Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kiosk sales at malls -- too aggressive?

In the category of not-earth-shaking but sorta interesting is this, which I learned while looking up other things:

You know those Dead Sea Salt kiosks at SouthPark (and probably other malls around here) where the young women practically tackle you to get you to try their lotion or whatever it is?
It seems they're controversial in the shopping mall biz, because A) they really tick off a lot of customers, but B) make lots of sales which makes landlords happy.
The Natick Collection outside Boston is one of several upscale shopping malls that have cracked down. Wish they'd do so here, as well.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

I walked by one of those kiosks one time and when the salesperson tried to force a vitamin on me, I held up my hand and kept walking. The salesperson immediately took offense at my gesture and asked what the hand was supposed to mean. I told her that I was not interested in her product and I was not wasting a breath of air to tell her that

Anonymous said...

I am a 52 year old male. One of the young saleswomen at that kiosk grabbed me by the hand and pulled me towards her until my hand rested on her chest. Then she rubbed lotion onto my fingers.

I thought the next thing she was going to do was a lap dance.

Hell yeah I bought something.

AlRx60 said...

I have actually avoided going to Macy's at Southpark simply because I refuse to walk past the Dead Sea vendors. I don't like the idea of anyone losing a job, especially in todays climate, but they should be less aggressive. I have literally had the same person approach me 4 times on various passings within 30 minutes. It really ticked me off but I was polite.

Anonymous said...

I have never see anyone more disapointed when I would not buy anything than the Dead Sea Salt vendors. They attack with the precision of a Israeli commando unit.

Anonymous said...

I feel victim to one of those ladies who insisted that I stop and listen. I politely allowed her to pitch her product however when I told her I was not interested she acted as if I had wasted her time. I DID NOT WANT TO STOP IN THE FIRST PLACE. I don't think the typical Southpark shopper appreciates the harrassment.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, their sales technique works if they are in business and making money. I just look away and act like I don't hear.

I guess thank god some retailer is making money these days.

CLTraveller said...

They not only harrass people stateside, they even attack tourists and commuters in London train stations.

Anonymous said...

Those Dead Sea Commandos are Israeli Army trained. They really know how to woo you with their ways. I was stopped twice at two different kiosks, and they managed to lighten my wallet in the name of smooth skin. How do they do it?

Anonymous said...

They tried to get me and I stopped at guest services and was told to call the mall office. There response was basically..."we'll add your name to the list." They bring in a new crew regularly and they are trained in their methods. I hope Macy's management sees the earlier comment from the shopper.

Anonymous said...

The girls caught me one day and were VERY suggestive with me. My hands were encouraged to go places they shouldn't. They could not handle the fact that I was not responsive. BTW - I'm gay. I don't go to the mall for that kind of approach. I wish the mall would kick them out.

Anonymous said...

I dread having to walk by the kiosks in Carolina Place Mall. I can't believe how "in your face" these people are! I have bought the nail buffer and it works really great but I have never recommended the products to anyone else. I would never subject friends to these type of sales tactics.

Anonymous said...

I was rushing to catch a bus and the Dead Sea salt lady grabbed my hand - I had to be rude, which they count on people *not* being! I won't let anyone prey on my Southern hospitality.

Anonymous said...

It's the same way at both Concord Mills and Northlake Mall. I never had any of the salespeople get suggestive with me, and I did once by some stuff from one of the kiosks. It was actually pretty good, too, but just not something that either my wife or I would use on a regular basis.

Anonymous said...

I never have a problem with them. I walk as far as I can from them, and if they try to peddle their product, I simply say, "No thank you."

Anonymous said...

I think Mary's opinion is too aggressive. You should call this column The Do-Gooder!

Anonymous said...

Yeah I dislike those type of salespeople but what works well for me is pretending I'm on my cell phone as I walk by. They usually leave you alone when they see you on your phone.

Anonymous said...

If it was my job I wouldnt care what you think. Same way anybody who my post doesnt care what I think. How much journalistic experience do you have? Is this the best you could come up with today?

Anonymous said...

You people are not being creative enough.

Try borrowing a cane and donning some really dark glasses. Then borrow Fluffy, your neighbor's incurable leg-humping poodle. Outfit him in a guide-dog look-alike harness, then head to the mall and those kiosk people.

Please let me know when you're going!

Anonymous said...

OK, some of you people need to get out more...I've never been "accosted" by a mall kiosk worker (as much as I'd like to be, given the apparently inappropriate touching). When they come at you, just say "no thank you" and keep walking. Just like you should do when you are approached on the sidewalk by an obviously less-than-appropriately-medicated person who's telling you that he's your new savior or something.

Or are you the same folks who--in the middle of a perfectly sane and safe rush hour on I-485--decide that you just can't take being in "all that traffic" and start freaking out to your friends on your cell phone...while you're still putting on your makeup and drinking your super-gotta-latta Big Gulp Latte?

Have you never been to anywhere bigger than Bug-tussle? THIS IS NOT AN ISSUE FOR PEOPLE WHO'VE WALKED THE SIDEWALKS OF NEW YORK, PEOPLE!!!

Please step out of the air-conditioning for a while and toughen up a bit.

Thank you...unsolicited rant over. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Here's the scoop on these folks.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122826483720274329.html

They are infamous for their tactics nationwide.

Anonymous said...

I still have a shiny thumb nail from them.

Anonymous said...

I'm offended that I wasn't privy to any inappropriate touching of the saleswoman. I'm heading over to Concord Mills right now to see whats up with that.

Anonymous said...

We have the same problem with the kiosk selling hair straighteners. My pre-teen daughter has to put her hair up before we walk past so that they don't approach her.

2whls3spds said...

I don't bother with malls...haven't for years. I try to buy my things from the small locally owned stores. Not too many of those in malls. If I really think that I need something from a big box store, the internet works just fine.

Aaron

Anonymous said...

Funny stuff! These people are hilarious - I got sucked in by the hot male at Carolina Place Mall...watching his act was very entertaining and I actually liked the eye gel. But I told him repeatedly that I was not buying anything. Later I checked out the product on line that he was selling for $139, and then half off with the "manager discount." I got it for $28.

But generally I just give them a WIDE berth and make no eye contact. The cell phone idea is great.

Try to see them as humorous and have some fun with them, but don't let them ruin your day!

Furthermore...I agree with the guy who doesn't go to malls...they are the last place I like to be - small er independent stores are so much better.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I think the kiosk vendors play perfectly (and unwittingly) into the hands of Anti-Semitists.

If there ever was a group whose behavior emulates the stereotypical behavior that old and modern NAZI's assigned to Jewish merchants, it's the Dead Sea Salt kiosk vendors.

Jumper said...

A little creative thinking could lead to much fun. For example, carry some small item and try to sell it to them. At a profit. Do not take no for an answer.

Or tell an outlandish lie: "I tried it already and I'm allergic to your (X) and it gives me horrible boils. Go into loud excruciating detail.

Invite them, ala recent Dilbert, to accompany you to the abandoned slaughterhouse on the edge of town "for some, heh, fun." Be persistent. And creepy.

Make up a fake obscure foreign language. Use it only, and begin shouting in it.

Etc.

Savtadotty said...

Lighten up, people! Those kids are harmless, very enthusiastic salespeople, and their products are really good. However, they are also aggressive and the products are overpriced. So don't invite them home, but a shopping mall is a place where people go to spend money, no? I like to practice my Hebrew with them, and I don't buy. You're just experiencing a little culture clash without having to take a plane.

Anonymous said...

I got stopped once had to fork out $50. never again. hands in my pocket

Anonymous said...

Let them put the lotion on your hands, then start screaming "Oh! The Pain!!! Get it off, get it off, what have you done to me????"

Anonymous said...

For someone affiliated with a major daily newspaper, Mary Newsom isn't very well informed.

The National Security Agency (NSA) and other U.S. intelligence agencies have warned that Israeli mall kiosks are suspected Israeli intelligence fronts.

Wake up.

Anonymous said...

An Iphone with internet access would have been helpful in the negotiation.

Just flirt with the girls and be on your merry way.

I got a shiny fingernail and a nice gift idea.

Thanks girls!

Debra said...

Northridge Mall, Northridge, CA. DeadSea Kiosk, 1st fl., by the GAP. Young man chased me well past his stand - 10 to 12 feet and physically pulled me back to his stand. This back and forth continued for over 10 min. Scared the hell of an older couple standing nearby. Had his hands on my neck, eyes and light grazes over my lower abdomen and breasts. Anyone who defends this iin the name of cultural diversity or good sales tactics can go to hell. That type of behavior anywhere else would either get the culprit beat up or in jail. How dare you - how dare them. I am learning quickly how I was raised is crippling me in this new society.

Anonymous said...

I'm noticing a pattern here. The guys love the "hands on" sales pitch and the ladies don't. I've had one lighten my wallet on a couple of occasions now. Sorry, but I'm a sucker for a gorgeous lady with a wonderful accent rubbing lotion on my hands.

Anonymous said...

I lodged a complaint with the mall in my area after noticing the kiosk staff become increasingly aggressive. They hold out samples and when keep walking and decline, they actually stand in my way. I don't like raising my voice to anyone, but have had to do so with them just to get them out of my way. Rude.

Anonymous said...

Someone close to me encountered the same aggressive approach. They practicly attack you. I do realize that if you purchased something then you cant blame anyone but yourself, however the "may you feel guilty" sales approach is deceiving and should not be tolerated. Everyone should be able to make the decision they want basic on their needs and forcing a product down your throat is not the best sales approach. A product should sell itself. Bottom line is that everyone should realize that paying 30 dollars for some sea salt is NOT a fair business practice.
This was something that was happening in North Lake Mall in Charlotte NC..DONT BUY FROM THEM IF YOU CAN ABOUT YOUR MONEY.