Driving back to Dublin from the midlands on New Year’s Day, Cantillon took the opportunity to make a quick stop at Kildare Village for some post-Christmas sales shopping.
It was quite the experience. First stop on the tour of this well-appointed outlet centre was Tommy Hilfiger, where some socks were picked up with a price tag of €9. Except that at the till the price had mysteriously increased to €9.30.
This was pointed out to the staff member, who shrugged and said “Oh yeah,” before changing the price on the till. Happy new year to you, too.
Off to Levis, where two belts were brought to the counter, priced at €24 each. The sales assistant ran them over the electronic scanner before quoting €59 for the belts. When queried she replied that the “reversible belts are €35, my dear”.
Not one to be disagreeable, Cantillon took just the €24 belt before returning to the rail to confirm that the price for all the belts was in fact €24, reversible or not. The retail price was listed on the tag at €35, with the outlet price being €24.
Ecco shoes was the next stop on this magical retail journey, where a pair of suede boots with a price tag of €110 (substantially reduced from the original price) was taken to the till.
Needless to say, the price increased to €115. The sales assistant apologised and took the fiver off when this was pointed out to him.
It was then on to Reiss to use up a gift voucher that had a few euro left on it but a whole palaver about IT systems ensued when trying to make a purchase, topped up with hard cash. Exasperated, Cantillon left the item behind. There’s still a few quid left on the voucher.
There’s an old saying that retail is detail. Quite true based on this unfortunate experience.