Hey there Sweet Cheeks!
I’m sorry for being a little bit AWOL recently, there has been lots going on at home, Mini Me turned 6, and there is always lots to do as a family around Halloween and Bonfire Night, so the old blog took a bit of a back seat.
Today I want to talk about High Street shopping as a plus size gal, and I am afraid there are no pretty pictures 🙁 ….. I was talking with someone last weekend about how, with the exception of one High Street brand where I always shop in store (Taking Shape, Peterborough), I tend to shop online and rarely go in store! When asked why this was, I struggled to put a decent response in to words (unlike me I know), but I came away from the conversation having a good long think about it…..
When I was a young teen living in Norfolk, it was a weekly ritual to catch the bus into Norwich on a Saturday and meet up with my mates and go around the shops and spend my pocket money, Top Shop being high on the list of stores to visit. Back then, although I was never a skinny minnie (it’s not in my genes), trying on clothes and finding something to fit was generally not a problem, but since then things have changed as my waistband began to increase, my desire to go around the shops decreased. The changing rooms grew smaller as well as the clothing, and the disapproving and pitying looks from the Sales Staff really started to take their toll on the old confidence levels…. My bedroom became a far more comforting fitting room.
Now, I want to say it seemed as though things had started to change, and for the good…. As I said before there is one particular brand where I will only shop in store, the customer service is second to none and my shopping experience is always of a social nature as well as retail therapy… ! I don’t know if this is just because of the staff at this particular store, I like to hope that the Brand have recognised what they need to do and look to employ the same level of staff in every store within the UK. I need to try and loose the stigma I have developed of shopping elsewhere, as I was also recently told by a friend, who also has an ever evolving waist-line, during a recent visit to another High Street Plus Size Brand (Yours Clothing, Norwich Store) they also had a very pleasant experience …. So this again, told me things were improving!
I, and this is as always my own personal opinion, have always found that other Stores in general (this is not limited to just your plus size or clothing stores) have still been very much your average sales assistant with very little desire of going that extra mile and making the customer feel, as I was always taught in any customer relations based training course I have attended, King (or Queen as it may be)! Maybe some of them could take a leaf out of the others books……
It is good to see when more and more brands start to extend their stock to include Plus Size, but do you find they still tend to be online stores, rather than the stores on the High Street, or if they are on the High Street, they don’t stock in store, or the range consist of half a dozen items stuck in the corner out of the way? To fuel this debate even further, I have heard today that New Look are removing their plus size range, Inspire, from a number (I am hoping not all) of their high street stores due to space, which again tells me we have taken one step forward and two steps back, limiting us again to having to shop online, and keeping the fatties off the street…. I mean who would want to see us waddling around the High Street!?!?!?! It is almost how I have come to feel…. Keep the plus size clothing to the bare minimum and don’t make them fat birds feel too comfy, because they might just come back!
Sometimes, even at 40, I want to be that 15 yr old girl wandering from store to store with her BFF, but I want it to be fun, and not feel disheartened at the end of what could, and should, be an enjoyable experience!
I feel like I am ranting and waffling a bit, and I am sorry for that, I think it is just since the conversation I had at the weekend it has played on my mind a bit about why I do shop online rather than in store, and I wanted to share!
Where do you shop, online or in store, and what have been your experiences?