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I visited the Officeworks at Elizabeth on 1/17/2018 and what I found really shocked me. I expected the Officeworks in the city will be much better than other branches, but it really let me down. Let me talk about the weakness first. The floor is dirty, and some edge of the stairs even broken. And those broken edges may cause safety issues, there are also some litters even price tag on the floor. People may gain a bad impression of Officeworks because of litters.
Some products are unreasonably expensive for example, 1 Pillot pen is just 1.80dollar but 4 of them in a pack cost 12.35 dollar and one Android USB line is just 3.98 dollars but the similar product beside it cost almost 20 dollars! And if we compared to Aldi’s “Back to school” Promotion, you will find those Aldi stuff are way much cheaper and the quality is also not bad.
The gap between two isles are too narrow and even people like me will get stuck in the middle. What surprise me more is there is even a pole in the middle of the way and thanks to God there weren’t too many people on that day otherwise our shopping experience could be worse because of this.
The staff are not very familiar with the location of certain products, for example, I asked several staff the location of Stablio frontliners (German famous brand) and no one gave me a satisfied answer and at the end I found it in a corner of the store. Also the categories of product are not completed in this store, for example, I wanted Stablio 32 colors pack so badly, yet it is not available in this store.
When I came to check out, no one was in charge of check out at that moment and I waited for a while. Also it was smoking hot in the store and we doubt the air conditioner is not on. The price tag of some products (eg. Google Home) are missing and I had to Carry it to check out to learn the price. The sign of different sections are not available. Almost every time I shopped at officeworks I have to ask the staf. For this issue, I suggest Officeworks could learn from Coles!
The stock on the top shelves is in a mess and some stocks may fall accidently and cause a safety issue. Finishing speaking the drawbacks, I would like to mention the good part of this store. Generally saying the staff were friendly and helpful. For example, if they don't know the location of a product, they will ask other colleagues to answer your questions. Also, it is good that you guys set mail boxes in the store so that we could deliver our parcels in a convenient way. In a nutshell, I am not satisfied this shopping experience and I will rate 1 out of 5. And I also suggest the store can do more promotions targeted Uni students since several universities nearby.
Store visited: Aldi Fairy Meadow, NSW Date visited: Sunday 26 March, 2017 – 3pm. I visited my local Aldi store on a Sunday afternoon. My mother (an avid Woolworths shopper) accompanied me. On driving into the store carpark, it was moderately busy. Finding a carspace was easy enough. I noticed rubbish littered around the carpark, mainly parking ticket receipts and a few shop receipts (refer photos). The ticket concept for parking at Aldi is quite inconvenient, and I think it puts some people off from shopping there. Having to park, walk to a ticket station, return to the car and then go to the store: its time consuming (for busy people) and inconvenient (especially for the less mobile), and especially when raining. We obtained a trolley. I like Aldi’s concept of requiring a coin to get a trolley. This ensures trolleys are returned and don’t litter the carpark. Perhaps it would be useful for Aldi to have a sign outside by the trolleys that advises people they can purchase a token inside (if they don’t have coins to hand). This would be handy for first-timers to Aldi and encourage larger purchases as trolleys are more accessible to everyone. Inside the store it was fairly busy with a constant stream of foot traffic.
There was again some litter in the store, mainly paper and a few tissues on the ground throughout. It needed a good sweep and mop and had an overall “grubby” feel. The shop layout is familiar to me, I feel it has a logical flow. It was my mum’s first visit to Aldi. She commented on how the aisles were very narrow. She is used to shopping at Woolworths and said it felt “cramped” inside Aldi: a combination of the narrow aisles and large trolleys. Having been to the new Aldi store in nearby Wollongong, it is evident to me that Fairy Meadow needs a similar re-vamp. I would expect (hope) Aldi would bring all of their stores up to scratch with the same new layout in order to achieve consistency of experience across their stores, so expect (again, hope!) the Fairy Meadow store will receive a makeover soon. The Special Offers were clearly labelled (see photos). Most were neatly stacked, however the clothes section was appalling (see photos). My mum noted how badly displayed and non-inviting they were, strewn within their display area. Items were out of their packaging and carelessly thrown around by (presumably) other shoppers. It did not make us want to have a closer look. I found there to be enough gaps on the shelves for me to notice. Mainly because my favourite gnocchi and yoghurt were both unavailable. There seemed to be a lot of yoghurt missing and the tissue area was also poorly and incorrectly stocked (see photos – incorrect product under pricing). Bread was also on the low side (refer photos), which was concerning as it’s a stock standard commodity that most people would want to buy.
I asked a shop assistant (“Phoebe”) where the yoghurt was, she was attentive to my question and went to a nearby pallet of food that was about to be re-stocked onto the shelves but it wasn’t there. She apologised and advised it should be back in stock by tomorrow. She was by all means pleasant and answered my question, but didn’t go “above and beyond” with any niceties. My mum commented on the appearance of the goods on the shelves – something a new Aldi shopper would be privy to (as a regular Aldi shopper, it just seems “normal” to me). She said the overall feel of the store was “scruffy”. The goods being displayed still in their boxes gave it a messy feel. You have to dig around to find what you’re after. I spent a good minute rifling through the gnocchi to try and find the variety I like – to no avail (see photos). When my mum mentioned the boxes I did have to agree with her: they do make the overall feel of the store seem rough. I realise this is a time saving exercise to cut down on staff costs, but Aldi may find if they stocked the shelves properly they might win the more fussy of customers and entice them over from Woolworths and Coles. I also found the pricing tickets to be confusing. The yellow “down” arrow on the red tickets make the shopper think it is referring to the product below it (as it’s pointing down), when in actual fact I think it is referring to a price drop? I would reconsider the design of these as they really proved to be confusing throughout our shopping experience.
We had to really study the tickets to ascertain which products they were referring to. Furthermore, the layout makes it hard for all people to find items eg. an elderly lady asked me soon after entering the store to help her find the tinned mushrooms. She thought they were on the top shelf and she couldn’t see them (she was short), but the layout made it hard for her to find what she wanted. She could have easily walked away empty handed if I hadn’t helped her. Another layout observation was the pallets of goods that were blocking key walkways (see photos). Staff need to ensure these are unpacked promptly to open up the aisles for customers to move around freely and have a good experience. This caused frustration and bottlenecks for customers moving throughout the store. Another observation was in the freezer area, my mum noticed that ice was forming in many of the freezers which needed defrosting. She also tried to open a freezer door and found it to be very stiff/heavy to open and close. This was challenging for a 65 year old woman, so I imagine other customers this age and older would also struggle with this. Once we were finished with our shopping, we approached the til area. There were 3 checkouts open, and as we started unloading on the conveyor belt a fourth one opened. We had one person in front of us, who was served very quickly so we didn’t wait long. The attendant (“Taryn”) was again pleasant, but did not go “above and beyond” with the pleasantries. She was efficient and by all means friendly, but could have engaged us in conversation as she processed our full trolley. She did not ask to help us with our packing (I noted she was quite pregnant) but that said, I have never been asked if I wanted help with my packing previously – this would’ve been a nice touch. I always feel rushed when I get to the checkout and under pressure by the staff to pack and move on quickly – even if I only have a few items with me! It can be a stressful end to the experience and I’m a fairly young and nimble shopper. I imagine this would be especially stressful for older shoppers and should be something Aldi addresses with their staff. As a new Aldi shopper, my mum commented afterwards that it would’ve been nice to have been offered the option to purchase a reusable shopping bag.
As a new shopper she wasn’t aware that bags were available for purchase, and said it would’ve been good if they had offered her one to buy (she didn’t see them hidden underneath the conveyor belt). This would be a good upsell tool. The interaction with the staff in-store matches my general experience of the staff at Aldi. While they answer your questions and do the job that is required of them, I haven’t experienced anyone who has gone above the call of duty and out of their way to be friendly and provide exceptional service. This was also something my mum commented on – how at Woolworths the staff seem to be friendlier and engage you in conversation. I am very happy with the quality of the items I purchased. The meat is of high quality, and the cleaning products are very good. The bread is great and I really like the Aldi tuna. I also purchased the night face cream and look forward to trying this as I have heard good things. I would rate my overall experience as 3/5. I would have ranked it higher at 4/5 if my favourite products had been in stock. I have come to accept that Aldi is a slightly different (lesser?) experience than that at Woolworths and Coles – but that the price savings more than make up for it.
For me I come to accept the experience as-is, but believe there are some simple tweaks Aldi could make to elevate the entire customer experience and potentially attract the higher end customer they are currently losing to Woolworths and Coles. My mum ranked her experience as a 2.5/5. She noted that she wouldn’t go back there to shop. She is a die-hard Woolworths fan, but I think if the store was spruced up a little (renovated as per the Wollongong store), the customer service improved and the stock was more attractively presented you may be able to win her and other similar customers over.
As a full-time working mother of a two year old my life is, putting it mildly, something of a hot mess. So it was an absolute joy to spend an afternoon browsing in Toowoomba’s relatively new Kikki K store and walk out feeling like I was destined for something akin to organised greatness.
The store itself is situated in the new section of Grand Central and is a warmly lit, beacon of stationary delights. But it so much more than that! The Kikki K philosophy is proudly displayed as you enter the store – this is a business built by its founder, Kristina Karlsson, to fill lives with Swedish-inspired design, beautiful stationary and products to help people live their best lives. It’s an ethos that is apparent in every nook and cranny of the store’s lovely displays and gorgeous products but, more importantly, shines in the genuine kindness and enthusiasm of the staff who are today, and on every day I have been to the store, wonderful.
Toowoomba’s Kikki K is well laid out with small stations dotted around displaying new products in situ and with helpful tips, examples and complementary products well placed. To my utter delight, there were several sale items clearly highlighted on a table and towards the back of the store and I was happy to take advantage of this, picking up some desk accessories that I had coveted for some time. I was spoiled for choice with everything well stocked and clearly labelled. It is clear to see how much care goes into the maintaining the store’s displays and stock.
Ruby, my sales assistant that day, was attentive, knowledgeable and friendly. She greeted me as soon as I entered the store and was quick to share new offers and specials. It was refreshing have a genuine conversation with Ruby about how my day was and whether I was after anything in particular. She was genuinely excited to discuss Kikki K’s personal planners with me in enough detail to convince me that this was the answer to my perpetual state of frazzled chaos. She was professional and knowledgeable, letting me know how to care for my new leather product and of several workshops that I might find useful to help me on my quest for order. When I asked her about ‘The Life Plan’, a book by Australian life coach Shannah Kennedy, Ruby was able to give me an overview of the book and let me know some of her favourite tips as well as the accompanying work book. Whilst I continued to browse, she offered to take and wrap my purchases thus far and even double bagged everything, suggesting that if I had more shopping to do she would be happy to keep my goodies aside for me to save me having to carry them.
I could not fault one aspect of my Kikki K experience and am thrilled with the products I took home. I even had an email from the company the next day with some more tips about getting the most out of my personal planner. A genuinely joyful shopping experience – 5 stars !