If there’s one thing about Balenciaga that I could tell you, it’s that after having carried one of their bags around, you will feel like carrying an ‘Ikea-esque’ sack has never been so fashionable - only this one would have probably cost you around two grand.
Aside from anything else that may be happening in their world of fashion which I’m not too in tune with, there is one recent incident that they have been embroiled in that we can all learn from.
On the 25 of April in Paris, people were lining up in front of a Balenciaga store waiting to get inside so that they could buy the latest items of the season. (Can you imagine guests waiting calmly in line in front of our hotels waiting to get checked in? Me neither). Now imagine this. You’re in a long queue and a couple of people try cut in and the staff do nothing. Your patience finally runs out, and then you finally say something to those who had cut in in front of you. Now comes the fight. Now, maybe this might sound like a typical Friday night at the pub in Australia. This however was Paris, and it went downhill from there. The one who called the queue jumpers out was subsequently held by store security. Her son came to her defence and he was beaten to the ground by those who hat cut the queue.
The story didn’t end there. A store employee then announced that the store would be closed to those of her nationality. Fellow countrymen had captured all of these goings on on camera and posted it for all to see on Weibo.
Balenciaga initially released a statement of apology, but it didn’t seem to be enough. Days later after this news had already gone viral, Balenciaga shifted gears with their approach and wrote a ‘better’ statement of apology, this time specifically apologising to customers of that nationality.
We often seen similar situations in hotels where staff have to handle large, demanding groups of tourists. Sometimes the frustration boils over and it might show on yours and your staff’s faces, but remember, it only takes one person to have their camera out catching a moment of bad behaviour with guests, and then a single post on a platform like Weibo could destroy your hotel along with the whole brand globally.
Don’t make the same mistake that Balenciaga did. Now, the company may lose its biggest market - a demographic that actually made up for 27% of their sales in the past quarter alone.