Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Brockville makes stress-free shopping not just for Santa!

I am so pleased with the local stores that we popped into over the weekend. They made my last-minute Christmas shopping as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. I have previously worked in retail for seven years and am no stranger to the bustle that is the holiday season and the challenges that face both the consumer and the employees.

My first trip was to one of my new favorite stores in Brockville, TL Annie's Little Seedlings, located on King Street. I was immediately greeted with a smile and a hello. Even though the sales lady was assisting another client she took the time to welcome me. It was my first time in the store, which is colourful, bright and just begging for the shopper to give into their inner-child and have fun while they shop! The first display I came across was of art supplies. Colourful paints, canvasses and neat craft ideas. This appealed to me as my two and a half year old has recently gotten the artistic bug. Next was the most original and adorable line of children's clothing I have seen in a while. I was drawn to a bright knit sweater dress for my oldest. Just as I was looking, I was approached and asked if I needed help. Yes please! The helpful sales lady found the right size and gave some useful knowledge on the line and how it will be expanding in the new season, allowing them to carry more designs.This was music to my ears.

 I continued to look around and found a fun plush play set for my youngest daughter. It was from the tale of the "Three Little Pigs" and was geared towards the play and learn mantra. Who could resist the fun animals and thier plush houses that included the big bad wolf? With my purchases in tow I took one last look around the store. I was so happy to see all the wonderful educational toys, I could have easily spent more time and money. You could tell this is a store where a lot of thought and love go into picking the items and I'm certain if you check it out you will not be disappointed. With excellent customer service and products that are practical and fun, this is one place we will visit time and time again!

Next up was Walmart. I needed some items that I can always rely on the bigger stores to have in stock. Im not a huge fan of long lines, big crowds and the rush, rush feeling but the time crunch was on and I had to get my shopping done. We pulled into the parking lot and I knew the store was packed. I cringed a bit and helped my spouse get the kids into the cart. We decided he would take them for a walk around while I finished some last minute shopping. As we walked into the store there was a greeter who smiled and assisted others with their carts and answered questions. Wait, was I in a box store? There weren't people pushing and shoving, there was lots of room and happy employees everywhere to help. I have been to the Walmart in Brockville several times and I will say, I've never had a bad experience but at this time of year I expected the level of customer service to drop and instead I was happily surprised. All the items I was looking for were in stock, there were plenty of employees accessible throughout the store to help and it was very spacious and clean. I found some excellent children's books at great prices, a cute outfit for my youngest daughter and finished up with the toy items on our list.

 It hit me then, surely my worst nightmare would happen at the cash. I could see it now, long lines, impatient consumers and tired cashiers must be waiting. I got it together and forced myself to the front of the store to face it all, only to realize this store had surprised me once again. I waited in line for maybe 3 minutes and was greeted by a very energetic and friendly cashier. She asked me how my shopping was and if I had found everything. It wasn't in that "I have to ask you these questions" kind of tone, she genuinely wanted to know. She commented on how adorable the outfit I had picked out was and when I sympathized with her over the holiday madness she happily let me know that it's been a wonderful shopping season and everyone has been kind. Refreshing. I thanked her and headed to the door to meet my spouse and wee ones. I was met by another happy employee who offered to take my cart and thanked me for shopping. When I saw my family, they too had smiles and no meltdowns! A huge thank you to Walmart Brockville and all of its employees for making my Christmas shopping stress-free. I left that day with a big smile, not only because I was an extremly satisfied customer but because it reinforced my Brockville pride. Box stores are a place that are often criticized for long lines and cranky employees, taking the personal feel out of shopping. Walmart Brockville seems to have found some excellent people within our community to hire and they are doing a wonderful job!

I don't know if I say it enough, but "Shop Local". This is something my family and I are really starting to practice. I have found out, especially this weekend, that if you get out there and support your community, it may be the best shopping experience you have. Bravo Brockville!


  1. Great blog Lyndz! Funny because Chad Imrie from Cardinal came out to Ottawa today with his mother and they didn't know their way around so I took them out shopping. Not my favorite thing to do. But I am glad your shopping was stress free. And I always get good treatment at Wal-Mart they are all on "happy juice" or something! lol

  2. Great post - supporting the local community and businesses is good for everyone!