Furniture Consignment Gallery Blog

The New Reality of Retail: The Trial and Tribulations of Managing Stores Amid a Pandemic

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, June 26, 2020 @ 05: 42 PM



“Hmmmm,” the young woman said skeptically.

I’d just explained our strict new furniture pick-up policy to her and apparently it wasn’t quite strict enough for her. “I haven’t had any contact with anyone outside my immediate family since March,” she said. “Covid is scary, and I’m taking every precaution. I’m bleaching the bananas that the grocery store delivers!”

FCG understands – and sympathizes. These are difficult times, and we take our customers’ health concerns seriously. We’re going to great lengths to calm their fears. Sometimes, though, those great lengths just aren’t enough.

Our customer had bought a large and heavy dresser online. She was calling the store to evaluate the clear and present danger of claiming her purchase.

“Let us know when you’re coming and we’ll carry it out of the store and place it by the side door for you,” I offered, though I was a little anxious about the process. I didn’t want the hot sun beating on the dresser’s flawless finish for hours if she got delayed. What if there was a sudden downpour of rain? What about the pollen?

“No!” she snapped at my suggestion. “That doesn’t sound like contact-less service! I don’t want your fingerprints on my dresser!”

Service with a smile is a little more difficult these days. What makes it even harder are the extremes of public opinion. One customer is so germaphobic she doesn’t want to risk a stray fingerprint. Another thinks the pandemic is a hoax, believing with certainty that it is nothing but a minor flu season blown out of proportion by liberals who want to destroy the President.

Such was the case with an older gentleman who wanted to consign a houseful of furniture, circa 1970. (To be blunt, that’s the last stuff we want in our stores.) He charged, mask-less, into the store and shoved his phone at me, ordering me to scroll through his photos. “Sir,” I said, rearing back. “That would put my health at risk.”

Meanwhile, we’ve seen an influx of social-distance cops. You’ve probably run into them. They are the shoppers who seem to think they’ve been deputized by the CDC. They’ll loudly bark at other shoppers for stepping one inch closer than the suggested six-foot rule.

Folks, let’s remember to be kind and forgiving as all of us navigate the new rules of Covid World. At FCG, we’re doing the best we can to customize the shopping experience to all customers’ satisfaction. We care about all of you – even the zealots out there.