At the Topshop in Oxford Circus, London on Saturday, store managers experienced their biggest shopping day of the year and the Times of London was there to document the debacle: 50,000 shoppers. 100,000 square feet of floorspace. 120 cash registers. 300 salespeople. Here's what the shoppers had to say:"My friend heard about Topshop and we thought we'd check it out. It's not my kind of thing. It's too much stuff . . . too many clothes." And:"Too much!" And: "I want diamonds. Big diamonds!" (Diamonds? At Topshop?)
And yet while these poor fools went rambling through the stores hallowed walls, the staff were left to wallow in a different sort of misery. Tsk-tsked one salesgirl:
Customers knock over mannequins, take them off their stands and just drop them, strip them of their clothes.
Said the head of security:
They will know within 20 seconds whether a person is up to no good. There's no shoplifting stereotype. As far as we're concerned, anyone is a potential thief. It's the body language — the eyes, the signs that people give off — that give it away.
And says a stockist:
Usually we try to empty the sorting room by the end of the day. But today . . .
Well the vision of the Brits as proper, polite and subdued just flew out the window, didn't it?
Shop Till We Drop [Times of London]