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Brooks Brothers LA Rodeo Drive store closing today

pasadena man

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I went into the Beverly Hills Brooks Brothers store early Sunday for what I learned was their penultimate day at the Rodeo Drive location. They close today. There were a handful of customers and fifteen staff, so, as one noted, “You have our complete attention”, which I then utilized spending an hour shopping for sundries on sale.

The lads (and lasses) were understandably a bit down. After paying, I went into the back staff lunchroom. I told the staff eating there how much I had appreciated BB over the years, and then said: “It’s a tough day today, but twenty years from now, hopefully, you will remember, and appreciate, having worked for a great company and great American institution, and having participated in a retail tradition of excellence”. The folks were a bit startled initially, I think, but not unpleased with the remarks.

Someone had expressed similar sentiments to me thirty years earlier when I had been in an analogous situation with a different, great American, company. The comments stuck. Hopefully the conversation will prove to be a way of “paying it forward” to these BB folk as well. It certainly made me feel better, having the opportunity to give a valediction the last time I was in that store.
 

useless_username

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So you walked into the backroom of a shop, uninvited, and delivered an impromptu motivational speech to the staff?

How original.
 

pasadena man

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Not a motivational speech, just a thirty second thank you, put in a larger context. It was an obviously emotional day for the staff, apparently there had been relatively short notice because of the building being sold. A good number of the staff have clearly taken pride in working for BB.

I have worked in retail and have known some of their staff ( a plus of shopping at Brooks IMO). I've worked mostly in changing industries, so have been around when a fair number of facilities have closed. A facility closure is a challenging last week. When it happens, I've always noticed that staff seems to appreciate feedback and thanks from customers who have had a relationship with the company.

Hopefully BB finds another good location for a new flagship for LA. There is a downtown LA location, but a very small one. It's size can't do justice to the product line IMO. I heard a rumor from someone in the business that Pasadena (along with the usual location suspects-Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, etc.) was under consideration for a new anchor store. As a longtime Pasadenan I was over the moon at that prospect. Time will tell.
 

othertravel

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Not a motivational speech, just a thirty second thank you, put in a larger context. It was an obviously emotional day for the staff, apparently there had been relatively short notice because of the building being sold. A good number of the staff have clearly taken pride in working for BB.

I have worked in retail and have known some of their staff ( a plus of shopping at Brooks IMO). I've worked mostly in changing industries, so have been around when a fair number of facilities have closed. A facility closure is a challenging last week. When it happens, I've always noticed that staff seems to appreciate feedback and thanks from customers who have had a relationship with the company.

Hopefully BB finds another good location for a new flagship for LA. There is a downtown LA location, but a very small one. It's size can't do justice to the product line IMO. I heard a rumor from someone in the business that Pasadena (along with the usual location suspects-Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, etc.) was under consideration for a new anchor store. As a longtime Pasadenan I was over the moon at that prospect. Time will tell.
A very kind gesture on your part. Hope they appreciated it.
 

Caustic Man

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How easy it is to level criticism online. Unimpeded negativity is the price we pay for relatively anonymous and globally accessible information. And in this case coming from someone who likely doesn't care a lick about Brooks Brothers.

@pasadena man I'm sure what you did was appreciated. Retail employees rarely get a chance to feel like they are part of something good and important. If you provided a moment of pride for them in their work then it was worthwhile. And don't mind the hate. It has been on the clearance rack of social interaction since the advent of online forums.
 

useless_username

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There must be some major cultural difference at play here. Thanking the staff is one thing, waltzing into the backroom to deliver pseudo-Churchillian oratory is something entirely different. But I think there's no point in pursuing it further; I'll just agree to disagree.
 

Caustic Man

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What is at play here is the fact that you have no idea how the event played out or the totality of the context. You had a choice. You could have made a positive or neutral comment on the limited information you had, you could have made a critical comment based on ignorance, or you could have scrolled by. You chose the second. Go play big-man-on-campus in some other thread.
 

Viral

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What is the point of this thread?

And the actions of the OP could be quite unacceptable under a different circumstance or environment......you might consider yourself lucky. Why would you post that like it's some noble feat?
 

othertravel

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I think he just wanted to thank the staff. His approach is less pretentious than asking the manager to gather all the staff so he could thank them on the salesman floor.
 

starro

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OP has been sparing in painting the scene, so it may appear his actions were untoward. But if we bear in mind these two mitigating circumstances:
  1. It appears he is a regular at the BB branch, so he's already familiar to a part of the staff
  2. It's the day before they turn over the keys, so they wouldn't hold the "Employees only" sign against him.
 
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pasadena man

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OP has been sparing in painting the scene, so it may appear his actions were untoward. But if we bear in mind these two mitigating circumstances:
  1. It appears he is a regular at the BB branch, so he's already familiar to a part of the staff
  2. It's the day before they turn over the keys, so they wouldn't hold the "Employees only" sign against him.
OP here. I reread my original message and starro may have a point. After paying, I went around to thank sales people I knew for their contribution to what I see as an excellent company and retail sales experience. I heard a familiar voice just around the corner, and peaked around to say goodbye, and it turns out there were five people eating there (it was not posted as staff only, nor an actual lunch room). Given the choice of leaving for the last time without giving thanks or checking and saying what I did, I would always choose the latter.

That said, I am a sales and marketing professional. Retail sales is a hard job under the best of circumstances, let alone on the eve of a store closing. I routinely call or write businesses a dozen times a year, whenever a sales person has done a superior job or solved a knotty problem for me. I have never personally met a salesperson who complained that a customer was too effusive in praising him/her or their company. In my experience sales people usually really appreciate a customer who goes the extra mile to praise good performance.

Sorry if I was unclear. on the circumstances. I posted quickly this morning in the hope that some Angeleno might see it and have an opportunity to go to the store today, their last day.
 

comrade

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I think that what you did was very thoughtful and caring.
My guess is that most of those whom you thanked will
remember this moment for years to come. My only
disagreement is that you consider BB:
"excellent company and retail sales experience"
As has been pointed ad nauseum on this Forum BB
merchandise has been in decline for decades- I knew
the "old BB" in New York in the 60s. Also, based on my
personal experience of the San Francisco BB, the retail
sales experience has deteriorated for at least a decade.
The current crew are polite ignoramuses, a far cry from
their knowledgeable predecessors.
 

pasadena man

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I think that what you did was very thoughtful and caring.
My guess is that most of those whom you thanked will
remember this moment for years to come. My only
disagreement is that you consider BB:
"excellent company and retail sales experience"
As has been pointed ad nauseum on this Forum BB
merchandise has been in decline for decades- I knew
the "old BB" in New York in the 60s. Also, based on my
personal experience of the San Francisco BB, the retail
sales experience has deteriorated for at least a decade.
The current crew are polite ignoramuses, a far cry from
their knowledgeable predecessors.
I understand the differing viewpoints on service and quality trends with BB, however, within the current men's retail environment I find their sales/service today to be superior to the average menswear company at, or above, their price points, for my sensibility. That is not inconsistent, in my mind, with your differing viewpoint on the long term trend for the company.

I actually started this thread to note the Rodeo Drive's store closing, to give some props to Brooks' 200 years of providing quality menswear, and to hale the esprit of the sales people who I had gotten to know at the Rodeo Drive location.
 

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