Following recent comments on difficult customer behaviour since the pandemic by Edinburgh’s Marchmont Hardware (read them here), Janet Gordon, manager of The Kitchen Range in Llandudno concurs that: “Abuse from customers has been a challenge.” She elaborates: “We have had to get the police and security to the shop at times – it has been very stressful for staff members and shoppers who want to feel safe here.”
Janet explains that the abusive behaviour is from some customers who refuse to wear face coverings. “We ask everyone to wear a mask if they come into the shop – with no exemptions – and we are happy to serve people at the door. However, some people don’t like to conform and shout abuse,” she reports. “It is getting less, but still happens. Some people come back and target us to start an argument.”
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that other shops do not challenge non-mask wearers, notes Janet. “Our priority is to protect other people and we are strict, but we don’t get support from other businesses.”
Looking ahead to 2022, Janet – who was a finalist for the Retail Employee of the Year Award in The Excellence in Housewares Awards 2021 – says that a priority for The Kitchen Range is making sure “people have a good experience when they shop here.” She adds: “Our window displays attract customers and when they are inside, we do our best to make sure they have a very personal service.”
Despite the minority of abusive customers, people remain the best part of Janet’s job. “I love being able to help customers find what they need, as well as sourcing the right products for the shop and creating eye-catching displays,” she enthuses.
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Top: The Kitchen Range in Llandudno – the well-established cookshop is now in its 43rd year.