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Why Barneys is losing me as a customer

post #1 of 168
Thread Starter 
Dear Barneys,

I am writing you to explain why you are losing me as a customer.

I used to spend a lot of money at the Barneys Flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York. I only shopped on the 3rd floor and I knew all the sales associates there. I felt a personal connection to several of them (Roberto and Anthony) and they were all very cool, edgy, they wore interesting smelling perfumes and they were knowledgeable about contemporary fashion. In short, they made me want to spend money.

I loved the store because you would receive lots of great runway pieces from my favorite designers: Lanvin, Rick Owens, Jil Sander, Burberry Prorsum, Raf Simons, Yohji, Augusta (now A1923) and MMM. I would estimate that I spent close to 20k dollars over the course of about 3 years.

A year ago, I moved to the west coast; the closest store to me now is in LA. Unfortunately, I have been pretty underwhelmed by the pieces you get at the LA store. You don't carry Rick Owens, the Lanvin pieces are fairly conservative, the footwear section is depressing and everything just feels more "boring" than in NY.

I understand that Maxfield has some sort of exclusive contract with Rick Owens but.....come on.....you are Barneys. You should be able to get Rick Owens. I can even find Rick Owens at the Nordstroms in San Diego (albeit pretty conservative pieces). While Maxfield has a lot of great pieces, their staff ruins the entire experience for me. That leads me to my next problem with your LA store; your staff. It feels like they are there to cater to rich yuppies that have no clue about clothing. They don't really have much style themselves and none of them seem particularly passionate about what they are doing or selling. Actually there is one older woman there that I found really pleasant; I believe her name is Barbara (?). But I don't feel like i can "geek out" with any of them and they are kind of transparent....I could put on a jacket that is 3 sizes too big and they would probably still tell me it looks great. I want a passionate sales associate that knows what they are selling, that is not scared to tell me something looks like shit and who has style and personality. Maybe it's my fault for not getting to know them better but at the NY store I didn't feel the need to exert myself to want to befriend them.

Now let's talk about your webstore. You guys recently did a giant makeover. I understand that this was necessary because the previous version of your site was not very good. The images were small, items often only one or two crappy photos and it was not a smooth user experience. Despite all this, I still bought stuff from your webstore. Your free shipping and returns policy are both great and the online stock used to be a subset of your Madison Ave store stock.

The newly made-over webstore is pretty crappy. It pales in comparison to LN-CC, Oki-Ni, SSENSE and Mr Porter. The new site suffers fromsome major usability problems which I have listed below. Also, I don't know if it is just me, but the pieces you now offer online feel pretty conservative and boring. I want to be able to see ALL the cool stuff you guys sell at the New York since I can no longer go there.

Here are some of the usability problems with the new site:

1. There is a top navigation row (Womens, Mens, Home, Kids) with drop down menus that have the exact same things as the second level navigation. Choose either a drop down or a second level nav. If you choose a second level nav, make it bigger.

2. The list of designers (http://www.barneys.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-BNY-Site/default/Designer-Show?cgid=men) shouldn't have a rotating banner with photos and brands that I don't care about. The brand list page should be just a list of brands organized alphabetically and I shouldn't need to scroll down one entire page length just to see them.

3. When viewing items, the filtering/sorting/category widget on the left-hand side makes no sense and is difficult to use. When I click the designers tab, there is a list with like 5 brands and I need to scroll endlessly within it. The whole thing is not intuitive.

4. The giant "Love it, save it" banner that floats over the items is extremely annoying. I don't care about saving items for later. I want to go to your site, look at what is there and what is new. I will either buy it, bookmark it or just come back later if I am unsure.

4. The item photos are not consistent in size. Also, the primary photo is sometimes of an item and sometimes of a person wearing clothes. I don't want to have to read the item title to figure out what piece on a person is being sold. The primary photo should be the product and then when I click on it there should be a picture or two of a person or mannequin wearing it.

5. There is no good sizing/measurement information. If i'm going to spend $2000 on a blazer, I want to know the shoulder and sleeve length. For pants, I want to know the waist, crotch and inner seam. These things are all no-brainers. It would also help to know the fit. I want to know the country where it was made and the fabrics/percentages.

6. When viewing an item I don't want to have to click on some box just to get a description of an item. If I have to click like 10 times just to get to a product and get info about it....i will just go to LN-CC instead.

7. When viewing an item, I shouldn't need to scroll through a little image gallery to see all the thumbnails. The item photos are completely disproportionate. The main photo is huge like a Boeing 747 and the thumbnails are small like snails. The new site has tons of white space (which is good), I shouldn't need to scroll through a widget to see photos. There shouldn't be suggestions to other items that are bigger than the thumbnails of the product I'm looking at.

8. I don't care about sharing your products socially on facebook or twitter or twatter or pintrest. I am on your webstore to spend copious amounts of money.....not to brag to my broke friends that I am spending 3000 dollars on a Raf Simons jacket.

9. The line going through the main photo in the background is pointless. it looks like I am supposed to print out the page and fold it closed.

10. The quantity drop down is pretty dumb. No, I don't want to buy ten of the same, $2000 Jil Sander jacket. You guys are not walmart; you don't need to try to be "high volume" for one particular item type. If I really feel the need to buy more of one thing, I am capable of clicking "add to cart" twice.

11. The banners "ads" that show up below the navigation rows are just plain annoying and take up way too much screen real estate. I don't want to see a boring office photo of two guys in Richard James, Roda, Etro and Harris Crocket while I am looking at Givenchy clothing.

12. The default sort order for everything should be "newest items" first.


I know I sound really negative but I am simply trying to communicate that I am really disappointed with what you guys are doing.
I used to love Barneys so much and now, no matter how hard I try, I don't.

A formerly loyal customer,
sq4you

PS. please forward this message to someone at barneys that actually cares about my opinion
post #2 of 168
Lol yes their upgrade moved them from internet 2004 to internet 2006 and no further. Their buys are generally weak as well, online and in store. I haven't spent a dime there in 2 yrs even though I work 2 blocks away from it. They did have a nice Margiela bag when I was in there last tho....

I was just at your site 1-2 days ago btw; found what I needed there. thanks.
post #3 of 168
LA isn't new york. LA fashion is more conservative. live with it.
post #4 of 168
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valmak View Post

LA isn't new york. LA fashion is more conservative. live with it.

yes, you are right. the correct course of action should be to sit back, jerk off in front of the computer and watch something I like fail instead.
post #5 of 168

1. I'm sure 'Barney's' doesn't read SF.

2. I'm also more than positive if you can't be bothered to find the contact info of the CEO of Barney's, we're not gonna find it for you.

3. Lastly, I'm sure they will not do an entire overhaul over the complaint of a single customer.

 

So, why don't you just buy your crap elsewhere and save everyone their time?

post #6 of 168
sq, where did you move to on the west coast? I didnt know you left DC
post #7 of 168
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alphataru View Post

1. I'm sure 'Barney's' doesn't read SF.
2. I'm also more than positive if you can't be bothered to find the contact info of the CEO of Barney's, we're not gonna find it for you.
3. Lastly, I'm sure they will not do an entire overhaul over the complaint of a single customer.

So, why don't you just buy your crap elsewhere and save everyone their time?

1. i sent the letter to barneys
2. I already know simon doonan can be contacted here: http://www.simondoonan.net/contact/
3. i don't think you get it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bows1 View Post

sq, where did you move to on the west coast? I didnt know you left DC

i moved to "americas finest city" foo.gif a little over a year ago. I will be going to NY again in the near future though. i miss atelier, the standard, thom browne, the rick owens store, etc.
do you ever come to LA?
post #8 of 168
LA is America's finest city? satisfied.gif
post #9 of 168
Dear Barneys, New York, New York, USA.

I'm writing to you to ask, why don't you have any stores in Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia, PRC?

signed..
A would-be loyal customer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sq4you View Post


I understand that Maxfield has some sort of exclusive contract with Rick Owens but.....come on.....you are Barneys. You should be able to get Rick Owens. I can even find Rick Owens at the Nordstroms in San Diego (albeit pretty conservative pieces). While Maxfield has a lot of great pieces, their staff ruins the entire experience for me. That leads me to my next problem with your LA store; your staff. It feels like they are there to cater to rich yuppies that have no clue about clothing. They don't really have much style themselves and none of them seem particularly passionate about what they are doing or selling. .

Yuppies? What's this 1986? This is LA, don't you mean movie stars?
Edited by MikeDT - 9/20/12 at 6:15am
post #10 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alphataru View Post

1. I'm sure 'Barney's' doesn't read SF.

I'm sure nobody at Barney's reads the largest menswear forum on the internet. Right.
post #11 of 168
Thread Starter 
London: "America's finest city" is San Diego.
post #12 of 168
I agree about the LA sales staff. I was shopping for a Boglioli sportcoat there last month, and though the size 40/50 fit okay in the body, the shoulders seenmed too large. I requested that they transfer a 38/48 from the NYC location so that I could compare and confirm my correct size. I had to actually pay for the 38/48 up front to execute the store transfer. Though it was refundable if I decided not to take the jacket home, it seemed rather onerous and off-putting. Not only that, but I got a hard sell from at least two different sales guys who assured me that the 40/50 was a great fit and that I should buy it. Of course, when the 38/48 finally arrived, an A-to-B comparison showed the shoulders were a much better fit. I'm happy with the sportcoat but the whole shopping experience left a bad taste in my mouth.
post #13 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by brad-t View Post


I'm sure nobody at Barney's reads the largest menswear forum on the internet. Right.


I'm sure 'Barney's' is a single entity.

post #14 of 168
You're being pointlessly pedantic.
post #15 of 168
Alphataru is a moron.

Sq4you made some very valid points, most of which i believe are good suggestions to enhance the shopping experience at Barney's. Would be interested to know if they ever respond.
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