Thursday, June 2, 2011

An Unfortunate First

When the blog switched from the experiences of starting a retail business to running a retail business, I noted that there would be a number of firsts in the initial year in business.  Some good, some not so good.  Yesterday was in the "not so good" category.

The Police call it Grand Larceny from Building.  You probably know it as Shoplifting.  At some point between 11:30 and 12:15, a dress was stolen from Zoe.  While I am certain that I can narrow it to two people who came into the store, I am not sure which one it might be.  In both instances, I was working with a customer (one checking out and in the other instance, one trying on).

As the owner of the store, I know every piece of merchandise here.  I know how many we have of something, I pretty much know which sizes we have remaining and I often know prices by heart.  When I was hanging up some clothing that had been tried on, I noticed the dress missing.  I looked around the store and in the dressing rooms at least three times, thinking that perhaps it had been hung up in the wrong place or left in the dressing rooms.  Once my search proved fruitless, I had to resign myself to the fact it had been stolen.

I called the Alexandria Police Non-Emergency line and they sent an officer out about an hour later.  He was very nice and took down all of the information regarding the case.  Obviously, if the person is caught, I will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.  He told me that the person stealing it probably would wear it and was not likely stealing it to sell it.

While I realize that things like this will happen, I couldn't help feeling dejected.  My day was lifted by a visit from the wife and daughter of a man I used to work with as well as a visit from one of my regular customers with her daughter visiting from LA.  Being surrounded by familiar people was comforting.

Whenever something goes wrong, I always look at what I could have done differently.  I always did this in my previous line of work.  What did I learn that will help me do a better job now and in the future?  How could I have done this differently?  What warning signs did I miss?  Although I hate for bad things to happen, if it can be turned into a learning experience there is always a positive side to it.

Tomorrow:  Sewing?  Really?


  1. Oh no! So sorry this has come to pass. You mentioned that you have it narrowed down to 2 customers. Did either look "shifty" to you? Probably not, I'd guess.

    I've just caught up on all your other posts. Sounds like you are doing GREAT and making some really smart marketing / networking / promo decisions. Go Zoe!

  2. I am sorry to hear this. But it was probably bound to happen at some point. Hopefully it will be a long time before it happens again.

  3. So sorry to hear this news - I'm sure there is nothing you can do other than standing guard at the front door - not very condusive to customer service.... and not very much like Susan!

    I guess it is unfortunately a part of doing business but that doesn't stop the disappointment.

  4. Thanks for your encouraging words Juice/Renee/Janet. Although I still wonder what possesses a person to do this (and in a moment of pure meanness, I thought to myself "I hope whoever stole it looks terrible in it!"), I know that I must move on, learn the appropriate lessons from it, and pray for the person involved in the theft.