Max Levine, Where are You or My 2 1/2 Least Favorite Stores in Houston

Who is Max Levine ? When I went to work at Foley’s (now Macy’s) in 1956, he  was the president of the4 store. He was a comparitively short man with a ruddy complexion, and slick coal black hair.

Max made it a point of going into every department of the store every day with 2 objectives:

1. To challenge the executives of the departments about what was selling, how many were sold and why wasn’t some better selling merchandise front and center.

2. The absolute cardinal sin was for customers not to be waited on or at least recognized.

The reason why I mention Max is to contrast Macy’s nee Foley’s with then and now. Going into Macy’s and Dillard’s, too, is to experience a violation of everything that made Foley’s great.

It’s easy to spot salespeople at the stores, they’re the ones doing stock work, blissfully ignoring customers or in the middle of a conversation.

Merchandise isn’t arranged for customers but for the companies’ arrangements with designers/manufactures. Apparently, the best way to sell the merchandise is to price it artificially high and then, run “sales”. And the companies are quick to blame poor business on “The Economy”.

The corporate executives like to pontificate on everything but customers and their shortcomings in customer service.

Just think, if Macy’s “stole” 20% of Dillard’s business, or vice versa, how much better business would be. But, that would defeat their excuses for losing business. I wonder, how often a store’s management really goes through their store like a Max Levine? I guess that they’re all executives and stuff like that is beneath them. They’re too busy!

And that’s why I no longer go into Macy’s or Dillard’s. They’re tied for last place and they’re losers.

What about the 1/2 store? That dubious honor goes to Best Buy.

Several years ago, a friend from out of town sent me a USB drive as a gift. The drives were comparatively new and it was my first one. Unfortunately, it was defective. I contacted my friend and he suggested I take it to Best Buy; that’s where he bought it.

So, I took it to my “friendly” neighborhood Best Buy where they refused to exchange it for the same identical one, because I didn’t have the receipt.  I asked to speak to the store manager and he too, point blank, refused to make an identical exchange.

A couple of months later I checked on the manufacturer’s website and the USB drive was a Best Buy exclusive. They did a good job of driving away a customer, and I’m an electronics junkie.

No, I didn’t ask my friend to send me his receipt. Instead, I drive 15 miles to Fry’s rather than 3 miles to Best Buy.

They “won the battle but lost the war”. I haven’t been in a Best Buy store since.


One Response to “Max Levine, Where are You or My 2 1/2 Least Favorite Stores in Houston”

  1. eileenweisman Says:

    Eli, I so enjoy your blogs! Your intrepretations of lving ? in Houston are hilarious and right on! Thanks for making me smile an extra big grin today!

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