Tokyo Slim - agree with everything you say, except "the customer is always right". This is a silly concept. This is the mentallity (?) that is ruining retail. This philosophy has allowed retailers (in many cases) to eliminate an educated, professional sales staff and transfer the responsibility of dealing with the public to the marketers. It's much more cost effecient to have a couple of people in the ad department than many people on the sales floor. Advertising budgets have replaced payroll. This, IMO, has allowed quality to go into the can, as 'image' ads now drive many brand names and product shots drive sales. The product quality itself becomes secondary to it's percieved value. When was the last time you saw an ad for a shoe that described the construction, leather source and type, including finish, lining, insole, country of origin, last made on and fitting characteristics of that last, as well as durability expectations in comparison to other shoes. Ads don't do that, salespeople do (or should, I should say). Here is an example from last week. A young man who just moved to town, and did not have all his clothes/shoes here yet, called to say a workmate had suggested he come see me for shoes. He asked if I carried Allen Edmonds (yes) and if I carried the Grayson in a 14 (yes). We set an appointment. When he arrived, earlier than planned, I was working with other appointments and he looked around a bit while waiting. He picked another model from A/E he liked better, and when I was free, he asked "do you have this in a 14?". I say "let's take a look at your foot first, if you don't mind." Turns out, he is a 15B, with a flat arch and low instep. Very few slip-on shoes are going to fit this foot well. Thru conversation, I found out what he wanted to do with the shoes (dress casual around the office), and was able to suggest something better. What was better in this case was an Italian (Spernanzoni) high-vamp, unlined moc in grained calf with a toggle bit in dark brown. The shoes had been in my inventory for awhile, and I have a couple of odd sizes left, marked down to $39.90 from $195.00. That's right, I went from a $285.00 shoe to a $39.90 shoe because it was the right thing to do. This customer had always assumed that Allen Edmonds was one of his only choices, and found it easier to buy the stand-by's. He said he never thought he could get more fashionable shoes in his size - and no one had measured his foot since he was a kid. Now, the easy thing to do would have been to just get him the shoe and size he requested, and move on to my next customer. However, if I did that, I doubt I would have the customer appointments I typically have throughout the day. This is why the customer is not always right. BTW, he was pleased enough with our service, that he bought a Gravati, a Borgioli, and a Moreschi shoe as well on this visit. Then, went over to the suit department and asked for the 42L section. This entire exercise was repeated in suits, as he was 6'3", thin as a rail, and need XL in a 40 (I think) with a fair amount of alterations. He then told us that he had gone to Brooks Brothers the night before, and had been fitted in 3 suits in 42L. Now I ask you, is the "customer always right?" If I accepted that, I would have a customer who is wearing another poor fitting, expensive shoe; and I would be no different than the clerk at the local discount center - or Nordstrom (sorry, could'nt resist).