I usually shop Macy’s or Century 21. My mom taught me the satisfaction of getting a good deal from the clearance racks. Actually, Century 21 is as luxurious as I ever get. The only time I’ve walked through Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus was to get from the parking lot to the inside part of the mall. Shopping high end retail was only a fantasy, so was the idea of buying Hugo Boss suits.
Why would anyone pay $500+ for a pair of shoes or $1000+ for a purse?
Then I met K’s family and every Christmas his parents would buy something extravagant for eachother like a Burberry bomber leather jacket or new shoes from Salvatore Ferragamo.
I would exchange gifts in awe, kinda wanting to reach that level of success where I could buy my own luxury item or be able to gift it to someone I loved.
This fall we’re going to a family wedding and as members of the bride’s immediate family it’s kind of expected we’ll go all out ins style.
K and his Dad decided to get matching suits from Hugo Boss. I would describe shopping with them as fun. They go in there like it’s any other store. Meanwhile I’m in an old pair legging and some beat up chucks.
Still that wasn’t stopping them from getting the freshest suits they could find at Hugo Boss. Of course, father in law knew the salespeople at Hugo Boss, so they greeted him warmly. His dad let the salesmen know that they were going to get identical suits for the wedding. I would describe the salesmen as charming, cleancut and well dressed in the brand’s suits. High end retail shopping had a sort of aire to it.
The younger salesperson, I never got his name so let’s call him Cesar (he looked like a Cesar!), already knew father in law’s size and was quick to measure my husband to get the right fit. They put on this dark royal blue suit and I knew right away it was the winner. K always looks good in blue. Cesar looks to me asks me what I thought. I told him that’s the right one. As his Dad makes plans to pay for the two suits, the store manager greets us an offers us some water or juice. We thank him but Cesar has already made sure we had water and juice for our daughter S.
The suits are given to us on a hanger and garment bag with Hugo Boss etched on the front. They tell K to come in again a month before the wedding so they can custom tailor these Hugo Boss suits.
Overall, I would consider that to be an exceptional customer service experience from the moment we stepped into the store to the moment we left.
Carrying our Hugo Boss suits and garment bags, we sauntered into Salvatore Ferragamo. Those salespeople pounced on us. They saw us as the branded bags we had and knew “cha-ching!” they were making quota today. Maria, FILs salesperson from Ferragamo was there and he made sure to go to her. I guess that’s what you do, once you find a good salesperson you keep going to them so they get their commission and keep taking care of you.
Compared to the cool and collected nature of the Hugo Boss salesmen, the Ferragamo were nearly desperate. I couldn’t help but notice that the store was nearly empty, with most of the traffic strolling in and then strolling out.
Leather purses and designer shoes line the walls and we settle in the back on these plush couches, exhausted from all the shopping we did. At this point, I’m all shopped out. Maria and their sales manager are bringing out shoe after shoe for my husband and his Dad to try. They finally settle on one of their classic leather shoes. They aren’t done yet, they still need to meet their sales quota and set their eyes on my mother in law (MIL).
“Oh what about that blue bag you were looking at the last time you were here?” Maria cooes.
“You know its discounted new now for our regulars…” she continues.
Before Maria is done with her sentence the manager comes by with the bag. MIL is thinking it over and looks inside and out to make sure it’s not damaged.
“Just get the bag if you like it,” FIL says to her anticipating her reservations over price.
Cha-ching! They’ve made goal!
Next they set their eyes on me and see if they can entice me into a sale. The manager brings these beautiful evening shoes.
I am not prepared to try them on, I haven’t had a pedicure in months and NO ONE is going to see my feet. Also it would have been a pretty impractical buy, what other event would I wear them for?
I say I’d rather not and they finally give up on their final sale.
Overall, the level of thirst I experienced at Ferragamo kind of left me from wanting to buy from them again, although K’s family is all about the quality of their shoes.
But I still needed some nice shoes for the wedding and was mulling it over on what to wear. After listening to “Bodak Yellow” on repeat for a week, I decide I should get something ostentatiously obvious and expensive. I should get Louboutins. I’m thinking it over and considering stopping by the Macy’s where Louboutin has a corner boutique.
One day K and I are finishing up running around and doing errands. We decide to make a mall trip out of the end of the day and shop around. K suggest that I get my shoes now, we’re not going to have time later to buy them, our weekends have been packed lately.
So we stroll into Neiman Marcus’s shoe department and I go right to the Louboutin section. Mind you, I look like crap on a stick with the same converse and leggings I was wearing when I went to Hugo Boss and I still didn’t get that pedicure I desperately needed. Even though I was the one choosing and shopping this high end retail item, I still felt out of place and insecure.
I lift a shoe over and see the price. $875. This one is a platform nude with the red bottom signature sole. Did I mention they were gorgeous, I seriously could get an addiction to shopping high end retail.
The nearest saleswoman sees me and starts to make her way over.
“Do you need help?”
I hesitated for a moment. I could either reply that I was just browsing or I could engage the sale.
“Actually, can I try this on.”
“Sure, what’s you’re size?”
I look at her like I don’t even know. I tell her 8 1/2 or 9. She runs to the back room and grabs both sizes.
I’m so embarrassed to take off my shoes because my feet feel so gross.
But I try on the first pair of luxury Louboutins and they feel FABULOUS! But a little tight in the front. You know how there’s always that one foot that bigger than the other. I was concerned about that and whether these deathly tall heels would be decently comfortable.
I ask her if the patent leather will have any give later on and become looser?
Monica, my salesperson, was honest and said there wouldn’t be much give and that the toebox is usually tight. So I asked her for another shoe one size up. I guess European girls have small feet, not me.
She brings back the pair I wanted and I try them on and they fit perfectly! I stroll around and see the shoes in the mirror and they are solid! This is the biggest purchase I’ve made on shoes so I want to make sure they make sense for me and were comfortable. Now that the shoe is bigger for one foot, what about the other? It’s sliding a little bit and I point it out to Monica.
“You can also put an insole in one shoe if you feel like one is slipping.” She goes and grabs me an insole. I look at her like she’s a miracle worker, both shoes fit perfectly. There’s really no reason for me to not buy these shoes…except the price. I decide to swallow the purchase and get them anyway.
At the register she rings me up and tells me about their credit card program. Of course I’m a sucker for any deals on these outrageous shoes! So I sign up for the credit card to get some points and so I can also break up the payment of these shoes in three parts. Shopping high end retail is expensive, duh!
Overall I would consider Monica as a pretty good salesperson. She overcame all my objections, solved the problems, gave me good customer service and was really knowledgeable on the shoes, the fits, and materials.
Compared to the usual frenzied shopping experience I have at the Macy’s shoe dept, I can see how people would shell out for a high end product like this. There was only one other couple shopping for shoes so it was pretty much a one on one experience on a Saturday.
At Hugo Boss, Ferragamo and Neiman Marcus I felt a lot more catered to. I was offered water and beverages and the salespeople had business cards! Like, business cards really do make it more official than having to poke your head around the department asking for “the lady who was nice last time.” It was also a lot less crowded and a cleaner presentation. Shopping high end retail made a huge difference!
So here are the shoes and me wearing them. Definitely a good purchase that I will be able to use for the next 10+ years.
I’m also wearing a Guess Skirt and Vince Camuto Blouse.
If You “Like My Experience Shopping High End Retail” check out my other posts!