Wednesday, 19 October 2011
Mary Joker of Frocks?
The final episode of the three part documentary following retail guru Mary Portas as she set up her own shop within House of Fraser aired last night. Now I adore Mary Portas and her rise to retail fame from small-time window dresser to Queen of shops; but has her fame gone to her fiery red head?
I asked this question myself whilst watching the episode last night - the episode that saw the camera zoom to Mary's employee Lesley on a frequent basis. Yes we know she used to be an Estate Agent and that she has never worked in retail and that she doesn't really know what she is doing - nor has she ever used a mirror to apply her make up....but we're not here to judge someone's fashion sense are we? Oh wait.....yes we are....!
For Mary Portas to pinpoint Lesley within her documentary, in my eyes, made me see Portas in a different light. It didn't show her employing reputable retail experts with an eye for fashion and detail or thirst and passion for the wonderful world of selling and serving customers. Instead we saw her choosing a lady who (pleasant though she may be) dilly-dallied around the shop floor, gave mediocre customer service and could barely style herself never mind a lady who didn't have a clue - God help her!
I wanted to know about the other staff! Who is this Fiona that Mary mentioned will be sent to help roll out the store concept in House of Fraser across the country? Who was the girl often seen in the background whilst Mary cooed over Lesley ladened down with clothes assisting customers? Who was the quirky girl with the huge on-trend glasses and wearing the statement necklaces? Who was Mary's "team"? Because it sure as hell wasn't Lesley!
From the many people I have spoken to about the program, the majority said they would have loved to have seen more of the team actually doing what they were set out to do - styling ladies in their forties who aren't otherwise being catered for on the high street - and not that one time when Lesley said " 'ere I've found these.." to some poor dear waiting in the fitting room...again God help her!
Mary Portas is known for her preaching about customer service and how to treat customers - well she sure did treat us to a "team" we never actually got to see. And surely if you wanted a team that had retail knowledge and passion, you would be bitterly dissapointed if they didn't know who Barbara Hulanicki is *ahem* Lesley.
I am praying Mary Portas's concept remains strong as she is one of my idols, but in future documentaries, I hope we see core skills and passion as opposed to poor 'comedic' value....
What do you think? Do you think Mary focussed on the wrong team member to promote her brand? Or did you enjoy the comedic value? Did it leave Mary looking like she couldn't recruit a worthy team or did she still come up tops in your eyes? Let me know.....