Retailer Uniqlo proves power of social media

For my birthday recently, I was lucky enough to receive from my daughter a superb, fur-lined 'hoodie' that she purchased from Uniqlo in the Melbourne Emporium.

Sadly, it was a little small for me. I have multiple woollens from Uniqlo and my size in all of them is 'large' but for the hoodie I need 'XL'. So next day after receiving the present I headed off to Uniqlo to do a simple exchange. The garment was still immaculate, as you would expect, and the tags remained intact and were perfect. I had no receipt, of course, but felt confident that would not be a problem.

I have always found the people at Uniqlo good value but not this time. Despite my begging, the attendant said "no", his manager said "no" and the store manager (after keeping me waiting 15 minutes before she would condescend to speak with me) also said a big "no". "We must see the receipt" they all chorused.

Obviously, the next step for me was my daughter. "Do you mind taking a photo of the receipt and sending it to me?" I asked. There was no problem getting the receipt, but my daughter was shocked. "I have spent thousands of dollars at that store - this is an outrage," the return text bellowed.

Rather than call the store (or anyone else, for that matter) the Gen Y girl reached out for her other self - Facebook. I have no idea what she said or did, but I know it would have been to the point.

Well, we now know that Uniqlo is big on Facebook. In no time at all, surprise, surprise the Uniqlo answer came back, "We are happy to exchange the hoodie for your dad".

The next day I went in there. As soon as I announced myself, a young boy came running with the 'extra large'. He and his manager had it wrapped in a second and I was out of there without delay. But not before they both wished me a Happy Birthday! And by the way, there was no request to see the receipt!

Draw your own conclusion, folks. I can't say for sure what the lesson is. Could it be that Facebook is killing-off the role of the store Manager?