Retail Behaving Badly – Not so Easy to Get Away with Anymore

Retail behaving badly is all over the news and hard to miss. Oh how we long for the days when retail was…nicer. Well, it probably wasn’t, we just didn’t get instant access to stories like these.

 Retail Behaving Badly - Not so Easy to Get Away with Anymore

Papa John’s Pizza Snafu

Recently, Papa John’s Pizza franchise found themselves in hot water when an employee in a new York City franchise used a racial slur to describe and identify a customer on the receipt the customer received. The customer, Minhee Cho, was obviously bothered by the description enough to take to Twitter. She tweeted “Hey @PapaJohns just FYI my name isn’t ‘lady chinky eyes” and posted a picture of the receipt. The tweet went viral and Papa Johns ended up firing the employee and issuing a well deserved apology.

Lesson? Teach your employees to get a name for the receipt, instead of a description! Additionally, a quick and decisive response from the company took this out of the public eye quickly and showed that they DID care about their customers.


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Nestle and Facebook

Nestle Corporation also had lessons to learn about how to handle customers. After being targeted by the environmental group, Greenpeace, on Facebook and Youtube, the response by Nestle was badly bungled.

First, they tried to have the Youtube video pulled on Copyright infringement basis. Then, the Facebook fan page debacle blew up in their faces. Greenpeace encouraged their supporters to change their Facebook profile photos to anti-nestle slogans that in some cases used altered Nestle trademarks, and then comment on the Nestle fan page.

Nestle first answered with the following: “To repeat: we welcome your comments, but please don’t post using an altered version of any of our logos as your profile pic–they will be deleted.” Another Nestle rep then posted other responses that were more sarcastic about perceived “censoring” with the removal of the comments. Nestle had the right to protect its intellectual property, but deletion of comments only fanned the flames.

Note to retailers, rude responses to criticism on social media will not help your case, contacting each person privately off the fan page and explaining trademark infringement would probably work better.

Black Friday Black Eyes

It also seems every Black Friday that retail behaves very badly. Customers waiting in long lines for huge sales have been known to trample others to injury, miscarriage and even death. Others tried to circumvent the waiting in line issues by literally throwing items on sale into the crowds, causing the same trampling issues, injuries from being hit with flying merchandise and broken items.

Note to retailers, have a process in place that ensures the safety of your customers and for goodness sake DON’T throw merchandise at them!

While you and your corporation may not be into Facebooking, Tweeting and checking in and out of apps, the world has changed and retail behaving badly is out there for all to see. Make sure you have some policies in place for your business – NOT lockdown censorship, just some common place rules about the value of your customers and treating them like the valuable commodity they are!

If you can get your staff to communicate online with your customers, both on and off the clock, taking pride in your company and their job, you will be unleashing an army of retail behaving well!

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