So I was looking in the store's twitter feed, and I came across a tweet from UberDorkGirlie (Natali) in which her sister had a rather upsetting encounter at a hobby supply store in her area while shopping there. She blogs about it in her blog here. Now just for a quick overview, her sister when into the store and while in there, went to use the restroom. She walked into the restroom where there was a male employee using the woman's restroom. She came out and spoke to a manager, stating that there was a male employee in there, using the clearly marked WOMAN'S restroom with the stall unlocked. This was mentioned all the way up to corporate headquarters, but no disciplinary action will be taken.
I personally found this to be very disturbing from the view point of a potential customer, and as a soon to be owner of a retail store myself. This is NOT something I would tolerate from one of my employees, and I would personally taken the necessary steps into solving this issue in an appropriate manner. Even if it included the firing of the employee. I know if this ever happened in my store, keeping a customer is more important then keeping an employee.
Your first priority as a business owner is the customer. Not the product. I think we can all think about a mediocre product that we keep going back for due to excellent customer service. If the customer is not happy with the service they receive, they will talk down about the company. I know I have. In my opinion you can change the product if it's not something that is selling. But you can also do something about the staff if they are chasing your customers away. I think one staff is easier to replace then one product line. The customer can also mention it to a lot more people on the internet then they can in the 'real world'. I think this one occurrence was mentioned to 3000+ people... Very bad publicity in my opinion.
I do not understand how the management at this store found there to be no issue with this occurrence. It boggles my mind. I can't believe that this company has kept a customer after this. And whereas I might not be in the area, I do have friends who are crafters that live in the area. Yes, I'm talking about you Liz, aka Natura Pluma Designs! I'm not sure this is something the store would want other customers to know about.