My wife and I love Spec's. We almost exclusively shop for wine at their locations in both Houston and Austin and have attended Bear Dalton's (the Spec's wine buyer) classes at Rice University three times. Due to the proximity to our home, I occasionally walk to the Spec's downtown location when buying small amounts. We love the selection, prices, and Bear's expertise in wine.
Last Saturday evening on February 13th, we were having guests from out of town and the weather was good, so I decided to walk to the Spec's downtown location. I had brought my backpack as I was planning on buying more than a couple of bottles. When I walked into the store at 5:30pm, the woman at the front guest kindly asked that I check my bag. I did and received a #6 clip and another gentleman gave me a shopping basket. After I had done my shopping, I went to the cashier nearest the exit.
While the woman was ringing me up, I told her I needed to fetch my bag to put my bottles in. She said it was fine and I left to get my bag and returned. I paid for everything, neatly put everything in my bag, and headed for the exit. As I was just about to leave, a large man behind me yelled, "I need to search your bag, did you check it?" I replied, "Yes I did, with the woman up front." I left Spec's and I was walking down the sidewalk, a smaller man with a goatee, a ponytail, and a Spec's polo shoved his elbow into my chest yelling, "You can't leave!" At this point, an HPD officer outside intervened, asking the two Spec's employees what was going on. I reached into my bag to show the officer my receipt and the two Spec's employees immediately fled inside the store. I asked for their names and why they had accosted me, but they had left very quickly after the officer arrived. I asked the policeman why this had happened. He stated he understood my frustration and said, "the policy is screwed up, this happens all the time."
I'm a reasonable and pretty easy going guy, and I understand that shoplifting is a concern, but I felt the actions of the two Spec's employees to be outrageous and reprehensible. I was treated by the two employees as a thief without cause and assaulted on a Houston sidewalk. The experience has left me shaken.
Pros: Wine selection