Dear Aveda Store

Dear Aveda Store,

First of all I want to start out on a positive note and tell you that I like your products. Nice shampoo, nice dippity-doo (I like to call all gels and sprays and pomades “dippity doo” because it just sounds funny to me so even though I know that dippity doo is an actual hair product of which I have never dipped nor dooded, I am going to call your stuff that too so no offense intended), and nice conditioners. I have never used any of your make up or non-hair-related stuff but I am sure all of that is aces as well. I also enjoy that you use natural ingredients and recycle stuff and I applaud that you are Cradle to Cradle certified and all like that. Stuff of that nature is important to a hippy treehugger like myself, so even though it’s more expensive I am willing to shill it out every so often, so thanks for doing that. I have found some of your advertising in the past a bit disgusting (in an “Eating the Other” sort of way) but granted I spring from Third Worlders who are sensitive to such things what with all the crap that occurs when exoticization happens but we’ll gloss over that for now because I’m not writing to deconstruct your ads or anything. Just, kudos on the hair products.

But Aveda, I have to tell you that you are chipping away at my enthusiasm to shop at your store. Why? Because your behavior SCARES ME.

I want to say here that I don’t blame the people who work in the store. They are just doing what they are told and it’s not their fault that they are paid to be scary beauty product pushers. That’s why I am addressing this post to you, The Store. Whatever big Corporate Giant Head that makes the rules for the store- I am talking to you. You seriously need to relax.

I go in to your store maybe four to five times a year. I am a repeat customer. I know what I am getting, and if I want to branch out, I will let you know. But when I come to your store, you act like you don’t want me to leave, ever. It’s very Hotel California style. It’s like you are a creepy, clingy date and you are going to freak out if I don’t stay and be your shampoo loverlady or something.

When I went into your store this weekend, there were two women in front of me in the cash register line. Among the three of us, here are all of the enticements that you offered for each of us to stay in the store and live there and have your shampoo babies. Each of us was trying to buy one item. That’s all. But here’s what we got.

Would you like to sign up for our frequent buyer program?
Would you like a cup of tea?
How about some water?
Would you like gift wrap?
Would you like some conditioner to go with this shampoo?
Would you like a custom fragrance made for you today? It will only take 10 minutes.
Do you have time to sit and have a complimentary hand massage?
Would you like me to spray some mint oil into the gift box so that there is a fresh smell when your friend opens the gift?
Would you like a complimentary makeover? We just got some new colors in this week.
Would you like a free pump for your shampoo bottle?
Would you like a free sample?
Would you like to enter to win a free men’s gift set for Father’s Day?
Would you like to sign up for our birthday club?

OH MY GOD. Aveda! I have to go, honey. I really think you need to get some hobbies or something. I am just not ready to take our relationship to this level. I know that you are trying to foster this atmosphere, where people come to you and just, like, hang out all day or something. Drinking tea and getting massages and having everything gift wrapped and having makeovers. And really, I see how that is a pleasant way to spend a day. But if I am doing that, I hate to break your heart, but I am not doing that in the Aveda store. It’s just not going to happen that way. And by the looks of how the other customers act with you, it’s not working on them either.

So just stop it, ok? Because I really don’t want to never see you again, but it’s heading that way. You need to just chill. Please. You’re annoying me and now you have made me say the words “just chill.” Please, this has to stop.

Librarian Girl


  1. I used to work at another bath/beauty product store and it was downright embarrassing to have to push stuff at people that way. I'm not sure if these higher ups have ever actually shopped in their stores but it's obnoxious- Victoria's Secret, I'm talking to you.

  2. See, I'm completely the opposite. Cup of Aveda's *delicious* tea? YES! Hand massage? YES! Samples of complimentary products? YES! The stuff I don't want, I just say no thanks to.I also will not say no to a cup of coffee or glass of wine while getting my hair done or my nails did at the salon. Seriously, the Aveda tea is amazing.

  3. Aveda: So, um, my parents are in town this weekend and I was thinking maybe you could meet them over brunch.You: Oh. Um…yeah, that's not going to work for me. And I really should be going…Aveda: No, wait, wait. Um, maybe that was too soon, but I only ask you because, well…I love you.You: Yeah, listen, I really have to get going…Aveda: Would you at least like to sign up for our frequent buyer program? …Hello? …Hello!?

  4. I went into an Aveda store today… and I was anticipating being accosted… and I wasn't! Your Aveda store sounds scary.

  5. a part of great customer service is also respecting a persons time. they need to chill out…..people have been shopping for years and they know what they want.sales workers should be there to suggest if the customer WANTS a suggestion!! they should ask themselves "why is online shopping so popular?" because it's quick and easy….and so shopping in the store should be the same way…..just sayin'

  6. they try too hard…it comes off fake and robotic….. too many questions!!! who is the person who thinks of the training for their company?? I was in a store the other day…it was highly annoying and it made me want to act like i couldn't hear them!!

  7. I work for an Aveda; they are horrible. Store managers are generally narcissistic, undereducated, epitomes of salon women. All the questions and in your face sales tactics are enforced at risk of job and referred to as the "Service Cycle."It involves over 16 steps that must be covered in every transaction. Even required with repeat customers from a day before. Tell them directly," I am not interested in your service cycle and you will lose my business if you continue." I've taught a fair number of women to respond to my manager in just this fashion. Be forceful and stare them in the eyes!Good luck ladies/gentlemen!

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