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Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by earthdragon, Nov 18, 2008.

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  1. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    I found that lavender and bay leaves are a good mix but last year I bought some zip lock plastic bags to store my jumpers in over summer


    Howard Yount has good Marcoliani socks very well priced http://www.howardyount.com/collections/socks I ordered some on Friday and they arrived by Monday from the US great value considering DJ's have them at $34 a pair
     


  2. Tano

    Tano Senior member

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    Which colour would you recommend as staple casuals? For jeans and khaki chinos? I've only bought argyle blue
     


  3. pasey25

    pasey25 Well-Known Member

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    I think American tailors in Collins St also had some Marcoliani socks on sale today when i was in there. Can't remember the price though sorry.

    for those chasing their C&J's only smaller sizes left now. was looking for some black oxfords in a 10.5E but I took too long to get around to their sale.
     


  4. "6"

    "6" Senior member

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    +1 on the Viccel socks. I have a couple of the 100% wool ones, very good value.
     


  5. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    I have a thing for loud socks red works fine with chinos, don't own a pair of jeans at present, mind you there are those times in life when you just need plain black.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011


  6. truevision

    truevision Senior member

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    what is the best way to fold a suit jacket for travelling ?
     


  7. Texmo

    Texmo Active Member

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  8. Texmo

    Texmo Active Member

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    Happy socks have a massive sale on now with free shipping
     


  9. fxh

    fxh Senior member

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    Grumpy customers enraged by bad service Jen Rosenberg July 29, 2011

    WE ARE a nation of cranky consumers, increasingly intolerant of poor service and businesses are slow to catch on, a survey shows.

    An American Express review of consumers in 10 countries found 33 per cent of Australian consumers ''think that companies are paying less attention to customer service in the current economy compared to other countries''.

    Their displeasure ranked second only to that of Italians. Almost half the Australians surveyed (46 per cent) said companies did not make any extra effort to retain their business.

    Given the competition from online retailers and people's inclination to save, the results were surprising, said Christine Wakefield, the vice-president of American Express World Service Australia.

    She said businesses which cut staff in response to economic circumstances contributed to the problem.

    ''Some businesses see service as an investment because service can be as equally as important as the product they are selling. Other businesses just see service as something you can put on the chopping block and cut when times are tough.''

    Skills shortages meant staff were no longer well trained and when customers did want to spend, they found it hard to find anyone to serve them, she said.

    Sometimes you walked into a shop ready to spend and you could not ''find anyone to help you''. When they did, they were ''not equipped with the right knowledge''.

    But Brett Whitford, the executive director of the Customer Service Institute of Australia, said having fewer staff did not have to mean poor performance and businesses must take a fresh approach to training. He cited the example of Virgin Airlines, which sought employees with a positive outlook rather than skills. It recruited for attitude then trained later.

    The survey found Australians were overwhelmingly prepared to reward good service, with 75 per cent saying they had spent more with a company because of a history of good customer service, and 73 per cent saying they would spend more with a company that gave excellent service.

    ''If people feel they've got something more than they expected, they're happy to pay for it. If you give them something less than they expected, probably not,'' Ms Wakefield said.

    Mr Whitford said the survey reflected cultural differences among the countries surveyed and that customer service was not highly valued in Australia.

    ''The key cultural difference is that Australians see providing service as a demeaning job … and people in other countries like India feel it's a privilege to provide service. In Britain there is more prestige in being in retail than in most countries.

    ''The people who run Tesco are really proud of that because that's what they want to do. It's not that they couldn't get into stockbroking - it's because they can choose retail as a career.''

    Working with staff at call centres in India, Mr Whitford said he found there were regional differences in callers' expectations.

    British callers were more insistent on correct procedures being followed while Australians loathed procedure and preferred a more flexible approach.

    Ultimately, it was up to the company to provide a successful transaction but some responsibility also fell to the customer, Mr Whitford said.

    ''Really, it's up to the company to set the expectation - it's up to the consumer to be realistic.''

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/grumpy-customers-enraged-by-bad-service-20110728-1i2e2.html
     


  10. blahman

    blahman Senior member

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    Thumbs up for fxh for posting interesting articles all the time.
     


  11. CHECKstar

    CHECKstar Senior member

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    I have been thinking about this recently – I worked for 5 years in retail customer service for a major retail chain when studying, and quite enjoyed it (it matched my personality). I think a big issue with customer service in retailers is the care factor, which can be quite low for those who are unmotivated to provide service. I always thought that if, one day, I owned or ran a retailer, that I would pay my staff a nominal salary, but make up for it by paying a significant commission on sales.
     


  12. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    ^ well that might motivate them

    I recently went to buy an ipad in one of the chains, due to what I thought would have been timesaving and effective service, but no one wanted to come and serve us. The could clearly see that we were looking over the product and the just stood around and ignored the wife and I, so finally I had to go to up to a desk and interrupt the staff members social call to get some action. Needless to say we just left and went elsewhere.

    Also for years I worked in hospitality, the issue I alway had to contend with was if patronage slacked off or any other issue that arose the first thing management or owners would do is fire the chef, this was a very common occurrence in both Sydney and Melbourne in the early 80's, but the tables have turned and most restauranteurs and cafe owners bemoan the fact that they cant get decent staff. I know from having spoken to a couple of people the situation in Canberra is quite critical as i witnessed the other night at Italian & Son the service from both floor and kitchen staff sucked, wont be going back there.
     


  13. tomee

    tomee Senior member

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    anyone buying from OS since the dollar is looking nice?

    soo tempted just browsing the RL site
     


  14. fxh

    fxh Senior member

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    I posted the above article as it was in the dead tree AGE copy and was much broader and talked about online retail figures etc.

    This article from the online seems to be almost a different article focused on service.

    I'll look later (or someone else can) to see what the difference is.

    I am interested in the retail climate.

    My view is the big chains (some not all) are reaping the rewards of their business model based on ignoring customers on price, variety, quality etc.

    Smaller retailers are doing well from this in many cases.

    One example - DJs, from memory, have "cosmetics" ( this is a broad category) I think used to contribute something like 30% of profit. Amazing.

    Forget online just now. Walk into Chemist Warehouse and check prices for the exact SAME goods, in same packaging, same quality, and requiring no real service or added value..

    $60 EdT in DJs = $29 in Chemist Warehouse across a wide variety of labels.

    This is being repeated elsewhere - online is just a scapegoat at present.
     


  15. fxh

    fxh Senior member

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    Finally, a clearer picture of online shopping July 29, 2011 - 12:18PM

    Hard facts have been much rarer than alarmist claims in the headline war over the impact of online retailing on traditional stores, but the most detailed analysis yet of e-tailing shows online retail growth is actually much faster than previously supposed, the international component smaller and it’s not all about Gen Y.

    The Commonwealth Bank yesterday added a layer of fact to the various guesstimates, consumer surveys and old-school retailers’ broad assertions about online retailing – and now data analytics company Quantium seems to have gone a step further.

    Quantium’s latest offshoot, Quantium Online, run by Simon Smith, the former boss of eBay in Australia, reckons the value of Australian online purchases is rising by 26 per cent a year. That growth is being driven mainly by a 20 per cent annual increase in the number of people shopping online. And the offshore proportion of Australian online shopping is just 20 per cent. Tell that to the “impose GST to save us from foreigners” lobby.

    That last figure is sharply at odds with the 44 per cent finding of the CBA analysis and a PwC/Frost and Sullivan consumer survey projection. The CBA’s 44 per cent came from reviewing its customers credit and debit card spending, but Quantium’s 20 per cent also comes from what bank customers are actually doing.

    Quantium has a deal with an unnamed Big Four bank - obviously not the CBA - that gives real time access to all its customers’ non-cash transactions. That’s more than 1.5 million transactions a day, more than half a billion a year - credit cards, debit cards, BPay, direct credits and debits, everything except folding money and coins. For obvious privacy reasons, customer identification is washed out before Quantium gets hold of the information for its Market Blueprint database, but that still leaves a rich source of hard data on consumers’ spending.

    Quantium says it has developed its own software to filter and mine the database to identify online purchases. It then weights the data for the co-operating bank’s market share and demographic and geographical bias, arguably resulting in the most reliable picture of what is being spent by whom and where. Hard transaction data is of considerably more use than consumer surveys of limited sample size that discover what some people think they do and might do, not what they really do.

    Differences in the CBA and Quantium findings could come from a combination of factors. The CBA analysis only used pure-play online retailers – domestic bricks’n’clicks operations were ignored. According to Quantium, that means leaving out five of the top 20 online operations. While the vast majority of online purchases are settled with a credit or debit card, plenty of eBay merchants encourage direct debit instead. And the CBA analysis was not weighted for the demographic bias of the bank’s customer basis. The CBA has the most customers of any Australian bank, but I suspect it’s overweight at both the younger and older ends of the market.

    Those considerations still leave a big gap between the claimed 20 and 44 per cent foreign numbers, perhaps underlining how even bank transaction records have trouble yielding the full picture. It’s even harder to nail down a figure for the overall size of the online market. Quantium is coy about doing it and CBA analyst Andrew McLennan says the team mining the figures was hesitant as well, but went with $9.5 billion as their best estimate for 2010 spending.

    Having developed Market Blueprint over three years, Quantium now has some surprises about online retailing:
    Of the top 20 online retailers used by Australians, 11 are domestic pure-play online stores, five are bricks’n’clicks, and only four are overseas;
    The turnover of the top 15 domestic pure-play online retailers is now greater than the largest single non-food retailer, Big W;
    Some 40 per cent of online shoppers are aged over 45, while those under 25 account for just 15 per cent of transactions.


    Quantium and the CBA are closer to agreement on the age profile. The CBA report says over 45s make up 35 per cent of the market and use a different age grouping at the younger end, suggesting those under 30 do 28 per cent of the business. The difference could come from the CBA’s figures not being weighted against the population average.

    Whatever the differences in detail, the plight of flailing old-school retailers remains the same. Even taking a midpoint between the Quantium and CBA numbers, online foreigners are not eating the bricks’ lunch when the CBA says total online accounts for only 5.2 per cent of discretionary spending, but Quantium’s growth rate figure is a warning of the need to change tired retail offerings and/or rapidly develop online channels.

    The Market Blueprint figures highlight the rise and rise of Australian-based e-tailing. The likes of dealsdirect.com.au, Graysonline.com, domestic eBay sellers and their peers have grabbed this rapidly growing space while the established retailers were still in online denial.

    The PwC/Frost survey that predicted online shopping would grow by 13 per cent this year indicates consumers themselves are unaware of what they’re spending. Quantium says e-tailing is already growing by double that figure as the number of online shoppers grows by 20 per cent a year.

    Until releasing its data to BusinessDay.com.au, Quantium had adopted a relatively low profile, going about the business of selling analytical services to retailers – the database that fingers online shopping also provides instant feedback on any change in major retailers’ strategies. Now everyone knows: Just like the horseless carriage, electric light and aeroplanes, online retailing is here, growing fast and not about to be curtailed.

    Michael Pascoe is a BusinessDay contributing editor.
     


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