Fashion gets Friendly: Holt Renfrew Hires Wal-Mart-esque Greeters

by Sabrina Maddeaux on Sep 7th, 2010 in News

Holt Renfrew, luxury Canadian retailer, is trying to revamp its image. Last week the Financial Post reported new Holts president, Mark Derbyshire, is mortified at the brand’s reputation for icy, intimidating salesclerks.

Derbyshire announced Holts will take a page from Wal-Mart by hiring greeters (eloquently named Holt’s Hosts) to man store entrances and engage potential customers as they enter. The move is billed as a big step toward Holts becoming a more service-orientated shopping destination; or in the words of Derbyshire, “a fun store.”

The Post also reported Holts hired more staff at nine department stores across the country, upping service levels by 25% in some areas. They even fleshed out their in-store restaurant menu, adding dishes in response to customer requests. For the first time, the menu will be prominently displayed at the restaurant’s entrance, making things a little easier for shy customers who might cringe at asking to see a menu before entering.

I tip my hat to Holts for this smart business move and start toward making high fashion more accessible to everyone. Here at Fashion Hungry, we subscribe to the notion that fashion shouldn’t be pretentious, elitist, or snooty. From the start our goal was to make staying in style an interactive, community experience. That’s what today’s fashionistas and trendsetters want. It’s nice to see the bigwigs like Holts picking up on the trend!

See the full article by Hollie Shaw from the Financial Post at

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