Jennifer Garner sucks at retail, but she sure seems nice

Illustration for article titled Jennifer Garner sucks at retail, but she sure seems nice
Photo: Steve Granitz / Contributor (Getty Images)

Yesterday, Jennifer Garner spent some time in Cincinnati Kroger, giving out samples of baby food from Once Upon A Farm, a company she co-founded. In a series of Instagram stories, she proved two things:

1. An actual baby seemed to like that food. Look.

Illustration for article titled Jennifer Garner sucks at retail, but she sure seems nice
Screenshot: Jennifer Garner (Instagram)
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2. Jennifer Garner is bad at retail. Look.

“Excuse me? Hello.”
“Excuse me? Hello.”
Screenshot: Jennifer Garner (Instagram)
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For those interested in buying baby food for either their children or themselves, Once Upon A Farm baby foods are cold-pressed, organic, and sold in those little pouches. That kid seems to like them; so do the adults who try them (one of whom, it must be noted, is a Kroger employee). But Ms. Garner, as a person who has stood behind many a counter, I must tell you that your technique leaves something to be desired.

She helpfully captioned these stories, so I can provide visual aids. First, as pictured above, don’t start with “Excuse me? Hello.” That’s weird.

Next:

“Can I talk you into trying a new baby food?”
“Can I talk you into trying a new baby food?”
Screenshot: Jennifer Garner (Instagram)
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“Can I talk you into trying a new baby food?” is a most unappealing request. Why are you talking me into it, Jennifer Garner? More importantly, why aren’t you leading with, “Hi, I’m Jennifer Garner”? That seems like a missed opportunity.

When asking people to try something, you’ve got a few options, but none of them should include talking people into anything. Perhaps “Would you like to try some organic baby food?” or “Would you like to try a sample of our new cold-pressed baby food?” You could even leave the baby food part out of it, and go for something like, “We’re giving out free Once Upon A Farm today, would you like one?”

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Might I suggest something like, “Hi, I’m Jennifer Garner. You liked Alias, right? The first couple seasons at least? Yeah, everyone did, they were fuckin’ great. I started an organic food company, and we make baby food that comes in pouches. I know you’re an adult, but I am very famous, would you like to try some?”

When they say no, just say thanks. Don’t say this.

“I understand. No problem.”
“I understand. No problem.”
Screenshot: Jennifer Garner (Instagram)
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Especially not if you’re making this face.

Illustration for article titled Jennifer Garner sucks at retail, but she sure seems nice
Screenshot: Jennifer Garner (Instagram)
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Doing any of the above will get you responses like this:

“I’m sorry. I’m really busy.”
“I’m sorry. I’m really busy.”
Screenshot: Jennifer Garner (Instagram)
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Or like this:

No!
No!
Screenshot: Jennifer Garner (Instagram)
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Ms. Garner, 13 Going On 30 is a treasure and you seem like a very nice person. You are also Takeout staffer Kate Bernot’s favorite celebrity hen mom, mostly because you named one of your hens Hennifer. You suck at retail. Get the friendly Kroger person who tried your baby food to give you some tips next time?

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!

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DISCUSSION

TFW you think your company is getting some nice press then you head over to the Takeout.