Must just be employees at the store front, maybe that's the norm
Just to follow up, Gatewest at one time had a ticket numbering system, it felt like being in a catalog merchant's store like "Consumers Distributing", waiting in line to have your order fulfilled. If you are old enough to remember that business model. It's not a bad idea, as customers are served in the correct order. Again most of the busines seems to be in bullion and NCLT. Yes, the high quality numismatic items are in the vault, you have to request the item by country, denomination, year, and grade, and they will fetch it for you from the back (security reasons from the store). For hobby collectors this may not be acceptable to them as a method to do business and form a numismatic friendship or customer relationship.
If you have taken any sales or marketing courses, first impressions are very important. Yes, the one or two ladies in front need to be more personable and smile more. At least look more welcoming at a minimum. A little more numismatic education for up front staff would be helpful also. Ian spends most of the time in the back of the business. The last Canadian Decimal coin I purchased a few years ago, Chris came out from the back, sold it to me, and we had a 2 minute chat before he rang it up. I was happy with the purchase and he was happy with the sale. Before that happened, I was last in line to 3 customers, 2 were sitting in front placing their order, and I was standing behind the gentlemen ahead of me. I saw bullion and NCLT transactions being perform. If you ever want to stop there and have a look at what is in the display cases, I would recommend that. Just be patient when your in line to place your order. My brother told me there is a massive amount of road work in front of the store, so wait till the season of construction ends. I have never purchased anything from them online, so no experience there.
Personally for me, I have no issues buying Canadian decimals items from Gatewest, though I would not sell to them. I would buy from Al and sell my spares back to him and have done so twice in my collecting hobby. Now if you ask me why? Answer is, Gatewest business expenses looks a lot higher than what Al's are. So I believe Al would be able to make a higher offer on my spare coins than Gatewest. Expenses like the number of employees, carrying cost, store property managing expenses, etc.
I have been dealing with Gatewest back to the 1980s and would rate them very highly
Yes, I was also in the old store before the expansion. The small looking shack like structure on the far left side of the building on the corner. I remember, it was a bit dark in there, it was cramped, and I could smell a little mildew in the air. I am actually happy that they expanded to the neighboring building. It was one of the first coin stores I visited when I started collecting.