An Open Letter to a Certain LYS

Dear Employees of Lakeside Fibers,

I am a fairly regular customer at your store, regular enough that many of your employees recognize me when I walk in. You have a wonderful selection of yarns, and they are displayed beautifully. I think your coffee shop and seating area are a nice addition as well, as knitting and non-knitting customers alike have a place to sit and relax.

I was in your shop early in the afternoon yesterday (Friday, April 20) with my young son. He is fourteen months old, and while he of course requires close supervision, he is generally very good about leaving the yarn and other merchandise alone when I bring him into a store. Yesterday was no exception. He did occupy himself with the potted plant in the back room for a few minutes, but he wasn’t in anybody’s way, and I asked for a broom to sweep up the small mess of dirt on the floor when he was done.

Then it was time for me to check out. I had two small purchases, which I had asked to leave at the front counter because my hands were full with my child and our little bag of toys and books to keep him entertained. When I approached the counter, there was one customer ahead of me who had several questions for the employee at hand about the yarn she was purchasing for a project. The consultation took at least ten minutes, during which time the employee neither offered to quickly ring up the two items I wanted to buy, nor found someone else to take care of it while she helped the other customer. Eventually, another employee entered the store, saw us waiting in line, went behind the desk and proceeded to make a five-minute phone call. All this time we were waiting, my son was becoming increasingly tired and cranky and ready to leave. I nearly walked out of the store without buying anything, but instead I asked employee #2 (I’m sorry I can’t tell you their names, but you don’t wear name tags in your store) if she could please check me out quickly, as we had been waiting and my son was tired and ready to go.

While your shop is lovely, your customer service leaves much to be desired. I felt I was treated unfairly and ignored because I had a small child with me. Ironically, as badly as we wanted to leave, we couldn’t because no one was helping me at the time I needed to make my purchases. Surely you know that parents (and grandparents) of young children are a large part of the knititng community and therefore essential customers in local yarn shops. I am sorry that you have chosen to alienate those with young children. I have taken my son with me to other yarn shops in Madison and been treated with far more respect than I received in your store yesterday.

I will certainly tell others about my experience at your store, and I will consider taking my business elsewhere in the future.

Susan xxxxxxxx


Thorny said…
Nicely said. I hope they try to amend their attitudes as a result of your letter, because... yeah. It's a lovely store, and I don't bring my children there at this stage /because/ I know they can't be expected to behave in anything like a reasonable manner. But eventually they'll get through this stage and then I'll want to take them with me, and if we're going to be treated crappily when we go there? Well... the folks at Sow's Ear seem to manage kids quite nicely, is all I'm saying.
Kitty Mommy said…
My little ones are a bit bigger, but after a couple of trips to LF not unlike yours, I only go in if I have to and if my husband will watch the kids so I don't have to take them. Which translates to most of my business goes elsewhere, which is a shame because they have a great variety of lovely fluff!

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