American Style: Cole Haan

One of the tasks I wanted accomplish on my US trip was to upgrade my iPad. I was in the US a month ago and finally took the plunge on an iPad which I have been pining for over the last few years.  I am still working out precisely how to use it. Nonetheless, I  have worked out stroke it and say in my best Gollum impression: My precious…..

But I was not at all pleased when only a few days after I bought my iPad, Apple announced that it was releasing the generation 4 at the same price as the gen 3.  So my brand new iPad had been superseded in about a fortnight.

I. Was. Not. Pleased!

Went to my nearest Apple store who said that had I bought it in the UK they would have been happy to upgrade but as it was a US model they couldn’t help.

However, since I was due back in the States a few weeks later they contacted the Chicago store so I could get a refund or upgrade when I was back in the US. So it was that the day after I arrived in Chicago I was trying to find the nearest Apple Store.  Right next to it was Cole Haan.  Talk about killing two birds…

Cole Haan is a New York based company which makes funky genre busting shoes.  They employ Nike Air technology which basically means that they are formal shoes which are designed to be as comfy as a pair of trainers. Cool huh?

And speaking of cool, Cole Haan employ some of the boldest colour combinations out there.  Fancy some grape shoes? Cole Haan’s your man.  Try saying it with an Irish accent: ‘Cowall Harn’s yer Marn….’ How about pink and tan saddle shoes? Blue and cream? Black and brown? Or lime green.  All this and more is available from Cole Haan.

I am in the market for a pair of grey shoes. And I discovered only last week that CH had a great pair of saddles in grey and graphite.  Best of all they were on sale!  However Cole Haan are not available in the UK so I had not seen these shoes in the leather so I was very hopeful of finding a Cole Haan store to be able to see them.  So finding a CH store entirely by accident was a real bonus.

Guess what? They were out of stock.  I popped into a few other stores that stocked Cole Haan shoes in but none of them had the elusive grey and graphite saddles, though I was able to see and try other colour variations.

Air Colton Saddle, Pistachio-Croc, Cole Haan

Again I was impressed by the customer service.  The Cole Haan staff were incredibly helpful and polite despite the fact that the only thing i bought were some coloured laces.  I was impressed by the fact that when it emerged that they were out of blue laces they recommended a competitor who might have it in stock. And they did.  it was a lot cheaper too.

Indeed this happened to me a number of times.  The sale assistant in Allen Edmonds suggested that I might want to check out Cole Haan for coloured shoes as their own range was limited. CH sent me off to Nordstrom because they were out of blue laces. And one salesman in Macy’s actually told me that the items I was looking at were available cheaper at a store next door!

It takes a certain self confidence to be able to recommend a competitor.  It also requires a commitment to prioritising the customer over the business.  A novel approach.

And speaking of customer service, I managed to get my iPad exchanged.  In fact I have used it to write this post.  On the plane flight back to the UK. And for the first time in my life I have been upgraded, entirely randomly.  So I am enjoying the ambience of business class.  This is turning out to be a good trip…..

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One thought on “American Style: Cole Haan

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