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On Thursday, October 5, 2017 I visited American Eagle located at the Westfield Valencia Town Center (24201 West Valencia Blvd, Valencia, CA). The store looks very pleasant from the outside.
When I first entered the store, I noticed that there was one other individual shopping. I was not greeted right away until I went up to the counter to exchange an item that I had purchased some weeks ago. The employee who assisted me with the exchange was very helpful and friendly. After the exchange, I started to browse around. While I browsed around, I noticed right away that the store itself was clean and organized at the front.
Towards the back of the store, there was less organization. The area that needs some tidying up is the clearance area. There were jeans piled on the floor and shirts hanging off the racks. It looked very sloppy. Also, in the fitting room area there were clothes piled up on the floor. Piles of clothing on the floor can be a hazard to customers. While I continued to browse around, one of the employees asked me how I was doing and if I needed help finding anything. I asked her to help me find a pair of jeans in my size. Unfortunately, she did not find the jeans I wanted in my size and did not offer to check online for me, so I continued to look around.
Finally, I was ready to try on the clothing I had chosen out and stood by the fitting rooms. One of the employees was busy at the counter with another customer and the other employee was at the front of the store folding some clothing. I was waiting about 10 minutes for them to finally realize that I was waiting for a fitting room. The employee who was folding clothing at the front of the store came and opened the fitting room for me. In the past, they normally would ask how many items and my name, but this time I was not asked. Finally, I was ready to purchase the items I chose out.
I waited in line for about 10 minutes. One of the employees rang me up and I asked her if I can use my coupon. At first she was reluctant to the let me use it because I had already used the $15 off of $65, but I wanted to use the $25 off $100. She finally agreed that I can use it. I was a few dollars short from $100 before tax, so I asked her if I can continue to look around for one other item. I finally found an item that would meet the $100 amount. I went back to the front counter and waited another 10 minutes until the employees realized I had been waiting to purchase my items. I purchased my items and was able to use my coupon. Overall, my visit was great, but in my opinion the employees should spend more time tidying up the clearance area and pay attention to when someone is waiting to get into the fitting rooms or pay.
For my Ulta secret shop, I visited the Covington location at: 27339 Covington Way SE, Covington WA 98042. The store was very tidy inside, and out. There was a garbage can located near the front entrance to help maintain tidiness outside; I didn’t spot any litter near or around the store. Upon entering the store, I noticed it was well lit with bright displays, and clean floors. I wasn’t greeted immediately, but the employees I could see were all busy with other customers.
The check-out stand was in front of me to the left, and the rest of the store spanned openly in front of me and to my right. The store’s hair salon is located in the far back to the right. I noticed quite a few promotions labeled on the shelves, and several promotions advertised near the check-out counter – like Redken 2 for $24 The aisles are clearly labeled, and I was able to find most of what I wanted with relative ease.
I was looking for a specific TooFaced makeup palette, so I walked up to an associate who was just finishing with another customer and asked her to point me in the right direction. She was friendly, smiled – and even made sure the other customer didn’t need anything else before assisting me. She was very polite. After she helped me find what I wanted, she told me be sure and let her know if I needed help with anything else. Once in the TooFaced section, I noticed a lot of pallettes were sold out, or all gone on the shelves. Also, while I was browsing I noticed that quite a few of the “sampler” makeup items were either missing or destroyed in most of the aisles (I’d say about 25% of them). I was able to try out several different lip gloss colors by smearing them on my hand, which helped me make an informative decision on which one I wanted to purchase.
While I was still browsing, I was approached and greeted by 3 other employees of the store - checking in with me to see if I needed any help or advice. I finally asked one girl to help me choose which lip gloss color she thought I should get, based on the colors. She helped me, and I was able to make my final decision. I made my way up to the check-out counter and found myself waiting for about 6 to 7 minutes. There was nobody in line, but there were 2 other customers being cashed out at the register.
I was called up to the register and greeted with a smile, as she asked me for my telephone number and verified my name. The cashier was relatively friendly, but I didn’t feel that she made an effort to chat with me or initiate conversation. In fact, she seemed a little more interested in chatting with her co-worker. She didn’t ask me if I found everything okay, or how my shopping experience was. I even had to ask her about gifts with purchase, she didn’t bring them up. I was also disappointed because I had a coupon for a free gift with purchase, and the store didn’t have any in stock. As she was ringing me up, a line of 2 people built up behind me and she called over the walkie for a second cashier to come help.
I purchased several makeup items – a TooFaced Pallette, highlighter, lipstick and lipgloss; Benefit primer; and a Biore baking soda face wash. I’m really happy with my purchases, the TooFaced makeup is excellent quality and looks beautiful. The Benefit Primer works amazingly on my oily skin and large pores, and the Biore face wash is also great for my oily skin. It helps keeps my breakouts to a minimum, and my face feels fresh and clean after using it. Overall, I would say my experience was a 4 out of 5 – mainly because the cashier didn’t seem to want to engage with me, and because some of the “try me” samples of the makeup and accessories were either missing or broken... as well as some items being out of stock. I had an excellent experience on the sales floor, and I will definitely come back here again! .
When I started this shop, I loved the way the outside was decorated, and it was super clean. Upon entering, along with thinking that the place where the carts and baskets needed a good sweeping, I noticed the store was somewhat busy, but there was still plenty of room to move. All the odors in the store were in the right places. You couldn’t smell the fish from across the store (means REALLY fresh fish)...speaks highly of their product. This is a plus. I also noticed the lighting level was just right. It was not hard on the eyes. The whole place gave me a warm and homey feeling. I looked at the floors on each aisle, and while there was some litter, it was not an exorbitant amount.
The thing I DID notice was how polite and friendly associates were to the customers. They were all smiling and more than one approached ME to see if I needed anything. I asked an associate where the craft beers were located and instead of just pointing, he lead me to them. The same associate later asked if I needed anything else. The find of the trip was the IPA made by Westbrook. It was great to see that they had all of the beers Westbrook is currently brewing in Mount Pleasant. However, the Westbrook had to go in the freezer when I arrived home, as it wasn’t cold enough. The Bud Light packaging was damaged, but not dangerous. Although I didn’t purchase wine, the pricing would give Trader Joe’s two-buck-chuck run for their money. In fact, I was easily able to see specials on various products. There was also an appropriate selection of fermented dairy product. This is something you don’t see in other stores. Even though the amount of brands of kombucha could be higher, they had all the flavors of the brands (Kevita, as an example) that they do carry, more than I’ve ever seen.
There were some gaps in products on the shelves, but I saw more than one associate re-stocking while I shopped. The ice cream had the worst, but that is understandable(it's ice cream)The fabulous thing about this is that the stockers weren’t in anyone’s way. Nothing that the stockers did caused any type of inconvenience to the customers. The wait at the till was about 40 seconds with one person in front of me, just enough time for me to get my items on the belt. The cashier (Logan) was friendly and funny, and the little lady (also funny) bagging the groceries went and traded a tester I accidentally picked up for a fresh bottle. I would name more names, but the tags were hard to read, and I didn’t want to be obvious. After the sale, Logan asked if I needed any ice to keep my ice cream and frozen products from melting (awesome) and finished packing the groceries.
What impressed me was the amazing variety of products. Just the personal product section was amazing for the size of the store, although in the frozen food section, brands I was looking were either not there, or not easy to find. The whole experience was extremely pleasant, and I will definitely shop there again. My only other suggestion is more pet supplies for cats. I give them a 4, but if it was allowed, I’d give them a 4.7. Well done.