Selling highend #luxury it has a price tag and can get cloudy with the “perception of racism”

Posted on August 13, 2013


I believe at times, some celeb forget to come to a ground level and again why should they ? with that kind power and money they are entitled to feel like they are “GOD” and think about it,  some people think they are like “God” 

The price of #luxury sure Oprah can afford anything,  Oprah is an icon one of the richest women and richest women in business and media industry. 

So here is my take on this issue, I believe there are  two sides to this story  about the luxury bag Oprah wanted to see, in this particular situation. We know, off course media loves stuff like this and so do fan and with social media anything goes.

There was no witness around, so hard to believe who is speaking the “truth”  and this case Oprah becomes “ the victim” and the sales clerk may have been completely innocent and again it is her version she tells her manager at the store and now becomes the other victim in this whole situation and now both are victims of this incident very sad though.

I believe Oprah would not make something up, again this sales clerk may have assumed that a “women of color” can’t afford #luxury and now may  need to  protect her job, could be defending herself and she has a right to say something from her point of view to her manager. 

Oprah can buy jobs and the sales clerk cannot buy a job, it is her word against Oprah.

The sales clerk in Switzerland  may have misjudged the shopper and in this case she may have not known who the shopper was such as “Oprah”. Oprah may be famous in the North America, not many people know who Oprah is in Europe… I say this because I lived in Europe.

The manager of the boutique told CNN the entire incident was a “200 percent misunderstanding” and had nothing to do with racism.

In my case, I have witnessed tons of snobby sales clerks, even when I used to work at Holt  Renfrew & Leone in the 80’s and 90’s this was,  during my old  perfume and cosmetic career days and working with the  fashion/luxury retail outlets and sector, before I began my journey in the secured digital sector for digital divide to find a end point safety,  protection and privacy solution to protect innocent children, teens, youth and women at risk who were also working with,  when it comes to the dark side of the Internet and all things related to digital communication gadgets etc………and I have a long colorful story of, why I decided to get into the digital secure and new media sector etc….Anyways, during my fashion and perfume career selling products in some of these famous luxury retail stores  … I was horrified with the way some of the sales staff  spoke to their clients and the things they would say once the client left the store,  these clients were not even people of color.

Here is the twist around this incident with Oprah and keep in mind racism is a hot topic these days.  And this whole conversation started by Oprah could be the reason also for  a big push and publicity taking place, for the new movie “Butler”  The movie is about civil rights  and it could be a whole media push for bringing publicity and the movement and  it allows people to start to begin dialogues around racism?

At least the Trois Pomme got publicity with all this I have said, sometimes it is “better to have bad publicity instead of having no publicity at all, well in this case at least the sales staff made Trois Pomme famous

The US billionaire Oprah Winfrey one of the riches women in the world visited luxury Zurich boutique Trois Pommes while looking for a handbag to match her outfit for Tina Turner’s wedding last month.

A claim by Oprah Winfrey on a talk show, she was the victim of racism in an exclusive boutique called “Trios Pomme” in Zurich made headlines in the United States and in Switzerland.

In interviews with two different US television networks, Oprah Winfrey said that an assistant had several times refused to show her a bag she was interested in, giving as the reason: “That one will cost too much. You will not be able to afford that.”

ET’s Nancy O’Dell sat down with Oprah Winfrey on Monday, getting the media mogul to open up about Lee Daniels’ The Butler, a possible sit down with Paula Deen and her own personal experiences with discrimination.

#Oprah talks #racism at the red carpet @mymulticast

#Oprah talks #racism at the red carpet @mymulticast

While Winfrey may be one of the most recognizable faces on the planet, she apparently doesn’t have as big a fan base in Switzerland. Winfrey tells O’Dell that while in Zurich for Tina Turner’s wedding she left the hotel to go shopping by herself and was denied service when the clerk assumed that Winfrey wouldn’t be able to afford the handbag  she was asking to see..

Oprah Winfrey received an apology from Swiss tourism officials following an alleged racist encounter at a Zurich shop. Now, the talk-show host is offering up her own thoughts about how the incident eventually played out in the public spotlight. Speaking to reporters Monday at the Los Angeles premiere of her new film The Butler, the media mogul apologized for specifically naming Switzerland when she spoke out about incident.

The owner of the shop has apologized for the incident, and called it a misunderstanding. She told the Reuters news agency that the assistant simply wanted to show Winfrey that the bag was available in other materials, which might have created the wrong impression.

 Winfrey’s revelation on Entertainment Tonight led to the upscale store being identified as Trois Pommes in Zurich and its staff was immediately caught up in a frenzy of media interest.

The manager of the boutique, Trudie Goetz, subsequently told CNN the entire incident was a “200 percent misunderstanding” and had nothing to do with racism.

“Who wouldn’t want to sell a purse for CHF35,000 ($38,000)?” she asked.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the woman said that she had asked Winfrey whether she could show her anything special and then went on to introduce a collection of bags by US actress Jennifer Aniston.

Trudie Goertz  suggested that language could have been at fault, since although the assistant speaks English, her mother tongue is Italian.

The Swiss tourism  expressed its regrets for what happened, and posted an apology on Twitter. “We are fuming – this person acted terribly wrong,” the tweet reads.

A spokesman for the Zurich tourist office described the incident as “very regrettable”, and said it hurt the image of the city as “friendly” and “accustomed to different cultures”.

Winfrey later said she would not have bought the bag anyhow for the price and that she “had a great time in Zurich”.

Readers’ feedback in the Swiss press has been measured. Several say  that snobbery, not racism, is rife in exclusive boutiques, while others regret the general low standard of customer service in Switzerland. But others said they had experienced racism themselves.

Winfrey, whose show is not broadcast in Switzerland, said that this kind of incident did not happen to her “unless somebody obviously doesn’t know that it’s me”. But many readers pointed out that the upside of this for her was that she can walk around freely in the city without being bothered, and that many celebrities appreciate this.

A few people took the part of the crocodile, whose skin had been used to make the bag in question.

In an interview with the SonntagsBlick newspaper on Sunday, Trois Pomemes’   sales clerk give her side of the story.

She said: that she had not recognized the star, who was only in the store for five minutes, but would not have treated her any differently if she knew who she was.

“I went to a cabinet and showed her one of those Jennifer Aniston bags that are very popular,” the sales clerk said”

“She glanced at a rack behind me, far above”

“It was a  CHF35,000 ($38,000)?” crocodile bag”.

“The clerk said Winfrey pointed to a bag up on a high shelf, at which point the clerk told Winfrey that it was the same design as the one that she was showing her – albeit the very expensive crocodile version”

“She said she had never suggested that Winfrey couldn’t afford the bag”.

“This is something I would never say to a customer,” she said”.

“Good manners and politeness are the lifeblood of this business.”

She said she was relieved she would keep her job after the scandal and hoped the “nightmare” would be over soon.
As the clerk told SonntagsBlick, in addition to offering to show Winfrey some other bags,
The clerk, who has worked at the shop for five years, insists that she never meant to insult Winfrey.

Source: SonntagsBlick, Entertainment Tonight

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