These days, malls have become more than a place to shop at. They are now the centre of social activities, climate-controlled walking hubs, venues for exhibits and shows, and one-stop service centres for all types of facilities. With such a large number of people filling up the malls for so many reasons, it’s time we all learnt proper etiquette so we don’t infringe on anybody else’s experience. Let’s look at some of the important shopping etiquette to keep in mind while mall hopping.
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Parking: First things first, etiquette starts before entering the mall, so don’t try to squeeze your car in a small space. It’s not the end of the world if you have to park a little away from the entrance.
Door: While at the mall entrance, hold the door for others. Do not try to rush past them, it’s not a race. Don’t ever block any entrances or exits. Politely say “excuse me” if someone is blocking your way; pushing and elbowing them is ill mannered behaviour.
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Phone etiquette: Don’t be on the phone while entering the mall or once inside it. If you have to attend a call, step aside and do so, as you tend to stop or slow down when talking on the phone and that may block the way for others.
In stores: Remember that there are other people shopping in the store too, so don’t stand near a rack for too long; step aside and let them have a look too. Do not hold on to a piece of garment if you are not planning to buy it. Do not unfold ten items looking for your size, the salespersons take utmost care to fold them and it is not appropriate if you come to a neat counter and leave it like it was hit by a tornado.
Fitting rooms: Follow the rules in the fitting room; you mustn’t carry more than 5-6 garments to try at a time. Do not take a lot of time in the changing rooms as there are others waiting in the queue. Respect the personal space of another person. Do not leave unwanted clothes or hangers in the fitting room, hand it over to the attendant at the entrance or put it in the basket kept for the purpose.
Shoppers’ guides: Respect the guides who help you shop. Yelling at them for not being able to find your size is wrong. Be specific about what you want and give them proper details; they are present to help you out after all. Also, they are not your personal shoppers; which means other people in the store may need their help too. Respect this fact and let the guide excuse him/herself once you are done with the selection.
Mind your children: Shopping malls are not day-care facilities. Make sure your children do not misbehave or run amok in the alleyways. Many malls have special play areas for children, so leave your kids there with an adult to supervise them.
Be patient while in queues: Everybody wants to save their precious time, but this in no way means you jump the queue or comment and sneer at the attendant behind the counter. If there is no one behind the counter, you cannot leave! Wait for someone to arrive; they are probably busy with important store work. Also, if you have a cartful of items to buy while another person behind you has just two items, it’s always a good gesture to let them bill out before you do.
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