News - February 13, 2013

Self-service shopping


My first Dutch shopping experience was at a big V&D store. There was little sign of any staff; I only saw a few people standing behind the counter.

When I walked into the clothing area, nobody showed up to greet me or give me suggestions. It was a big section with all different brands and I was kind of getting lost. I didn't know where to start looking. Anyway, I just started to walk around and picked the clothes that might suit me    and tried them on in the fitting room and then made the decisions all by myself. It was a bit  lonely.
In China, stores like V&D will have several salespeople for every brand and they will try their best to sell the clothing of their brand. As soon as you walk in, someone will ask what kind of clothes you are looking for and then follow you around just in case you have any requirements. If you try something on in a dressing room, the person will stand outside the door with several items that they think you might like. Then they will give you compliments when you wear those clothes, no matter whether they really look good on you or not.
Gradually, I started to like the Dutch shopping style because I can buy things without any pressure and I am in control of the whole shopping process. I wouldn't even feel embarrassed if I chose to buy nothing at all because the staff in the store would not be disappointed about it.
And if I have any questions, I can always go and find a salesman for help - which they willingly provide. 
Wenjuan Mu,  PhD student at Animal Production System Group