Saturday, August 20, 2011

Make Mine Macy's

For many years Macy's has been my favorite department store.  We didn't have one in the town where I grew up but I was familiar with the flagship store as the terminus of the annually televised Thanksgiving Day parade, and I paid it a visit as soon as I moved to Brooklyn.  During the time I lived in New York City I also shopped and loved Bloomingdales, Lord and Taylors, and A&S, but Macy's was always The Best - partly because it was (and is) the world's largest department store, crammed with Great Stuff; partly because of The Cellar, a basement full of more fabulous cookware, dishes, and gourmet food that any specialty kitchen store; and partly because their salespeople were always well-trained, knowledgeable, and (oddly enough in New York) polite.

Now that I am in Arizona I am shopping in mall-based Macy's stores.  They are smaller and less well-equipped than The Mother Shop but I still adore them.  Last week they were running their annual home sale, so I visited the nearest outpost (the store in Arrowhead Towne Center) to browse.  Because some of my stemware had been broken by the movers, I headed for the section of housewares dedicated to china and crystal, where an employee named Lynda immediately asked me if I needed help.

I suppose I could have told her I was looking for Waterford wineglasses, but I was still hoping to find them for half price on E-Bay, so I said I was just looking.  She moved with me as I wandered through the department, chatting idly but not pressuring me in any way.  Then I saw a sale sign that made my heart beat a little faster.

Several years ago I fell in love with Mikasa's Italian Countryside pattern of everyday china.  I asked Barry for (and received) a starter set for my birthday that year, and I've been adding bits and pieces ever since.  This year I had been thinking of buying the salt and pepper shakers to sit on the table in my new kitchen, and lo and behold, Macy's had the pattern on sale with some seriously deep discounts.

I turned to Lynda and asked whether the store had the salt and pepper shakers in stock.  After ransacking the display area to no avail, she checked the inventory records and discovered that three sets were supposedly lurking in the storeroom.  She headed back there to search for them.

The minute she was gone, the thought crossed my mind, "Maybe I should have asked her about a butter dish, too."  So I was blown away when she emerged from the storeroom with the salt and pepper shakers and a butter dish.

THIS is why I love Macy's.  Who else hires telepathic salespeople?

"Here is a simple but powerful rule: always give people more than what they expect to get." ~Nelson Boswell

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