Sometimes retail stores just tick me off. Yeah..... OK..... they quite frequently tick me off. Here's the letter I fired off to the Hudson's Bay Company store today:
I am a Canadian consumer looking to buy a decent, stylish watch. The issue is that I've found some watches I am interested in - on the web, which I have recently tried to find locally so that I may try them out. I fully intend to buy one if it is a good fit. Here is where I run into some curious obstacles.
The watches I am interested in are Fossil, specifically the Philippe Starck line. There are currently (based on the Fossil web page) 10 discrete styles of Philippe Starck watches if you do not include colour variations, 25 if you include every colour. One would imagine then, that I should find some of these styles in a store in Canada. From what I have seen, it seems that The Bay has the exclusive rights to distribute these watches in Canada. Which is fine - but no matter which outlet of The Bay that I visit, they only have 2 or 3 watches in this line. The display case, specifically crafted to showcase the Philippe Starck line, is desolate and empty looking. It has been this way for weeks. Sales staff at the stores don't seem to know when more stock will arrive.
So, being a resourceful consumer, I decided to check The Bay's web site. Perhaps I can order the watch I want and then try it out when it arrives at a local outlet. There are no Philippe Starck watches listed on the web site.
So here you have a consumer who is willing to part with $190 (plus GST) of his hard earned money to buy a product (that actually sells in the US for US$90) that the retailer who has exclusive rights will not even make an effort to keep in stock - during the holiday season.
Yeah.......... I have a lot of time on my hands. And money too. I know someone was going to say it, so don't bother.
[Update] The Bay answered my message. They told me that the reason selection was so bad is that they're in the middle of revamping the line of watches they sell (during the biggest shopping season of the year - isn't that special?). So no new stuff until this is sorted out. They also indicated that not every store would carry this line anymore. But they offered to choose from a limited list of models and suggested I could order one of those watches in a store and it would be sent to my store if Fossil had it in stock.
I just bought the watch I wanted on eBay. I saved $100.