Ever since Simons (@SIMONS_eng) opened in November at West Edmonton Mall, I have been a huge fan. There’s a sense of service that harkens back to the golden age of retail – and yes, I mean Woodward’s.
(For those of you who shop in the US, it’s equally reminiscent of experiences you enjoy at Sak’s Fifth Avenue or Nordstrom.)
The Edmonton store is over-staffed by Alberta retail standards. That means that lots of helpful, friendly staff are located in the departments and at the plentiful cashier desks. What a treat! This level of service is a hallmark of the Simons brand.
At the recent unveiling of the spectacular art installation, Simons Aurora, I had a chance to catch up with CEO Peter Simons. Mr. Simons is pleased with the way the store is progressing and he feels they are getting their service levels up to the Simons standard.
PHOTO: the stunning art installation, Simons Aurora, by Philip Beesley.
“We have a lot more service hours here than anywhere else,” said Mr.
Simons, “We’re working hard to get our services levels up to top notch.”
Mr. Simons acknowledges it takes time to develop the Simons service culture in a new location. It starts with hiring the right people.
“We have interviewed lots of people but I’m more interested in their values and commitment than their retail experience,” said Mr. Simon.
“You can’t teach values. Staff have to want to help customers, solve their problems and enjoy the pleasure of serving people.”
This culture of customer service is evident as you wander through the
store: in the abundant staffing, interesting and diverse merchandise, ample cashier desks and generous supply of fitting rooms.
“The store is doing well; we’re earning our place in the market,”
commented Mr. Simons.
If you haven’t been, do yourself a favour and stop by Simons soon, and often.
Footnote: While I was at the store I found an on-trend nautical striped jacket (on sale for $39.95) and a lovely blouse, also $39.95.