Friday, June 8, 2012

Fogal Vs. Wolford

After my visit to Fogal, I decided to drop by Wolford for a comparison, especially since it had been so long since I visited Wolford. I thought that a quick visit would be a nice treat.

After the warm welcome, and the enjoyable conversation with the Fogal assistant manager, I felt that Wolford was cold by comparison. Perhaps they have a different business model that allows for this kind of behaviour. Do not get me wrong. They were not rude. They were polite.

I think that the Wolford assistant manager said hello first. 1 of the first things that I remember mentioning to her was that I bought a pair of waist socks from them. I thought that it was kind of neat to mention, because I felt nostalgic. I do not think she even looked up from her work, and she just said, "Oh, did you?". The entire time, she seemed disinterested in me, other than when she noticed me carrying a Fogal catalog and brochure. She said something like, "Oh, I see you like collecting catalogs.", and then reached into a cabinet, and brought a bunch of stuff out.

Honestly, though, it is hard to judge. Maybe she recognized me, and realized that I did not need much assistance. Also, they might have a non-pushy policy that encourages staff to not talk too much to customers. Staying with customers and not approaching customers have advantages and disadvantages. It is a matter of trade offs.

Since Fogal asked me if I would like to work with Fogal, I wondered if Wolford had realized the importance of changing with the times. I asked them, if they would be interested in hiring guys, and she said, "No.". She did not even think about it, which was consistent with what the manager said many years ago.

Wolford will sell us stuff, and send us catalogs and brochures, but Fogal does that also. The difference between them, is that Fogal is willing to accept us, even on first impression, and even willing to hire guys. In fact, I phoned Fogal's Vancouver store just before finishing the previous sentence. I spoke with the manager, and she confirmed that guys can work at Fogal. She seemed a little confused about me asking about it, so I had to explain Wolford's policies to her. She did not believe me, even when I told of my 2 experiences. She also tried to explain it from Wolford's perspective: maybe female customers complained. After the previous sentence, I decided to send a letter to Wolford. I will share it with you, tomorrow.

I just did not feel excited to be at Wolford. When I first went to Wolford, it was more exciting than my memories of Disney Land. Now, it is like blah. I think that it mostly because of the contrast to Fogal, and partly because the times have changed. We have been wearing publically for almost 2 decades, and there are many styles for men, and I have even worn hosiery and shorts to apply for jobs, and I have even worked in a hosiery department.

The web sites are worth comparing, also. Wolford's main page seem to not be working. I am not sure. It is not pleasant to visit, when the main page is mostly blank, and/or seems to not work. Fogal's web site seems to work fairly well.

Another thing worth noting is that Fogal has been around longer than Wolford. This implies that Fogal should have more experience.

What have your experiences been like? Please share them in the comments below. Also, please subscribe to keep up to date with the Wolford employment issue. Thank you for reading!

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