Oprah Winfrey just revealed when she was in Zurich a few weeks ago for Tina Turner’s wedding, she was a ‘victim of racism’ in a Swiss retail shop in this part of old-town Zurich. Here’s what happened: Oprah asked the boutique sales woman to look at a $38,000 Tom Ford crocodile handbag behind a display screen when the sales person replied it was ‘too expensive’ for her and that Oprah should look at others.
As a fashion blogger who moved from San Francisco this year now living just miles from Zurich when I first heard this story, here were my initial thoughts: A. Not surprised (I’ll explain below) B. How do you not know who Oprah is? C. Why would you shop in Switzerland even if you are the richest woman in the world?
Starbucks is $8 a latte, Subway sandwiches are $18, MAC eye-shadows are $34 and clothes and handbags are far more expensive than anywhere in the US. And it’s not like they’re better tasting or better quality. Personally, I don’t shop in Switzerland because the stores are completely out-of-touch with my ‘fashionista on a budget’ beliefs. I’ll save my shopping sprees for Germany, Spain and the US.
The other huge difference I’ve noticed in Switzerland is the lack of customer service Americans expect and appreciate in stores like Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Macy’s. It isn’t the standard Switzerland. For the most part, the majority of Swiss stores aren’t on twitter or Yelp so a bad tweet or negative review isn’t even a concern for restaurant or shop owners.
Switzerland is a beautiful country and it’s so organized, safe, efficient, super on-time and clean compared to the filthy streets of SF. But let me put it this way, if Switzerland was a member of your family, she would be your snobby rich cousin who thinks she’s better than you. However, I’ve also experienced once you get to know people in Switzerland closer, they are very warm, friendly and loyal.
As a long time Oprah fan, I’m so glad she called out the sales woman and the bottom line is no-one deserves to be treated like that shopping anywhere. It doesn’t matter what you look like, where you’re from and whether you’re shopping make-up free in yoga pants or dressed to the nines. If you’re treated badly by a sales person, never shop there and tell all your friends and twitter followers not to either. How do you feel about this story and have you ever been treated similarly or experienced retail discrimination?
See you next Monday with all new posts! ~xoDale
pic via NY Daily News