- Jan 22, 2007
- Reaction score
Somewhat randomly, I had to go to Cartier recently for some birthday gifts for my wife. I had no pre-existing relationship so had to make an appointment through the website, and I think the first available was about a week out. I got assigned a pretty cool SA who has been there for 25+ years and was actually pretty helpful. I'm not a window shopper so when I go to these sorts of places to buy stuff for my wife, I have to walk out with something to show for it.Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels are also making people do this.
However, from what I understand, at least for Hermes...the appointment requirement has increased their business tremendously. Potential purchasers, at least women who are regular big shoppers with them are concerned about not being able to get into the store for a few more weeks if appointments are booked up in advance. So rather than think about potential purchases and coming back anther time, they just buy it. In addition, they are concerned certain items they like might be sold out by the time they get back into the store, so again they buy extra if its makeup or perfume, or they need a gift for someone in the near future etc. Not sure if it is working as well for Cartier or Van Cleef.
It turns out I bought the wrong size product so had to go back in with my wife to exchange for the right size. I emailed the SA and he seemed to have plenty of availability. While we were there my wife looked at another piece and was hemming and hawing whether to get it now or wait and the whole appointment thing plus the inconvenience of shopping (like me, going to retailers isn't a preferred hobby of hers) probably contributed to her decision to buy.
I know the plural of anecdotal evidence isn't data, but my anecdote supports what you are saying.
We asked to see the new solarbeats Tank because I think my wife might like it but they won't have them until June. We did look at a regular tank and my wife didn't hate it so I suppose it could be a future purchase but who knows.
My takeaway from the whole thing was that Cartier has a pretty good retail experience with very high customer service standards relative to the sorts of stories I read about here for other high end places, and that I still have no desire to spend much time in boutiques.