Thank you for your email (and tweet) regarding my recent post on The Woven Moments. I appreciate your earnest apology and want to believe you when you say that your goal is “to provide…customers with the best shopping experience.” It is encouraging to know that my voice and my concerns didn’t fall on deaf ears.
In your email, you asked for a detailed description of the employee who behaved unprofessionally as well as the date, time, and specific store location of my visit. I’ve decided not to share this information; I believe that censuring the single employee who treated one customer poorly is the wrong approach.
After all, the reason I left your store ashamed and embarrassed was not simply because some 20-something cashier was having a bad day.
Likewise, the reason my blog post grew legs and ran across the Internet is not because a single employee lashed out.
The reason my experience struck a nerve with me, and with thousands of readers, is because your employee unknowingly articulated the essence of the retail climate at H&M.
It’s not the attitude of the salespeople that creates this environment. Look to the racks for the real answer; the lack of XL tops and size 12/14 options in your Ladies’ section sends a clear message that larger average bodies – my body – is not welcome in your store.
I want to believe this lack of size options is not intentional. But the reality is, whether the XLs are missing due to a conscious business decision to deter a specific demographic or a simple failure to accurately estimate the demand for these sizes, the solution is directly within your control. You decide which sizes to include in your stores. You determine the supply of those sizes to each of your retail locations.
Moreover, the fact that I have to wear one to two sizes larger at H&M than I do anywhere else is disappointing. I understand that this is an industry wide issue. But it’s worth pointing out that the industry took a wrong turn when sizing became a brand instead of a standard measurement.
And while I realize that you do not single-handedly represent the fashion industry, you are a major player (just ask your 9 million Facebook fans). As a major player, the shopping experience you provide to your customers helps mold the norm.
H&M, it’s time for a new norm.
It’s exciting to have a direct dialogue with a corporation instead of having only the option to vote with my feet as I walk out of your store. I’m hopeful to continue this conversation and maybe even work together to create a healthier and happier shopping environment for all of your customers.
Because when that happens? These feet will gladly find their way back to H&M.