My father's birthday was the 27th of March. As a present, my mother was going to buy him a surround sound stereo system, a really big one. She was prepared to drop several thousand dollars on this thing, potentially a big fat commission for whichever salesperson got to her first.
She went into a nearby Tweeter. For fifteen to twenty minutes they (she had my youngest sister with her) browsed the store, passing buy numerous salespeople standing around chatting. Not one person went up to them, or even acknowledged their presence. Deciding that if she didn't even warrant a 'hello' from the sales staff, she wasn't going to give the store any money, they left.
My father is a doctor and my mother ran his dialysis center (they recently sold it) - they have money. While my mother doesn't dress shabbily, she has been losing a lot of weight lately and knows it's not worth it to spend a ton of money on pricey clothes when she's going to shrink out of them. Ditto for jewellry, which is annoying to have resized constantly. My first guess was that the salespeople didn't think she had much money to throw around, and wasn't worth the effort. Then she mentioned something else - all the sales staff were African-American. My mother is blond, blue-eyed, my sister has light brown hair and blue-gray eyes. She couldn't help but wonder if she might have gotten some attention had I, my other siblings, or my father gone in (my father is Peruvian, and with the exception of my youngest sister we all look quite Hispanic).
Does Tweeter not offer its salespeople commission, and therefore not give them enough incentive to bother selling? Anyone who's been to most electronic store chains knows that in general, the salespeople are ruthless. A friend of mine is actually scared to go to Best Buy because the sales staff are so agressive in trying to encourage purchases. While that's certainly not behavior that customers appreciate, neither is the polar opposite.
I can understand one person slacking off - not a good day, not feeling well, etc. But every associate in the store?