What better way to end a blog hiatus than with a good ole fashioned rant.
So, Goodfoot has closed it doors...
Last March 2009 the location in Montreal closed and I started thinking about a conversation I had with a buddy of mine back in the early winter of 2008. We were talking about our respective retail experiences and I was speaking on my Goodfoot experience, and how it kinda got under my skin. It could just have been me, but I felt that whenever I walked into Goodfoot T.O, I was flat out ignored and treated like more of a bother than anything else. He spoke on similar experiences but only with clerks that didn't know him. He had some people who worked there at the time, so he would get looked after and chill, chop it up all that good stuff. The total opposite from my GDFT T.O experience. That sounded nice. Opposite of the screw faces I got inside GDFT TO .Now, my GDFT MTL experience was closer to his. I only had one bad experience there, and it was actually the last time I walked into that storefront on St.Laurent. And I thought about when I heard the news this week about GDFT closing.
Wrote a song about it, here how it goes;
I was supposed to go by and pick up my P-Rod 2 Tinker Hatfields. I had been in sometime before that, looking for them and in talking to the manager managed to see if T.O had a pair to ship out for me. I stood as he was on the phone with someone in T.O and they made arrangements to ship out a pair of 9.5s to MTL.
So, now I got to pick it up and low and behold, he doesn't have them. He said they shipped out a 10.5 instead.
Now, I'm not confrontational or anything and I don't get heated in public. So, I just said, "Oh Werd, that's shitty". He kinda said sorry, that T.O fucked up, but I couldn't get past feeling like was being treated like a chump. They weren't sending shoes out to MTL for some D.J or some Blogger, they were sending it out for some regular guy, so maybe they said fuck that dude. I'm keeping these for some one who matters...whether or not that was case, I'll never know.(I'll be 100...that is most likely not what happened) However, no concessions were made for myself, the customer. That pissed me off enough to never go back.
But, back to the main point of this e-mail. My buddy an I started talking about the attitudes of the retail employees at some very reputable establishments, like say, Stussy T.O, GDFT T.O to name a few.
We felt, that as young men, and customers that we were being treated with a lack of respect or even, dare I say appreciation.
"Appreciation? Who the Fuck Is you?" Is that what you're thinking?
I'm the customer. I am here to spend money, or find things that I will spend money on today, or in the near future once the check from my job comes in.
This attitude, we felt was going to lead to retail back lash and the implosion of the sneaker head community . 2 years later, it is staring to feel that way. Shit, Union NY closed down in the fall....
I could shop on-line, 'cause my credit is good, but maybe I feel like supporting local shops that carry lines that I identify with and like. But, what keeps me out of some stores like the ones named above are the "Who the fuck are you?" attitudes adopted by the staff. If I'm in your spot and asking informed questions about the merchandise, I should be acknowledged as an informed customer who is not just looking, but is actually shopping and looking for quality in both the merchandise and service.
I felt, and said at the time (I still say this) that GDFT TO only wants to provide a service if you're someone of stature in the community. But which community? The afterhours club scene? To be treated with respect as a customer do I have to have a record deal? A t.v series? A series of underground mixtapes? (I worked retail for 2 years in High School, so I'm not speaking out of turn when I speak of customers and respect etc.)
While all of these people do a great job of extending the visibility of your brand/shop in the community, they do not pull everyone in. I feel like sometimes brands and shops can not look past these "celebrities" when it comes to customer service. It feels like you're fending for yourself sometimes, and feeling like the uninvited.
With recession and changing of fashion trends it's no surprise that a niche sneaker boutique had to make a decision on whether or not to close it's doors. But, the implosion of the industry is being fuelled by the "cool" guys and their attitudes. If the service wasn't lousy and the attitude toward the lousy service not treated like a joke (remember the GDFT Bags and tees that said "I Went To Goodfoot and All I Got Was Lousy Service") then maybe at least one shop could have stayed open to provide the loyal, informed and invigorated customers with the product they want and support.
I always point out the great service at Off The Hook in Montreal. Not only have I been shopping there for years, but I have also introduced numerous people to the store. I am not a rapper. I am not a D.J. I write this blog once in a blue moon. But none of that matters over at OTH. I am the most important thing in the store when I get there. The Customer.
That's my rant.
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When I see you.