Colour-coded shopping baskets at Sephora

One thing I hate in shops is when the assistants hound you.  For me, the worst case scenario is when a sales associate leaps at you the minute you walk in the door, and asks how they can help. If you say you are just looking, they continue to shadow you, giving you the hard-sell on every product upon which your eyes may land. The Body Shop is really bad with this. They train their staff to be ‘very helpful’. I dread going in sometimes because I know I will be pounced on the moment I put my foot through the door.

For me, that is a sign to hightail it out of there, pronto. If I go into a shop and I know what I want, I will go and find it. If I am just looking, I like to browse the shelves at my own pace. If I cannot find what I am looking for, I will find someone to ask.

So I was thrilled to see colour-coded baskets in Sephora in Stockholm. The red one is for if you wish to receive help and advice from a sales associate. The black one is for if you wish to be left alone. Surprisingly, looking at the baskets, most people were looking for help and advice. I wonder if it is because more people need advice with makeup and beauty products than with, for example, clothes?

Having done a small search on the internet, I see that these baskets are available elsewhere in Europe, but seemingly not in the US. I read the following

A Sephora representative confirms to Allure that the baskets are found in European Sephora stores. But people on Twitter have chimed in to say that Sephora isn’t the first store to test out color-coded baskets. Korean skin-care brand Innisfree reportedly has the same system with red and green baskets.

The Sephora photo has been retweeted thousands of times, with plenty of praise from introverts. But as an Ulta employee wrote in, we have to consider that salespeople are just trying to do their jobs. “I work at Ulta. We can never win! Whenever we’re overly friendly, people get mad at us. When we don’t ask as much, the next day we see a negative survey saying no one in the store was there to help. What the heck are we supposed to do?” she wrote. It’s a fair question — and perhaps one that a little color-coding can help solve. (source)

In the photo below, shopping alone seems to win by a hair.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

Leave a Reply