Posts Tagged ‘TJ Maxx’

Service of Product Marketing that Sends Customers Out of the Store and Onto the Web

Thursday, April 6th, 2023

I visited a favorite discount haunt, TJ Maxx, on West 57th Street in Manhattan, where I saw the most extraordinary number of suitcases in all sizes and shapes, colors and materials. They took up a substantial amount of real estate on all the three floors.

Some offered the weight: usually in the 7-pound range.

What was missing?  

The size of the suitcases, which, to avoid additional airline fees, should be 62 inches or less. I studied umpteen tags and asked a sales associate who looked at a few and shrugged saying he thought he’d seen one that indicated the height somewhere, waving vaguely towards other suitcases.

I was perplexed that all range of brands were there, some I’d heard of, yet none indicated height.

So where’s a girl to get the right size suitcase given a store with plenty of merchandise but without knowledgeable sales help? Short of carrying a measuring tape as though you’re buying furniture or kitchen appliances to fit in small spaces it looks like the best is to buy online where the specs are.

At TJ Maxx’s checkout my cashier asked if I’d found everything I needed. Hearing my complaint he said I could borrow a measuring tape but it was too late. I was done shopping.

Have you noticed such a deficit of crucial information in other product lines?

Service of If You Can Breathe, You’re Hired, No Training Necessary–Except at Trader Joe’s New NYC Store

Monday, December 6th, 2021

Image by Jessica Latorre from Pixabay 

We read and hear daily about the shortage of workers and with few exceptions almost everyone has experienced repercussions when out and about.

I dropped into a well known high end supermarket looking for an item. Customer Service wasn’t sure of its location, [a laptop was in front of the staffer but I guess this information wasn’t available there.] He suggested I check out the produce department. Once there a well-meaning man stacking vegetables had no clue and I suspect didn’t understand what I wanted–snack size guacamole. I found a second person in the vicinity standing in an aisle focusing on what was happening on his phone, not the store. He barely looked up while directing me; his sneer indicated that he was annoyed to be interrupted. They didn’t have it–or I didn’t see it–and he didn’t care.

A Chelsea branch of a favorite bakery sells sandwiches, salads, sweets, breads and warm drinks and has tables and chairs for those who want to eat there. They hired two very young, well-meaning, inexperienced men to fend for themselves. There were almost no sandwiches on display at the counter and we asked what was on trays full of food stacked behind their work area. Answer: [Lots more] sandwiches. However it looked to customers as though they’d run out of all but a few stragglers. The cappuccino and latte were delicious but took a dog’s age to prepare. The two juggled all jobs–warming and packing sandwiches and bakery items as well as charging customers. In other branches the drinks are made by a dedicated crew.

Image by ElasticComputeFarm from Pixabay 

An excellent restaurant that handled a full house with ease before was about a quarter full the other day. It maintained the quality of its food but the kitchen must have been understaffed or working with newbies as it took an unusually long time to produce dinner.

The exception is at Trader Joe’s in its newest Manhattan location in 20,000 square feet of well-lit space on First Avenue and 59th Street. Opened on December 2, the company welcomed New Yorkers long anticipating its addition to the neighborhood. [A man waiting with me at a nearby bus stop, seeing the TJ shopping bag, asked me what I thought of the store which he and his wife were looking forward to visiting.] The line on Saturday was breathtaking and the short wait to pay even more incredible. Over 20 well trained cashiers charged, packed and sent customers on their way.

The store is located in a landmark–Bridgemarket–built underneath the Queensboro Bridge which was completed in 1909. In a section called “The Cathedral,” and originally an open green market until 1946, according to a February 1998 press release on, the architects used Guastavino tile vaults for the ceiling. If you’ve been to the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Terminal, you’ll recognize them. Once it was closed to commerce, the city used The Cathedral to store vehicles and as a sign shop.

In 1999 David W. Dunlap wrote in The New York Times about its opening as “a market-style Food Emporium, two restaurants operated by Sir Terence Conran, a high-end Conran home-furnishings store reached through a swoop-roofed pavilion on 59th Street and a landscaped plaza with a fountain.” The complex cost $24 million according to Dunlap. Food Emporium closed in 2015 and Trader Joe’s is the first tenant in The Cathedral since then. Where Conran’s shop was is a TJ Maxx.

I wonder where Trader Joe’s found all those trained employees who quietly refilled refrigerators and shelves, expertly directed the line that wandered up and down aisles leaving plenty of room for shoppers, with an efficient team of cashiers to top off the seamless shopping experience.

How long will it take for new, untrained employees to catch on to their jobs? Have you noticed blips in service recently?

Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

Service of Changing Taste: Is it the Pandemic?

Thursday, April 16th, 2020

I have always loved to shop or at least to look, but that has changed.

One new piece of clothing for summer and winter–a new blouse, sweater, pair of slacks, handbag or skirt–would make my season and me happy. I’m very good at finding bargains. A favorite pair of slacks cost $19 at TJ Maxx a year ago. Uniqlo has fun items to spruce up a mood for little more. And an online store,, was once a joy to peruse. It sends frequent emails all unopened.

These days I’m not tempted to look even if a store I like promotes drastic discounts. How could a lifelong passion disappear? Is it because I don’t foresee an occasion in which to wear something new, my savings have evaporated, I don’t want to face sanitizing another package–or what? A friend wrote: “When I open a package or letter I feel like I’m preparing for surgery.”

Have you noticed a similar drastic change in behavior?

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