Here in Michigan, before it was Macy’s, it was J.L. Hudson, Hughes and Hatcher, Himelhoch’s and Jacobson’s, just to name a few of local retailers that carried high praise from competitors and customers alike.
You knew what kind of experience you would have when you shopped there. You knew the quality of staff, because they took the time to learn your name and greet you as you came into their establishment.
You would find your favorite outfit – or they would find it for you because they knew your style, color choices and especially your size.
The visual displays were unforgettable- especially at the Holiday time. Who didn’t dream of lunch at downtown Hudson’s- the ultimate treat to go there with your parents or grandparents.
And of all of the glorious wonders in these stores, the best was walk into the gift wrapping area and look at all of the beautiful wrapping papers and ribbons that you could pick to have your gift wrapped. It was a thrill to pick one- even more wonderful to receive one. This area was legendary.
So the last of the “giants” has now decided to drop gift wrapping.
It really is a shame – to me it was the last vestige of civility. It was what set a gift apart from any other gift.
Now we get a box or bag with the store name or logo on it. Who needs a package that telegraphs where it is from?
O.K. maybe Tiffany’s can get away with it because their iconic color is their image- and that image stands for luxury, and uniqueness, and not available to all.
And what has happened to the element of surprise and wonder and awe when opening a gift, if you can guess where it’s from without much of an effort.
No wonder people lament at the loss of customer service. That personal touch seems to have slowly evaporated- maybe because of economics, right-sizing and brand image.
An era has come to a close. Too bad that the chance to create that person-to-person relationship seems to be following suit.