Mary Kent Children’s Boutique
606 N White Horse Pike
Stratford, NJ 08084
This is not my first visit to Mary Kent’s. If it were, I do not know that I would be back.
Let me start by saying in previous visits, I’ve been met with nothing but helpful sales staff – ladies who have gone out of their way to make sure my shopping experience was positive. The shop has been there for decades, and they boast a gorgeous collection of specialty clothing for children, including gorgeous Christening outfits; stunning special occasion dresses; and amazing First Holy Communion dresses. We bought my oldest daughter’s first Christmas dress here, and her First Holy Communion dress was purchased at Mary Kent. Even the baby has a few lovely things I picked up there, and the two little ones got matching Christmas dresses there two years ago.
My experience on this visit, with Eilis, was less than perfect. I phoned a few days before to ask about their selection of plus sized dresses – specifically dresses in Eilis’ size – and was told they had a very good selection. I was optimistic that we would leave with a dress after our Saturday visit.
Well, when we got there, to begin with, there was no help at all. No one directed us where to look for plus sized dresses, and no one acknowledged that we had come in. There were two women waiting on the mother of one of the girls in Eilis’ class, who was there with her cousin. Another woman was on the phone. After about 10 minutes, one of the women who was helping the one mother and child that Eilis knew from school asked if I needed help. I asked her for the plus sized dresses, and she asked me what size I needed. She pulled three dresses out for me, and hung them on the far wall, away from a fitting room. Only two of them were the size I told her I thought we needed. She did not tell me they were for me, so I just assumed. As the other mom was leaving, she walked over to one of the dresses that this woman pulled for Eilis, and commented on how beautiful it was. The woman walked over to her and said in a loud whisper “If you are interested in this dress, tell me now, because if this other lady likes it, I can’t sell it to two kids in the same class.”
Despite seeing the two saleswomen helping the other woman and her daughter, Eilis and I were on our own to try dresses on. After about 30 minutes, the woman who had been on the phone came over and offered the most amount of assistance we had received so far – pulling a few dresses, and informing me that I could order dresses in Eilis’ size if I saw something we liked.
The whole thing put a sour taste in my mouth. And that’s a shame, because Mary Kent is a wonderful shop. I cannot say that they were very busy. After the one little girl and her mom left, it was just Eilis. Then another little girl came and received the same time and attention that the first kid had been getting.
I will probably look somewhere else first next time I need a special occasion dress. And that’s a shame.