OK, I of course know none of you personally; this rant is not personally about any of you (well that I know of).
I own a small store (gift and home decor). Although, I see this everywhere from the discount stores to grocery stores! I even have a friend that owns a locksmith shop and it drives him crazy too!
Stores are NOT a child’s personal playground!! When a parent takes a child into a store, that is the perfect time for the parent to take the child’s hand. I wish more parents would teach their children to respect things that do not belong to them and to NOT touch, grab, climb on, etc everything in the store. If you have to tell your child once not to touch something then it is time to take their hand. Also it is NOT a good idea to let your children have candy or soda in a store.
I can’t even count the number of times that I kindly went up and asked a child, whose parent was on the other side of the store, not to touch something. It is usually my greeting cards and I am afraid that they will pull the rack down on their heads. Well as soon as I nicely tell the child this, the parent runs up grabs the child, gives me a dirty look and leaves the store! (which is fine with me, if they are like that I prefer not to have them as customers) I had one customer tell me, “Johnny has never smelled that soap before so he is just curious.” I did get short with that customer (who is kind of a “friend” of mine) and said: “has Johnny pet a rattlesnake yet?”
Most stores will put up rude signs about this topic. We prefer not to, being that the majority of our customers are not rude like this, therefore we do not want to be perceived as rude to them.
The products in stores are for people to buy. Those people are not going to buy something that a child has pawed all over! If you child damages it, that is a loss to the owner of the store! Not all store owners (mostly small business owners) are rolling in the cash. Most small business owners are like you, they are working hard for what they make and it is not as much as you think.
It also is not just kids. Adults can be just as bad. Most small store owners can spot them when they walk in the door. The Adults who will go around a store picking up everything with NO intention of buying it! In our store we have many candles and soaps. I call these people “Sniffers”! They come into my store and pick up every single candle, soap, perfume and sniff it. I ask them if there is something they are looking for and it is always “no, I can’t afford anything right now”, I smile and be nice, but I so much want to tell them “Well, don’t pick up everything in the store then!!!”
I never mind people browsing, and if they are looking at something to buy they can pick things up and examine them all day long. But if they are not looking at buying then don’t touch!
I am not just making this rant about my store. Yesterday, I was in one of our big discount stores and I see a child take a shirt to show mom, who is 2 aisles away. Mom says “no, can’t have that”, kid throws shirt on the floor, steps on it, mom and kid walk away!!!
OK, thank you for letting me vent!