Sunday, December 4, 2011

Retail Review: Macy's Men's Fragrances

Alternate title: Insults: Very Poor Sales Tactics

While out doing a little holiday shopping, my husband and I were recently appalled by the actions of a sales associate in the Men's Fragrance department of the South Bay Galleria Macy's.

We passed through Macy's - hand in hand - on our way to lunch. We had planned to return to the store afterward, as I had a Macy's gift card and also needed to buy Christmas gifts. On our way through, a man promoting a new cologne jumped out in front of us.

"Hey man, buy this new cologne, and the girls will be swarming all over you," he said, following us as we walked.

My first thought: "What? Am I such a troll that my husband needs this miracle tonic to attract a new, better selection of women?" But it's December, and I'm sentimental, so I bit my tongue and simply explained that my husband is allergic (which is true; I've spent years collecting a precious few perfumes that he can tolerate).

"Allergic to what?" The salesman laughed derisively. "Girls?"

Oh. No. A sales associate did not just question my man's sexual orientation, did he? Was I hallucinating? Were we really talking to a guy hawking designer impostor sprays out of his Ford Club Wagon? Nope. It was really Macy's. If you don't buy Cologne X, then you probably like dudes - super classy slogan, eh? -_-

I was fuming and ready to read this guy the riot act, but my husband was hungry and pulled me away. Still, I could not get out of my mind how rude and inappropriate this sales person was, and I just finished writing a complaint to the company.

It is never good business to insult a potential customer's significant other. It is not appropriate to "tempt" a man with some kind of self-professed babe magnet right there in front of his significant other. Even if he did not see our rings, we were clearly holding hands, part of a couple. The sales associate showed blatant disrespect for me and my relationship by assuming that my husband must want women to swarm him if he's out with me.

It is also never good business to insult a potential customer directly - no matter what you're trying to sell. If my husband had not been my husband, and was instead a homosexual friend, this employee's derogatory comment about him being "allergic to girls" would definitely open Macy's up to discrimination or sexual harassment complaints. I don't know who is training the sales staff to insult potential customers, but the practice is inexcusable.

I am currently awaiting a reply from Macy's, and I hope that the company can use this incident to improve its level of service. The main hit to them: I have absolutely no idea which fragrance the SA was trying to sell. The product was completely overshadowed by our bad experience. Now, even if I thought of someone else who might like new cologne (my dad? my cousin? a crazy uncle with overactive sweat glands?) I will definitely not think of the product promoted - and I will definitely steer clear of Macy's.


  1. OMG! How rude! I just cannot believe that salesman said that! She will not sell much!

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