Bells and clapping – and forehead slapping

Home-GoodsWhile shopping for Christmas gifts this year, I was in HomeGoods more than once. Three times, to be exact. The first time I was there, I perused the glassware aisles and held a set of crystal champagne flutes in my hand, when a barrage of bell ringing and then clapping startled me, slightly almost causing me to let the flutes slip from my grip.

As I made my way through, aisle after aisle, thoughtfully (or at least trying to think) selecting gifts for my loved ones, the bell ringing and clapping sounded steadily.

“I can’t wait to get out of here”, a woman shopping close to me said.

“It’s so annoying and distracting”, replied her husband.

I agreed.

After more than an hour of rolling my eyes each time I heard the bells and claps and listening to other shoppers complaints about it, I finally made my way to the checkout and learned that the B’s and C’s were from customers donating to St. Jude Hospital. Whenever someone would answer “yes, I’ll donate ___” to the cashier’s question, that cashier would ring a bell and allll of them would clap.


I loved that customers were donating to such a worthy cause, and often enough to drive everyone in the store crazy with bells and applause, but I couldn’t help but notice that because the cashiers rang the bell and clapped that much — that they did it halfheartedly and with pained “here we go again” expressions on their faces. Seems kind of pointless to me.

bell ringingWhen it was my turn to check out, I donated — because I’m not a Scrooge and I think the idea was amazing, just minus the bells and clapping — and watched the zombie cashiers do their thang. And, I wanted to stand on the counter and yell an apology to the store for my participation in the unnecessary distraction.

My third trip there, after leaving, in an annoyed state of mind, I tweeted “@homegoods your employees w/ the bell ringing and clapping doesn’t aid in calming rushed shoppers. Especially since they look pained while doing it bc they do it allll day”

The next (this) morning, I received a reply from HomeGoods.

@amandatalar A lot of bells and clapping means a lot of people were donating to St. Jude, which is nice. Sorry it created noise & stress.”

Ew. Snippity-snip-snip.

ClapKeep in mind that is a business responding to me. A very large business, where I’ve spent a LOT of money (you know how much I love TJ Maxx/Marshalls – and HomeGoods is a part of them). And, I couldn’t help but think they didn’t capitalize my name because I didn’t capitalize theirs (if they had just hit “reply” to me, it would have automatically capitalized it — I’m like a paranoid detective, I miss nothing).

It’s also unfortunate that they apparently put inexperienced and snarky interns/employees in charge of their social media.


*clap clap clap clap clap*


14 thoughts on “Bells and clapping – and forehead slapping

  1. I went there once this season, and heard the ringing too. it would be nice for them to put a sign in the front or something. so that at least when you were shopping, you could have it in their mind that something good was being done, instead of something annoying.

    I feel the same way whenever I go into a Moes. the “welcome to moes” was funny in the beginning when the employees were enthused about it, but now it’s just depressing.

    • Our grocery store did this a few months back! They also shouted over the loud speaker. Every. Single. Time. Their pa system isn’t top notch so it was ear piercing! I cut my shopping short and went to a different market. I couldn’t believe that a national chain would stoop to such a tacky and desperate approach!

  2. This is a very kristi-esque type blog and that should be avoided. I also see nothing wrong with their twitter response. They explained the intent of the clapping and apologized.

  3. They must have immediately assumed you were some kind of Scrooge. I would be thoroughly annoyed too….maybe if they only did it when they hit certain levels?

  4. Now it makes sense. I was in with my son trying to find a Christmas present for him to get for mom. I was more amused by his response to finding a Dutch Oven in one of the aisles. You can guess what he thought it was for.
    I love that they want to raise funds but the other thing they need to look at is how that would slow down the checkout process. 5 donations in a row and that’s going to slow things down.

    • Ohhh, well, maybe it was this recent post I read about this woman who was complaining about her apartment complex and a puppy she “bought” (I prefer when people adopt pets not purchase them like accessories, so that already annoyed me) and her apt. complex said the puppy was slated to be over their weight limit and oh! — how this woman was sooo upset over it and my goodness it just exhausted me. But anyway, it’s really just so petty and silly to get offended by blog posts, isn’t it? 😉 Have a great day!

      • No its petty to be annoyed that someone paid for a puppy with their own money and didnt do as you would have liked them to do…..I will say that is arrogant. Love the response to the cancer survivor……she hit the nail on the head…..obnoxious indeed

  5. cashiers are not there to “calm rushed shoppers” They are there to do their jobs and if bells and claps is it….so be it. No its silly to be offended by people doing their jobs when it did not in fact cause a shopper to be rushed. I never knew there were social media professionals….hmmmm….I wonder what the pay is like..

    • JD – You missed the point. The fact that their job was to ring bells and clap is annoying, and was annoying for me and other shoppers in the store. I wasn’t alone in my feelings on this. I’m just the only one you know of who is voicing it.

      And, of course there are social media professionals — they’re called Social Media Strategists. As to what their pay is like, well you could Google it/research it and find out.

      • Annoying to you. And guess what the world doesn’t revolve around you. Calming rushed shoppers….still lmao over that. It’s the holiday season and the workers are busy “helping” shoppers. It’s not their job to calm a shopper that is rushed. Why is the shopper rushed because they waited til the last minute? That’s not the employees problem at all. I didn’t miss your point….you are arrogant and obnoxious. And let’s be honest you are a blogger….you could have easily made the other complainers up to somehow justify your petty complaint…..FACT. Wear earplugs or and iPod next holiday season… won’t have a reason to complain again.

        And I knew you would unfriend me on FB. That my dear shows your true arrogance. A little hint I could care less that you did….I no longer see your daily “I’m a snob” rants.

  6. I can’t believe I missed this conversation! I’m not in the business of defending anyone because quite frankly, most are capable of doing it themselves but I must agree with Amanda here. Number one, I don’t see where she attacked the fund raising mission. She was annoyed by the ringing of the bells and clapping, not what they represented. And, in case some were unaware, companies spend HUGE dollars researching what they can do to make their stores a “highly attractive shopping environment”. This includes; sights, smells and sounds. Amanda is not the first, last, or only person to find such sounds annoying while shopping. I likely would have as well … maybe to the point where I recommended an hourly announcement of how much has been donated rather than ringing a bell every time. I don’t think her annoyance in any way shape or form diminishes the effort being taken to raise money to fight a horrible disease.

    @Lisa … although I’m EXTREMELY sympathetic to the battle you were forced to face at a very young age and admire your courage to perceiver from that battle, I disagree with your assessment. You clearly were “annoyed” by the blog post, which is fine, but I guess I was just hoping for a more constructive argument than what you gave.

    @JD … I’m sure you were not “unfriended” for disagreeing. I’ve disagreed with Amanda in the past and haven’t suffered such atrocities. I’m guessing you were unfriended for being a giant douche that can’t respectfully put forth an argument.

    • Confused, thank you for getting it. Also, re: Facebook – over the almost 3 years I blogged with the TU, I openly accepted Facebook friend requests, without much of a second guess and/or thought. It was a way to increase and maintain readership. However, there comes a time when someone in that position must say, “Hey, this person (who, in many cases, I don’t even personally know) is crossing the line/making me uncomfortable/annoying me to the point I wish to have zero association/etc. and I have the right to remove them from my Facebook page.” And, actually — everyone has that right. It’s also really no big deal and the only people I’ve heard of who get upset over it, are the people who are removed and who can no longer peruse that person’s page. Kind of creepy if you think about it.

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