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Critical Shopping

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Times writer Mike Albo has been doing a lot of shopping in Williamsburg lately. Two weeks ago, he dropped into neighborhood boutique Yoko Devereaux, and this week, he's penned a review of the Paul Smith outlet on Grand Street. On his first pass through the store he finds the clothing, then 30% off, in complete disarray and the staff moody, tired and unhelpful. He returns, finds the store neater, the staff more helpful, and the clothing marked 70% off. "This store was making me very happy. My moody friend even walked up and asked if I needed help. Of course, it was with the same dead face, but I didn’t mind. If that is the price to pay for affordable clothing, sign me up." Bad service does get more palatable as the discounts rise. [NYT]