24 June, 2009

Yarn Store Rant

You all know me, I love to rant. Here is another one for your reading pleasure

I have been trying to figure out how to blog about experiences I had this last weekend. I hope I do this justice, but remember I am more of a math person than English major.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to three different yarn stores. Each had there good points and their bad points. Two, I had never been to one I go to a bit more than my husband thinks I should.

The pluses to all three stores, was the yarn selections. Each had different high points and each seemed to cater to a different crowd. I eneded up with patterns from two of the three stores, some will be used in a swap and one will be made up for the Sarge. I saw a book at the other store that I would love to pick up in the future, it just wasn't in the budget for this week.

I am not sure if I was just over tired this weekend or if my mission of "The Perfect" was not one that could be fulfilled.

Here starts my rant:

I admit, summer is not the best sales time for a knitting store, but I would think from a retail perspective, you would try to be inviting to people who are shopping, even if they are just shopping for vacation souvenir yarn.

By inviting, I mean:

Air conditioning- Picking up and loving yarn is important. When you are hot and it is humid, the feel of wool changes. What could be the softest yummiest yarn for an evening shrug or cardigan, will stick to the humid skin and be itchy/yucky to the feel.

Be helpful but not judgmental in other words, remember the old adage that the customer is right? Yep, it is retail and even knitters can vote with their dollars where they will go. If the customer asks for a certain type of yarn, do not put down that type of yarn just to make a sale. I can understand that you as a store will not carry all types of yarn. I understand as a business you will show me something else that will work. This is fine; I may find it is something I like. However, if I want a certain brand and I have fallen in love with it, then I will go somewhere else to get this yarn.

Respect the customers: Do not sit and gab it up with your regulars and when someone asks a question, or act as if they are infringing on your free time. Really? Are we not all customers even if we are not yet friends? This was a huge thing this weekend and it really surprised me.

Have knowledgeable people working for you. When a customer asks a question, have the ability to look up an answer if you do not know it. Do not be www.cantdoit. The internet is a great tool. It may even help your store out. Classes to learn a new stitch at TNNA cost more than a basic internet class at your local college. A decent PC or laptop is about a grand these days, think of it as a business investment/tool and use it. Along these lines, know the popular patterns on the net; know how to pronounce the Clapotis or the Seraphina. Even if you do not enjoy the pattern, know it because thousands of knitters do, and they love it. In addition, have someone on hand that knows how to crochet. Being looked down on as a crocheter can cost you a HUGE sale.

As I said, maybe, it was just me being cranky this weekend, it was a long drive, two hot days and I was very tired at the end of it.
This is just my opinion, I could be wrong.


Laura K said...

Nope. It's not just you. You are absolutely correct. There are yarn stores out there that can make you feel downright uncomfortable being there if you are not part of their "in" group. And I'm with you: knowledge is power.

dnaprice said...


Pam said...

You have some good points: might I add hovering salespeople who won't let you think about colors without their input and smelly dogs. I can't imagine why no one has told this LYS that she should lose the pets and freshen the air.