- I love you because: of your business model. It's a good one, and more organisations should consider following it and having actual principles to act upon, rather than corporate social responsibility waffle.
- I hate you because: your model doesn't go quite far enough in today's society. Where is your commitment to fairtrade, to British-made, to organic in the products and concessions you stock/support?
- I love you because: you have an excellent, child-friendly cafe.
- I hate you because: you only have a single toilet in the parent room, and toddlers don't like waiting.
- I love you because: you have an actual haberdashery, one of only two (that I'm aware of) in Reading town centre and by far the better stocked.
- I hate you because: you've now moved it to a difficult-to-access mezzanine area, meaning I can't just pop in to browse if I've got the pushchair with me.
- I love you because: you're never knowingly undersold - and that's a good promise.
- I hate you because: of the experience I had today. Sewing machines aren't really very big, or heavy, in the grand scheme of things, so why can I not just go into your store and pick one up to take away with me (after paying for it, obviously)? The only options I was offered by the surly sales assistant (after the clueless till boy had gone off to get some assistance) was to pick it up 'from Mill Lane' or have it 'delivered'.
'Where is Mill Lane?', I asked.
(Vague pointing) 'Oh, over that way, by the IDR - easy to get to by car.'
'I don't have a car', quoth I.
'Oh. Well you can have it delivered for free.'
'When would it be delivered?'
'Oh, within the next 10 days - we can't guarantee when.'
'But I'm at work on week days so would need to know when it was arriving.'
'Well, you could pay £50 for Parcelforce Delivery.'
Oh, and Marks & Spencer - what's the point of having a Plan A to support, amongst other things, the environment and then having your heating turned up so high at the beginning of December that your staff are all wearing t-shirts?!!