Last November, I had plenty of good things to say about the Black Friday sale at Target--good crowd control, wide selection of merchandise, deep stock, and a great attitude. So tonight, on a whim, I headed back over to Target at the corner of Shallowford and Sandy Plains for their 9pm Thanksgiving Day sale. Once again, I was looking for absolutely nothing at all--I was going more to see the shopping fervor than to buy anything in particular.
All those good things I said last year? None of them applied this year.
Crowd control was awful; there were people there, but they were letting crowds break from the opposite direction of the line and were amused when an older couple ahead of me got upset by the breaking (these people, after all, had stood in line the entire time patiently waiting their turn, only to see literally hundreds of people breaking in front of them). It was clear that those members of the staff didn't want to be there and didn't care to do their jobs.
Selection seemed very shallow. Many advertised items had sold out--and judging by the floor space they had allotted for those items (mostly electronics), they had very few to begin with.
The attitude of the indoor staff was rude and brusque. One woman was trying to find out a little bit about a television set and a DVD player, and the staff member was making no effort to answer her questions or to help her load the 40" flat screen into her cart. I helped her find the information she needed and then helped her load the television into her cart, while two staff members stood around doing nothing.
I happened to walk past one larger television that was on sale for a very good price; I stopped to look at the sign and the specs, and one of the staff members stepped in front of me and said (no joke, no exaggeration), "Keep walking, pardner. You don't have a ticket, you're not getting one of these."
I wasn't planning on buying the HDTV anyway (no room for another one unless I get rid of a perfectly-functioning existing unit), but I was surprised by the attitude. "What ticket?" I asked. "If you don't have one, it doesn't matter," was the only response I got. I wasn't looking for an HDTV or an argument, so I abandoned my cart there and headed on through the store.
Everywhere, I saw frustrated customers, long lines inside the store for an understaffed electronics counter, and customers finding empty spaces where they had hoped to find gifts.
You let me down, Target. I bragged on you last year, but this year was a very different experience.