So, there I was, in Argos with the wife doing some Christmas shopping and I realised what a dreadful experience shopping there can be.
5 tills but only one person actually operating a checkout – huge queue.
Maybe I should go back a bit first and explain how this shop is supposed to work?
Okay, here goes. The shop provides customers with a free catalogue which they can browse through at their leisure at home and pick out the products they wish to buy. They then visit the shop, fill in a little ticket, take it to the checkout, pay, and then wait a minute or two for their goods to be brought to the collection area.
Sounds simple, right?
Pffft! If only!
No, first of all, you fill in your little ticket using the instore catalogues to double check the item number. You punch the item number into a little box and it tells you whether the item is in stock or not – invariably it isn’t, so you then have to dig through the catalogue again, not at your leisure but rather in the shop shoulder to shoulder with other frustrated people doing the same thing.
Eventually, you find a similarish product that’s in stock but there’s only one left so you start looking shiftily around you just in case you need to trip up a pensioner on their way to the checkout to get the same item.
The you wait in the queue. Like I said earlier, five checkouts but only one of them operational so that’s queue number one. Then, after you pay for it, you have to wait in queue number two while some spotty, sour-faced muppet with the IQ and look of a brush, rummages about in the understaffed warehouse area looking for your order.
If you’re lucky, they pick up the correct box and sling it with all the finese of airport baggage handlers onto a conveyor that takes it to the collections area.
Savvy shoppers double check the box against their order since this rudimentary step appears outwith the clearly limited abilities of the staff who would rather argue with you that it is the correct item than actually check it is the correct item.
Once you have eventually had the correct item delivered to the collections desk after a considerable wait in the various queues, you must then transport the item to your vehicle. Now, one would think that such a shop, offering goods which can weigh in the region of 20kg – 40kg, would make certain their customers had a pick-up point at the very least or car parking as a convenience, but no, not Argos. For some inexplicable reason they always have their shops slap bang in the middle of a half-mile car exclusion zone which means an exhausting walk carrying your heavy load like some type of Himilayan Sherpa but without the stamina or gracefulness.
That’s why Argos is a crap shopping experience!
You queue to pay for something that’s second best to the one you wanted anyway, queue to collect, then stagger half a mile with those plastic strapbands digging into your by now bleeding hands while leaving a trail of innocent, box-slapped pedestrians in your wake.