Culture shock

miniature london bus swedish love affairAnother thing that surprises me in London (and I know some of the readers won’t take any criticisms against London) is department stores and their refusal to wrap purchases in gift paper! In Sweden if you buy something in a department store, a regular clothing shop or a gift store, the seller will most likely ask you if it’s a gift and if you want it wrapped as one. If they don’t ask you, you can tell them and they will take away the price tag off of your buy, put it in a nice gift bag or paper and tie it up with ribbons. Obviously, for free, no matter what the price of the gift is.

When I’ve been buying my presents in here in London, they just refused to wrap them! And I’m talking about nice stores like Selfridges, John Lewis, Liberty and Fortnum and Mason. Some of the things I bought were on sale and most were full price, but it didn’t matter. What a difference in customer service between the countries!

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13 Responses to Culture shock

  1. Leia says:

    Oh my goodness, I can’t believe they wouldn’t gift wrap things for you! :( I’ve never actually asked for anything to be gift-wrapped so I never realised that they wouldn’t do it. That’s terrible!

    • Antonia says:

      I bet you love wrapping gifts yourself, right? If you’ve never asked for that service, I mean=)

      • Leia says:

        Haha, that must be the reason! But actually, I am lazy and I normally buy a pretty ‘gift bag’ and just put the gift in there. It’s much easier than battling with wrapping paper and cellotape!

  2. Patricia says:

    That’s interesting. I didn’t know that either.

    • Antonia says:

      Do they wrap gifts in shops in California?

      • Patricia says:

        It depends on: a.) the shop, &, b.) the time of year. I think some of the more upscale shops might giftwrap during the holidays, but for the most part, no, I don’t think that they do. That would be a nice bonus though, if they did! :)

  3. Styleabaad says:

    That was a culture shock for me too as I moved to the U.S. Here it’s the same as in London, you can expect nothing unless you pay for that service!

  4. Cee says:

    The service offered in Sweden sounds wonderful! Here in Canada it’s about 50/50… some places will wrap gifts for you, while others would look at you as though you were a crazy person for asking for anything you haven’t paid for :P

  5. Milla says:

    You know Antonia, I never really thought about it. I spend almost as much time choosing the wrapping paper and ribbon as I do choosing the present. I love wrapping presents.

    I know for a fact that Selfridges and Harrods have a wrapping service at Christmas time and around Valentine’s Day. If on the beauty floor, the individual brands i.e. Clinique will wrap your purchases (if requested) for no extra fee. For other items, there is usually a central place to get stuff wrapped (for no extra fee) upon showing proof of purchase.

    I suppose it depends what you’re used to but the Swedish way seems very convenient and like to give every shopper a positive experience.

  6. nancy says:

    in belgium a shop always wraps a purchase, and it is so artfully and thoughtfully done that it becomes a part of the pleasure of gift giving. they tie bows, put their store sticker somewhere purposefully on the gift as a final touch, that it is a real spoil and delight for the eye. it happens with flowers, chocolates, clothes, stationary, all items, all shops, big and small.

  7. Sorella says:

    Hmm, så konstigt, man skulle ha trott att det gör det. Jag har faktiskt aldirg frågat i Finland eller i Irland om de kan slå in ett paket, men jag tror definitivt att det fungerar så i Finland också.

    Gad de dig några konstiga kommentarer eller så när du frågade, eller tittade de bara konstigt på dig? Var det pinsamt? :P

  8. Sam says:

    Where did you get that passport cover???? Sooo cute

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