I was listening to the radio the other day when I heard an advertisement for Big W at QV in Melbourne. Apparently today they were having a grand opening, despite the fact that they have been open for about six years. I think that perhaps they are celebrating the fact that there renovations are finally finished and that Big W Vision will officially be open.
You may think that with the store being renovated that the new Big W at QV would be great but I disagree. Being someone who drops into Big W two to three times a week I prefer the store the way it was, and have made a note of some of the baffling decisions that the management their have made in the past year or two. There are two decisions that really stick out in particular.
The first decision was made about 18 months to 2 years ago and was actually rectified late last month. Back then the decided to get rid of the normal automatic sliding doors at the Swanston Street entrance at the top of the escalator, and replace it with a revolving door. This must of seemed like a good idea at the time but it turned out to be one of the stupidest that I have seen, as nobody ever used that revolving door. There was just a normal door next to it that was always open which is what everyone used. On occasion I did see one or two people looking frightened at the prospect of having to go through the revolving door, but then become relieved when spying the regular door next to it.
The second decision is one that I feel will really backfire on Big W as I have already seen their major competitor Target in Bourke Street capitalise on this. Here is a letter which explains the decision, which I received last week.
Yep, they got rid of lay-by. By contrast Target has a big sign on their front window which says “We happily accept Lay-by”. I really see this as a dumb idea. Most people I know like to lay-by big ticket items such as TVs rather than purchase them outright. I do remember that Big W were heavily trying to convince people to take out the Woolworths store credit card before the renovations, as we would be approached at least twice by a shop assistant every time we were in the store. I also saw something similar in action the other day when a kid was pestering their parent to buy them a toy but the parent did not want to do so because there was no lay-by. In the end she relented and pulled out the plastic to buy the item. Unfortunately for Big W they will have lost at least one customer (me) as I do like to put on a few lay-bys throughout the year. I have enough debt as it is at the moment and now refuse to put anything on credit, as I don’t like having to pay all the interest. If I don’t have them immediate cash for the items I want on me I do like to lay-by as that way I can pay the items off within eight weeks and not spend a single cent more than I have to because of the incredibly high interest rates on credit and especially store cards.
So there it is, perhaps I will be shopping less at QV in the future. It is not bad enough that Safeway there has recently been rebranded a Woolworths but now Big W has ceased their lay-bys. I wonder if this will happen at other Big W stores.