Is making an appointment for a shopping session the new way to go?

By Lola Bessa, Gaby van Genderen & Jurgen Vlaar

At the Bijenkorf, a high-end warehouse located in Maastricht, people still need to make an appointment before shopping in order to receive a more exclusive and personal experience. Even though the rule doesn’t apply anymore, some stores still obey the idea of a shopping appointment. Sophie de Groot (33), who just finished shopping at the Bijenkorf tells us: “I really like shopping by making an appointment, I now have more than enough time to get the things I need, and the store is less crowded.”

What stands out is that stores without an appointment-rule have longer queues than stores where you are obliged to make a reservation. Francine van Velden (24), who is queuing for the Pull&Bear, likes the idea of making an appointment: “I am now standing outside in front of each store for at least 15 minutes. In my opinion, making an appointment would save me some time.” But Francine isn’t sure whether she likes the idea for each store: “Not needing to plan out my whole day makes shopping much more fun. With making an appointment I feel pressured to arrive on time and that also forces me to visit a certain store. You can’t simply change your mind and skip a reservation.”

Reintegrating the option to make an appointment voluntarily might be a solution for overcrowded and popular stores like the Bijenkorf. It does save time and ensures a more peaceful shopping sensation, but it also makes shopping a less flexible experience.