Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The difference between shopping at Outlets, Consessions and Stand alone stores.


In this post I am going to talk about three experiences I have had in the last couple of weeks visiting Mulberry shops, as the title states one is an outlet shop, one is a concession and the other is a stand alone store.

Here is my experience of one brand (Mulberry) being sold in three different ways.

Outlet- Now this experience I had the other day it is unlike any I have ever had, but still thought it was a good idea to document this down. I went into the shop at the Bicester outlet village and was asked if I needed any help, I said I'm ok thanks and was happy to just have a browse around. Even with me saying this the shop assistant would not leave me alone, I thought maybe she just wanted to show me a few details about the bag? But it turns out that she wanted to be my shadow and follow me around the shop, every time I spoke to my husband about a bag or reached out to touch one she had to either tell me a few facts about it or that she wanted to set it up for me. I don't think she did this to stop me touching the bags, I feel she just wanted to constantly show and tell about each bag. Although this was done with good intentions,  I found it SO ANNOYING! I couldn't move without her being there and as I had said I was ok browsing she didn't need to be my twin. We moved on to the second part of the shop and luckily she didn't follow, her presence was relentless and almost to the point I felt I didn't get a good look at the bags without having her glued to my side. The other end of the shop was great, we were free to roam around at ease and enjoy looking. I have been in this shop before and made purchases, the customer service has always been excellent, but this one SA would not leave me be. Sounds super dramatic as I write this but at the time it really annoyed the shit out of me.

Concessions- ie a brand that is sold inside of a larger shop- for example Mulberry is sold in Selfridges. So I entered Selfridges and OMG you can just lose hours in that shop. It is like you have entered an adult playground of goodies! You just want to touch everything and buy everything. Anyway, I walked into the small concession that is in the far corner, I got greeted by a sales assistant who was very pleasant and helpful and allowed me to try on bags.  She answered a few questions I had and even brought out bags from the back that I asked to see. One bag I liked had a couple of scratches on it so I asked if I wanted to purchase this bag do you have anymore? she said I have a couple so could bring them out for me to compare. I thought to myself if I am buying a new bag I want it pristine not lightly scuffed condition, I'm not buying from the second hand market, thank you. It was only this one type of bag that came like that, I found out later on that day why it may have been like this (I shall reveal all below) So overall the service here was great, super friendly and helpful staff and I did get an idea into what I liked and what I didn't.

Stand Alone store- A store that is solely occupied by one brand and will only sell this one brand in that shop. The stand alone store I visited was on New Bond Street, everything is spaced out and easy to see and touch. Staff were friendly and asked if I needed help but I wanted to browse then ask for help if I needed it once I had had a good look around. I wandered round and was left alone to look and take everything in which I loved. When I wanted to try a few things on I asked the sales assistant for some help and she got down or out everything I asked for. Nothing was too much trouble and she brought down different colours without me asking to see what I preferred, I also asked her lots of questions regarding wear and tear of different bags and about the different types of leathers which she answered straight away without hesitation. She also helped me change strap lengths and gave her opinion which was helpful as I was shopping alone and didn't have anyone with me to ask. This sales assistant let me take pictures as I said I wanted to show my husband, there was no rush in me making a sale she never pushed me once and it has honestly made me want to go back. Customer service (to me) makes up a big part of when you are making a purchase. You don't want to think back to buying this lovely dress for eg. and all you remember was the bitch in the shop who was rude and no help. I guess when spending a decent amount of money (even though spending 50p in a shop warrants polite customer service at least) you want to remember it as being an enjoyable experience.

As I mentioned earlier, the quality of a bag from Selfridges was not exactly being up to scratch. I asked to see the same bag in this store and the difference was incredible, it was like looking at a brand new pair of shoes compared to a 6 month old pair. Also I asked why was there a small price difference between Selfridges and all of the Mulberry shops. It turns out that what Selfridegs is selling is all old stock (pre-Christmas), so not bad stock just not brand new as in its only just arrived at the shop. Weird, but true.

This post is in no way to bash this brand, I love Mulberry and will keep buying from them. These experiences can happen with any brand, I have just used Mulberry as an example as I have recently experienced all three ways of shopping with them. I love the quality of the products and I love everything I own so much. I would still happily go back to the outlet and concession shops but if you really are after a full on luxurious experience with Mulberry then I recommend visiting the New Bond Street shop, which is Mulberry's flagship store in London, or the one in Convent Garden where I have also received the best service. I recently ordered online too which has also been very good as they ship super quick and use my favourite courier DPD. I have a video, and hopefully also a blog post at some point, to come on my new Mulberry bag I purchased. Pop your email address in the top right section if you would like to sign up to recive a notification on my blog posts, or follow my Instagram @Kara1818 where I am no doubt going to be posting many pictures of this bag and other fun things I love.

I know this post does not contain any lovely pictures and it is very wordy but I just wanted to share my experiences. What shops have you reveived the best customer service in? I would love to know.

Thanks for reading
Kara xx


  1. Lovely post. I always receive fab customer service on the Liz Earle counter in Boots!

    Alice | alicemaysnell

    1. Thank you, I have just stocked up on Liz Earle, they had a temp pop up shop in Bicester outlet village. Everything had 1/3 off, even the sets. x