Dear Hudson's Bay

I’m so pleased to see that you are working hard to revamp your store. You are bringing in some wonderful brands and designers and expanding your petite section to include so many more options.  I love that you have many comparable items to larger U.S. retailers such as Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s.  I want to support my local economy and am proud to be able to purchase from Canada’s oldest company. But you make it so darned hard to be a loyal customer!

I was in your store yesterday, Victoria Day. You had several wonderful sales on for our long weekend and you should have known it would be very busy.  On the entire floor consisting of ladies wear (regular, plus size and petite sections), footwear, handbags, jewelry & accessories and cosmetics, you had a total of three customer service pay stations open and there were no staff on the floor to assist anyone. It was absolute mayhem.

I would like to say that this was due to the long weekend, but this is nothing new. I find your store very poorly staffed and the staff I am able to find often do not know where anything is and are not particularly helpful.  Because the store is always so ridiculously short staffed, the change rooms are bursting to the seams with clothing that has been left by customers, the racks containing clothing to be returned to the sales floor are so full that people are just tossing clothes on the floor underneath the rack and I have often had to wait 20-30 minutes to find a sales assistant who can unlock the change room area so that I can try on my items. This was the case yesterday and I finally put my items back and left without trying them on.

Sadly, I find your online service also lacking. I emailed customer service over a week ago to indicate that the oxfords I had purchased the day before had now been discounted by $50 and asked if I would be able to get a refund for the difference. Not only have not received a refund, I have not received a single reply to my email.

I want to buy locally. I want to support stores in my area. But it’s getting tougher and tougher to support you when there are others willing to take my money and offer me better service. If you want to compete with “the big guys” then you need to act like them.


Ms. Loyalty Wavering

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Mochi replied 6 years ago
    Sing it, sister! So glad you are speaking up. And I sound like a broken record, but if this company has a Facebook page then you should definitely post a complaint there too. 
  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago
    I have sent this exact letter to their Customer Service via their website (although I honestly have no idea if they ever even check it!). And yep, looking for Facebook too.
  • Beth Ann replied 6 years ago
    Ooooh!  Such a well written letter.  To the point, but still some Canadian nice showing. 

    Anyone who knows me well starts humming the Marseilles in moments liek this.  They're providing appropriate background music for the speech I'm about to give!  I try to keep a little of my midwestern nice, but, let's face it, I improvise a monologue worthy of "Gone with the Wind."

    In this very competitive marketplace, good customer service always wins, and the people working for companies that emphasize this can take true pride in the service they offer. 

    You go, Shannon.  Speak truth to retail power!
  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Brilliant! On my blasted phone so can't sayids now but agree absolutely! And let's not discuss the Slow web store.

  • Zapotee replied 6 years ago

    So sad;( The US is not without fault though. The store sounds like a Macy's in a Memorial Day sale. I hope your letter gathers attention. The Rack at Union Square can get like that too, and the list goes on.
    That is why I shop online so much. I look at the merch in the stores but would rather buy what I want online, as not to deal with waiting rooms, trying to find my size, etc.... Too crazy.

  • Thistle replied 6 years ago
    Sing it, sister!!

    I honestly think this is a reason online retailing is gaining such traction. If I can't get good service in the store, why bother going there at all? Gas isn't cheap, and neither is my time.  No need to spend 30 minutes looking for someone to let me try on clothes when they are delivered to my house.
  • Parsley replied 6 years ago

    Shannon, I don't know if you're on Twitter or not, but I've heard that people have had good results regarding customer service complaints by tweeting about them.

  • Nebraskim replied 6 years ago
    Bravo Shannon. I'm delurking to note that you have so completely and perfectly described the situation at Kohl's that I had to look to see if I'd misread. Retailers wonder where their customers went. They fled due to poor service, messy haphazard stores, etc. etc. I dislike Kohl's for many reasons (their weird over-reliance on coupons to drive pricing, the fact their design zeitgeist and mine don't mesh much) but I do go there for stuff like running gear. And every time I'm there, I wonder why because the store is such a disaster zone (every Kohl's, not just the two in my town). Target has much better customer service, IMHO. I hope someone responds to your complaints and wises up.
  • Sveta replied 6 years ago
    Amen to that, Shannon. Their customer service is really lacking and number of open registers is ridiculous on any day of the week. Heck, I find Winners more customer friendly than The Bay - at least their dressing rooms are nicer and more registers are available.
    I wonder if they will go the way of Eaton's one day...
  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 6 years ago
    Sadly this is nothing new.  I can recall being at the Bay decades ago and finding not a sales person in sight.  Its too bad because they have some good merchandise and are losing out on opportunities to sell it.
  • Gaylene replied 6 years ago

    You've hit this one exactly on the mark, Shannon! In spite of all their efforts to improve the quality of their merchandise, the Bay is not going to make it unless they improve their dismal shopping experience.

    In our smaller Bay store, new and old merchandise is just jammed together in a helter-skelter fashion so that even the (rare) staff haven't a clue as to where anything is located. The entire women's section has 3 (!) small, cramped change rooms with the door hanging askew and cracked mirrors.

    Even the larger Bay on Bloor in Toronto is a depressing experience with bad lighting, locked dressing rooms, and non-existent sales staff. I've seen six or seven women lined up at a register hoping someone will come by so they can pay for their items. The only positive note is you can shop the $$$ designer stuff without the slightest fear of feeling intimidated. The designer duds don't get any better treatment than a $10 T-shirt at The Bay.
  • rosee replied 6 years ago
    Haven't shopped there for a very long time for the reasons you state.

    By the way, Macy's owns over 50 per cent of the company now so it's not really Canadian or local anymore.  Service seems to have gotten poorer since the time they took over.
  • Mia replied 6 years ago
    Same story out west... 

    My mother-in-law e-mailed the manager of her Vancouver Island store and got a "form letter" in reply.  My husband and I waited 20 minutes or more for some one to serve us when we went in to buy a small appliance recently.  Once the person arrived they were very helpful but we almost left.   While we waited DH tried to call the store manager on his cellphone!  No one answered of course.  They have closed the customer service office at my local Bay.

    They have a personal shopper in fashion downtown and I can get an appointment, free parking and fabulous service in the "the Room" but the rest of it is very sketchy.

  • Krista replied 6 years ago
    Shannon - you are so right in so many ways.  I've had good experiences lately at The Bay, but for many years it was just about ignoring the store entirely because it was so crappy.  I am actually wondering if the service at the Ottawa stores are improving because of the news that Target and  Nordstrom are coming to town.  Nordstrom will be in one of the malls and in direct competition with The Bay store that is also there.  So, The Bay will need to up their game in my mind!

    Here are the Twitter and Facebook links for The Bay if anyone is interested:

    Some comments on the Facebook page sure do echo the comments on this thread!
  • Nadya replied 6 years ago

    Good for you! I was actually very disappointed withe service at the shoe department at Nordstrom two weeks ago and wrote to their store manager, as well. It was a Friday day time, there was no sale going on, and I couldn't get any help - I couldn't even get eye contact or any acknowledgement. I wrote the store manager, she wrote me back and copied a shoe department manager and said they would get in touch with me. A week later I hadn't heard back and even followed up again. The thing is, I don't want special service, like a personal shopper, I just want eye contact and for someone to just let me know pleasantly if its going to be a few minutes.

    Wow, I guess I still have a bit of rant left! Let us know if you ever hear back from The Bay.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 6 years ago

    Thanks for the commiseration ladies although I find it sad that we are all experiencing this poor type of service from a local store. 

    And yes Sveta, I think they will be going the way of Eaton's one day :(

  • Ariadne replied 6 years ago

    I suspect the Bay's days are numbered, due to Target and Nordstrom coming up north.  The one here is terrible.  I've left twice because I couldn't get service, and have seen other customers do the same.  And don't even get me started on their website.  

  • Ariadne replied 6 years ago

    I just read some of the comments on the Facebook page.  Lots and lots of complaints similar to ours. 

  • Julie replied 6 years ago

    I've ranted on this before.  It's the same old story of paying minimum wage to sales staff.  Customers demand low prices. Customers demand top service. The numbers don't add up, and never will.

    It's the Walmart mentality and everyone is trying to race the competition to the bottom.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Back to chime in again. I can't even tell you how annoyed I am with the local is a miracle to get any kind of service on any day of the week. And the product selection is lousy; of course it is a small store in a smaller community, but truly...they almost never have anything I might want. In fact, apart from hose and underpants, the only things I've bought in store in the past five years are my Hi-ness Cons and a raincoat. I guess I did buy my winter coat there but it was damaged and I had to return it to buy another version online. 

    Your letter is terrific, Shannon. 

  • marija replied 6 years ago

    I bought a dress (yay me!) there this weekend, but what a jungle!  Everything is ALWAYS a mess.  The only place that was well looked after was the shoe department and perhaps jewelry.  The rest of the store was a write-off.  It's not a cheap store, yet I felt that I'd rather be at the local thrift store, which is properly managed and the items are in their place!  Fab letter.  Way to go!

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