We walked around for about ten minutes and ultimately decided that we could find better prices elsewhere (we live in a college town and there are plenty to choose from). So we left and the manager was standing next to the door. He asked if we needed help finding anything and we all said some version of "no thanks" as we walked out.
As we were walking to our car, we noticed the manager was following us out. We thought perhaps he was going to go talk to the homeless man that was begging money off of incoming customers. He was following us. He took out his phone and looked like he was writing down our license plate number. As we drove away he looked directly at our car and pointed at us with what could only be described as a menacing stare.
We decided to turn around and go back. We wanted to approach him about this (I'm sure he never thought we would turn around and come back). If he thought we were shoplifting, we wanted to set the record straight. I should mention that we have all bought something from this store on some occasion and enjoy shopping here usually.
We didn't all go in because my husband decided he may feel like we were ganging up on him. My husband and a friend went in to approach him. They said he was very defensive and immediately took a threatening tone with them. He said that if we weren't planning on buying anything then we shouldn't have been in the store. My husband told him that the store was just too expensive for us and we were looking for better prices. The manager told him that in that case when he asked us if he could help us find anything we should have said "better prices." Yeah...cause that's not rude or anything. When my husband asked why he was shaking his hand at us, he said he was just telling us that we should never come back.
He then told them that we should never come back if we were just going to look around. Did you know that you are now not allowed to be in a retail store if you are not going to buy anything? Apparently shopping around or browsing is no longer allowed.
So they came back out and we left. My husband immediately went home and posted a review on one of the sites that comes up when you google the store. He also filed a complaint with the better business bureau.
Now for the sort of good ending...
About an hour after my husband made the review online, he got a call from the head store manager. The manager was upset about the treatment we received. He said he has had to talk to this manager on duty before about his behavior. My husband said he kept apologizing and told him that he will start carrying his favorite chianti. The store manager said they have had a lot of trouble with shoplifting, but that this does not justify the way we were treated.
So in the end, at least the person in charge of the store tried to make things right, although we are still not sure if we will be going back there. Also, wouldn't you think in this economy, it is a bad idea to tell people who have previously purchased things from your store to never come back?
edit to clarify that none of us had been drinking, we had finished off what was in the house the night before