Monday, June 04, 2007

HBC falls victim to shoddy chinese goods

I have tried to patronize the HBC family of stores. I try. Oh my god, do I try. I try all the time. But they just don't make it easy for me.

I have commented more than once that from an outsider's viewpoint, they seem to be adrift. Their flyers and ROP all look great this year (albeit that their Zellers flyers owe a debt to Target for their layout), but the Zellers stores in my market all look terrible. The Bay stores are still maintaining their visual display standards, but I've heard rumblings that their inventory situation is getting dicey. If my experience this weekend is any indicator, their returns are probably getting completely out of control.

Here's the story: on Saturday, my wife went to the Bay in West Edmonton Mall, and bought a new duvet. It was their Mantles in-house brand, but that's neither here nor there. The bag it came in said it was a queen size. The tag on the duvet also said queen size. Back home when we laid it out on the bed prior to putting the duvet cover on, there was no mistaking that it was a twin size.

I have railed before about the consequences that shoddy goods have for both manufacturers and retailers. In this case, there was no life-threatening danger, but it was a complete waste of our time, and HBC's already fading brand image has recieved yet another layer of tarnish. This was my family's first purchase at HBC in at least six months (not for lack of trying), and I guarantee it will be my last.

*Update!* Today's refund of that duvet was possibly the single most painless and easy interaction I've had with HBC personnel in the past year. Lucky me, I actually had a trained cashier wait on me!

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