Here's a run down of today's interaction with a cashier at the mall. This is why I do most of my shopping online.
To set the stage, I was buying one item: a belt. The scene opens after I've been standing in line for fifteen minutes because there wasn't another clerk to be found.
Cashier: [Picks up the belt. Sees I don't have anything else and asks] Is this all for you today?
Me: Yep. That's it and I don't need a bag. I'll just carry it.
Cashier: [Zaps belt] These are buy one, get one for half off. You sure you don't want to get another one?
Me: Nope. I don't need another belt. Just the one.
Cashier: You'd rather pay $28 bucks for this and not get another one for $15?
Me: Um, yes. I only need one. Getting another would just be more money out of my pocket for something I don't need.
Cashier: [A little dismissive] Well, okay… Are you a member of our frequent shopper club?
Me: No, and I'm…
Cashier: [Before I can finish my sentence] Would you like to join? It only takes a second and all we need is a valid email address?
Me: No, thanks. I'll pass.
Cashier: Are you sure?
Me: Yes. I'm sure.
Cashier: Would you like to save %15 today by signing up for our store credit card?
Me: No, thanks.
Cashier: [With an annoyed tone] Are you sure?
Me: Yes. I'll just pay cash.
Cashier: Okay. That'll be $29.96.
Me: Here ya go.
Cashier: [Starts highlighting receipt the 2 foot receipt] Don't forget to take our survey. Just go to this web site and put in this (twelve digit) number to fill it out. You could win gift certificate worth $4,000.
Cashier: [Printing out two more receipts and finally handing me my change] And, here's two coupons for you to use on a future visit.
Cashier [Starts putting belt in a bag] Here you go.
Me: Umm. I still don't need the bag.
Prior to this, I thought that a belt would be something that was a easier to buy in an actual store. Clearly, that was a mistake. If brick and mortar stores want to fight the increasing move toward online shopping they should focus on making the customer experience better. Collecting as much info as they can and pushing their credit cards like this is the wrong way to go.