As online shopping continues to grow, bricks and mortar retail stores are turning to the one real advantage they have left – service. While the convenience and price advantage of shopping online can’t be denied, good old-fashioned personal service can’t be replicated in the virtual world. Even international behemoth Topshop is getting on board, with their personal shopping service available in London, New York and now Melbourne.
Hidden away in the Chapel Street store, both Topshop and Topman are offering complimentary personal shopping services. Whether your wardrobe needs a trend injection or you’re looking for something specific, these guys have got you covered, offering personalised appointments for all needs.
The Topman personal shopping nook is suitably masculine – wood finishes, leather couches and an X-Box to keep fellows entertained between stints in the change rooms. In contrast, the Topshop ladies area is slick and bright, with white couches, cupcakes and lots of shiny surfaces. There’s beer and cider on offer in both (because we all know shopping is more fun with an afternoon tipple) and extremely helpful stylists on hand, ready to scurry around the store and grab that very last size 10 blazer your heart desires.
The complimentary service is pretty simple. Make a booking and a stylist will call or email you to chat about sizes, likes and dislikes. They’ll have a rack of clothes waiting for you. The fun of trying on clothes picked by professionals especially for you makes up a good portion of the experience, and the fact that they keep coming back with more after seeing the yes and no piles makes it even better.
Perhaps where the service falls down, at least in Melbourne, is the limited stock. Although Topshop Melbourne is big, it isn’t quite on the vast scale of the London and New York flagship stores. Not that this is a bad thing. Indeed, there’s less chance of a fashion breakdown induced by the sheer number of clothes in the store. But it does mean that there isn’t quite the unlimited options one imagines are available in these other stores.
That said, the Topshop personal shopping service is pretty handy as a way to get a rundown of the newest trends or simply get a little help with finding that perfect something. We’ll certainly be back.