety of people at home.  We've been assured that all is well.

I believe she's concerned for the shopkeepers' families in Yemen.

Zilla

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #37 on: October 10, 2011, 07:58:43 AM »

Thipu, I was puzzled by this in your post.  Is this store in the US?  Why would you feel nervous going in there?


Snipped


One shop is run by a family from Yemen.  With the problems going on there, we're a bit concerned about the safety of people at home.  We've been assured that all is well.

I believe she's concerned for the shopkeepers' families in Yemen.


Oh got it,I thought she meant people at home here not their people in their home country.  I was wondering why she would be concerned here.

Yvaine

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #38 on: October 10, 2011, 08:06:07 AM »
The biggest difference between the UK and the US is the customer service culture.  In the US staff are much more attentive and deferential than in the UK.  My US friends were pretty horrified by the 'surly, uninterested' staff they met in shops over here while I was completely overwhelmed and freaked out by the 'intrusiveness' of US staff.  (Those are perceptions and deliberately hyperbolic, not insults by the way!)

I am British, and find our staff unspeakably rude most of the time.  I think out customer service is the worst I have seen.

Never been to France?  ;)

The problem with France is that etiquette there, AFAIK, says you ought to greet the shopkeeper when you walk in.  British people don't do that, so we are immediately behaving in a rude way which puts the shopkeeper's back up.

When I was in North America I loved being greeted by shop workers, until my host told me that it was a psychological trick to discourage people from stealing (you are less likely to steal from a business if you have made human contact, apparently).  I still don't know if he was joking!

He's at least partly right. It's also just an attempt to sell--I think there's also a theory that you're more likely to buy if you've had human contact. A lot of times you can tell which reason is really going on by the salesperson's attitude and how they behave after they've greeted you. If they keep trying to suggest things you might want, or if they actually back off and give you some space after the initial greeting, they're trying to sell. If they keep finding reasons to "coincidentally" straighten a shelf that's right wherever you happen to be, they're probably worried about theft. There are stores that get suspicious of people based on really spurious cues too, like age or race or perceived economic status.  ::)

Thipu1

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #39 on: October 10, 2011, 10:19:38 AM »
Yes,  that's correct.

The shop is the kind of place that has family photographs posted near the register. 

Shortly before the unrest started in Yemen, one of the guys went back to Yemen with his wife and three young children to visit the Grandparents.  That's why we were concrened and we weren't the only ones. 

We were assured that the family was fine.  The Grandparents live in sector A and the problems were in sector Q.

Larrabee

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #40 on: October 10, 2011, 12:54:33 PM »
Up until 2 weeks ago I also lived in a city centre and the only shopping area to stay open later than 5:30/6ish is an outlet centre which is open until 7.

I'm in Manchester, I suppose its one of the 'main' cities.  The shops in the outlying towns generally shut at 5.30/6 still.  It was the same when I lived in London, Oxford Street and so on would be open till 8ish but the outer shopping areas were earlier.

I think that's about what I remember from being on the outskirts of London, too.  It was a real change going from Chicago shopping to Barnet shopping!

I was in Enfield for a while, we were almost neighbours!

Wow, I was in Golders Green! Which I think it closer than it looks on the tube map ;) When I wanted to do some fun shopping (as opposed to grocery shopping) I would take the 360 bus (I think!) to World's End in Chelsea. That was such a beautiful bus ride. Or there was another one that took me to Charing Cross. Golders Green was the best of both worlds. It was beautiful, remote, and away from all the bustle. But it was close enough to the centre to be convenient. I also lived in Wood Green, but I preferred Golders.

Snap!  Small world eh?

RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #41 on: October 10, 2011, 03:16:36 PM »
Who would have thought we were all so close?  Then again, this was about 9-10 years ago, so I have no idea if the timelines match up.

DuBois

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #42 on: October 10, 2011, 04:03:53 PM »
Who would have thought we were all so close?  Then again, this was about 9-10 years ago, so I have no idea if the timelines match up.

In my case, yes, it does match up! I was in Golders about nine years ao.

Larrabee

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #43 on: October 10, 2011, 04:17:16 PM »
Who would have thought we were all so close?  Then again, this was about 9-10 years ago, so I have no idea if the timelines match up.

In my case, yes, it does match up! I was in Golders about nine years ao.

Not me sadly, I was in the area from 04-07.

The Legend of Daisy

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Re: Shopping
« Reply #44 on: October 12, 2011, 01:20:11 PM »
Manchester is great. It's a big city, but quite compact at the same time. I moved here in 2002 and the city centre has changed unbelievably in that time period. When I first moved here I was repeatedly told the the IRS bomb was the best thing to ever happen to the city centre. Now there's a comment on what it must have looked like before.

Really angry American tax men?  ;)

Haha! Someone forgot to submit their 1040.