I'm not sure how or why it happened, but when did operating a store become more about selling what you wanted rather than providing the customer with what they really want? Groceries stores are the least annoying, in that they at least put everything together. If I want milk, I go to the dairy section, and all the milk is displayed in some logical order where it can be seen all at once. There are shelves of whole milk, skim milk, 2% milk, chocolate milk, strawberry milk, etc. all organized by type, THEN by brand, and all with prices clearly displayed.
Department stores? Complete other end of the spectrum. Sure all the men's clothes are in the men's clothes section, but jeans are scattered over the entire department. There is no logical order as to wear I can find them by brand, by style, waist, length, etc. This is where my style of shopping tends to clash with that of my wife's. I will look where I find it most logical for something to be.
Hiding in plain site
"Look, here's a display of a mannequin wearing something similar to what I want." I therefore look in that displays immediate area, and if I do not see what I want I give up and move on to another store. This store obviously does not want or need my business. My wife on the end hand, likes to "shop". She will start looking around, moving items, lifting, pushing, sliding them out of the way to see the hidden treasures behind. The entire men's department, and sometimes beyond is now a crime scene that she must investigate thoroughly. "Here I found your size, but this isn't the style you wanted. Here's your favorite brand, but not your size. Here's the style you wanted, but it's some weird foreign brand, not in your size, and has no price tag. Let's just buy it and if it's too expensive or doesn't fit when we get home we'll return it."
Seriously? I'm the customer. I have the money. Why is all the responsibility now on my shoulders? I know you're hiring people still in school, but that's all the more excuse to TEACH them how to work for their money! You don't just throw stuff on a shelf where there's room then sit behind a cash register and hope someone stumbles upon it and accidentally makes a purchase in your store. You cater to your customer base. You earn your money. You give people what they want, as quickly and as painlessly as possible, so they have a pleasant experience and actually want to come back; or, heaven forbid, they actually tell theirs friends and family about your store thus generating new business for you without you having to spend a dime on advertising!
No, instead you choose the opposite. You choose to try to sell me ever-changing styles and types of clothing instead of continuing to offer what I have grown accustomed to and am comfortable in. You hide your products, forcing me to play CSI wandering through your entire store. And if you don't offer me exactly what I am looking for, you blame me on not conforming to what you sell, as opposed to you delivering what is actually in demand.
I blame the entire fashion industry for this, but the department stores are the customer facing "end of the line", so they will bear the brunt of my frustration. I am consumer, hear me roar.