One of the differences between a boutique and a big mall? Employees' attention to detail. Most people are just here to punch the clock and go home. Beyond the tiny commission they might get for making a sale, they don't care what you buy. The actually helpful mall employee is like a unicorn, and chances are that person will go on to better things like working for an independent retailer. Remember when you had a mall job? You were just there for the paycheck and absolutely hated doing actual work. Nothing's changed that, not even a recession.