Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Concept Mouton

Right, it's decided. I'm going to open a new shopping empire called Concept Mouton. Obviously this is the way to go given my recent experience and reading about that of others.

The shops will sell furniture to start with, but I might go on to apply the concept elsewhere. The sky's the limit, as they say in NASA.

How does it work? Well, customers are a pain in the backside really, aren't they? They come in dribs and drabs and generally mess up the place. They make unrealistic demands about stock, change their minds and actually want their money back if something goes not quite right. Talk about picky!

So my idea is to let them into the shop as they come, but then to herd them into small groups to be encouraged round together. This would be done by 'trained' sales-staff snapping at their heels, I mean offering 'expert' advice and suggestions as to purchases, but, not wanting to keep repeating themselves because that is inefficient, they'd do it only once, so if anyone wants to progress round the shop, they have to get with the group and listen. This will prevent those untidy couples with brats cluttering up the aisles all the way round.

Any wayward souls who actually want to browse by themselves will be so harassed by kind and attentive staff that they'll either want to leave (but have to walk all the way through 2km of winding paths and get lost en route because they won't have a map) or get with the group.

On to stock. People like to think they have a wide choice. But choice is expensive and inefficient. My idea is to have one set of items in stock from each range - salon, kitchen, bathroom, loo, bedroom, kiddy bedroom, loft, cave, shed, garage, office, studio, turret, duck house, etc... Of course, I would have a lot more choice on display, but it would not be in stock and delivery times would be nice and long, say 6 months, which would put people off so they would choose the one in stock. If they insisted on waiting, I'd accept the order then find unaccountable delays to the point that, embarrassed, I would offer the choice in stock at a marginally reduced price as compensation. I would make up the price with the delivery charge, natch.

I have an idea that it would be fun to mark prices in Crottes as well as Euros. Reimbursements (hush my mouth) would be done in Crottes, not Euros, so customers would be obliged to spend them in Concept Mouton, not elsewhere. Can't have money escaping my clutches once I have it, can I, and gift cards are so unimaginative. I may well make Crottes department-specific too, so you couldn't use loo Crottes in the turret, for example. No point making it easy, is there?

Naturally we would have an amazing Customer Service department that would be anything but, according to les règles de l'art. The knack is to pull the wool over the eyes of customers so they believe they are getting a service when in fact they are getting nothing at all. I will probably have to poach some brains from Cocktail Scandinave for this part of my empire because I'm not really devious and sneaky enough to come up with the details all by myself. I need expert help. Chacun sa spécialité...

I have yet to decide where to have my goods made. I thought I'd pretend they come from somewhere trendy, like Lapland, but have them run up on an estate in Reading using immigrant slaves, I mean employees. If that's too pricey still, I'll go for Albania. The only problem would be paying off the mafia. Hmm, a tricky decision.

If any of you would like in on my project, let me know. There'll be an initial project where interested parties will be invited to put their money where their mouth is, I mean invest in a preliminary option which will lead to further fleecing, I mean investment as the project progresses.

Ideas for Concept Mouton are welcome but will not be remunerated. Sorry... (not really). I can see it going down a bomb, no? Especially in France where folks are used to being part of the herd and are already treated so badly it'll be like taking lambs to the slaughter.

Concept Mouton - you heard it here first!

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