As a woman with extraordinarily large feet, I find quality definitely rules over quantity and have unfortunately found I am the Cinderella of shoes minus the prince charming. What is worse than not being able to find shoes, is finding good service. Over the past year, I have found the Newmarket team at Mi Piaci to be funny, kind and extremely helpful. However, this was not the case for a high end luxury designer store in Queen Street the other day.

I walked into the store at 6pm, my pockets burning and a smile ear to ear for I had discovered they had my shoe size. I was ignored by two extremely rude women in the empty store. The reason for this seemed like they could not be bothered to serve me because I looked like I simply couldn’t afford anything in the store. I moved deeper into the store and requested the shoe to try on, she immediately said they didn’t have it. So I asked for smaller size in the same shoe. They didn’t have it. I asked for any shoe in the store in my size. They didn’t have it. I then asked for the up to two sizes smaller of any shoe in the store. Would you believe it! They didn’t have it. She rolled her eyes when I asked to be put on a waiting list and scribbled down some letters and numbers that could quite possibly be my number and name. I slumped out of the store with the two women happy to see me leave. I started to walk away when I saw yet another popular and empty high end luxury store. I knew they wouldn’t have my size, no one carries a 41 or a 42 and I was used to the rejection, but I had to try. I walked across the road and a lovely woman opened the door for me. Asked about my day and not only listened, but asked questions. She was more than happy to let me try on any shoe or item in the store even though they were more expensive than the first store. She regrettably told me she didn’t have my size, but came out with a couple of boxes of shoes anyway. “These aren’t your size, but let’s try them all anyway,” she said as she sat at my feet on the floor. I was flabbergasted by how kind she was and she continued to tell me about all the services the brand offered such as made-to-measure shoes and future events coming up. She took an interest, not just in the brand, but her job and that makes all the difference.

At the end of the day, as a retailer or a designer, have you asked yourself… What is it like shopping in my store? What kind of shopping experience do my customers have? Just remember at the end of the day you’ll get a lot more with honey than vinegar.