Troubling the Customer: Why is Buying Blue Jeans So Hard?

Why do we tolerate inconvenience?

Stack of blue jeans taken by the author
Lots of choices, but only a few will fit.

Being born in the 50’s, I spent most of my working life wearing a business uniform to work. My uniform included lace-up dress shoes, over-the-calf wool blend socks, leather belt, boxers/briefs and tee shirt, dress suit (jacket and trousers), and if it was raining, I carried/wore a Burberry-type overcoat and a wool scarf. For men in business, men wore suits and ties, and women wore dresses, or skirts and blazers. Blue jeans were for working in the yard or in the garage.

Saying that things have changed is the ultimate understatement. Blue jeans are  acceptable at work. Not only are they acceptable, a friend of mine at a huge IT company told me they the senior manager were specifically asked NOT to wear anything but blue jeans. In my wildest imagination, I could have never have imagined this eventuality.

Bottom line… I have to buy jeans on a fairly regular basis.

Why do I have to look through 347 pairs of jeans to find the 4 pair in the store that are my size? I must riffle through stacks upon stacks of jeans because it is more convenient for the store to display clothes based on their style, not their size.

I predict that some retailer will figure this out. They will increase their displays and they will minimize the stacks and stacks of inventory displayed on the floor. But for now, I will continue to move around hundreds of pairs of blue jeans to find the half dozen pair of jeans that I will try on.

bh 2016-01-29


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