A tale of two service delivery models

I confess: I hate to shop. I mean, really, really hate to shop. If I can order something online, I am very happy (I’m sure I get a little hit of dopamine whenever I type smile.amazon.com—if you don’t already know, adding the “smile” gets a donation sent to the American Red Cross).

So, you can imagine my delight when I learned that you can buy a mattress (of all things!) without having to go to a store. I don’t know about you, but I find mattress buying overwhelming. So many choices, so many dollars, so many salespeople and, really, what can you possibly learn by lying down on a mattress in the middle of the store for 60 seconds?

The mattress in question was from Helixsleep.com. It had been written up in a favorable Wall Street Journal article last year, had good reviews online and, best of all, I could order a mattress without leaving my desk and even customize its features.

It took roughly a week for my customized mattress to arrive—I’m sure the UPS man appreciated my online shopping that day (sorry!)—and voila! I have a mattress. I’m pleased as punch at the whole experience and if Helix could just address the old mattress in a landfill issue (another sorry!) it would be perfect.

Here is said mattress in a box.

Now, onto the “two” of my headline. Last year I had a foot injury that has meant wearing a very lovely pair of New Balance orthotic-type shoes for my daily walks. I have had many pairs of NB in my life, but this pair takes the cake for style: I was quite dismayed to see that it was the same style being worn by my quite lovely 70+-year-old neighbor and a tottering elderly lady who was standing in front of me in line the other day. Sigh.

As my foot health has improved, I decided to do something rash and get a somewhat stylish pair of shoes. I attempted to do so online using Zappos, Amazon and a variety of other sources. But, to my dismay, the shopping by tapping model has failed me and I’ve had to return to a real store.

Fortunately, the real store in question has been Movin’ Shoes on Park St. and the helpful services of Tim Gold. Tim has been nothing but patient and helpful and definitely knows his shoes. We have gone through what seems like the entire Movin’ Shoes inventory together—plus ordering more from suppliers. It looks, sadly, like the NB orthotic is here to stay for a bit (see below and you’ll know I’m not exaggerating on its style quotient). But I give Tim top marks for trying!

Thank you Tim for renewing my faith in the brick-and-mortar shopping model! Now please convince some supplier to make attractive shoes for people like me!






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Knowledge junkie. Raconteur.

Vicky Franchino

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