The Real Side of Working in a Retail Store

I’ve regularly discussed in posts before that I work in the financial services industry but before that I worked for a high street clothing store that many of you will know and love. Now I won’t disclose the name because I don’t really see the need at this point but I wanted to talk to you about some of the pros and cons of working in a clothing store first hand.

Pro Numero Uno:

The discount! Now most stores offer some sort of discount for their employees but mine was brilliant. For 18months of my working life I spent a huge part of my wages back on clothing. It was essential to wear the clothing that the store had on offer at the time in some way so you found yourself buying lots of things just because. You might see this as a con in some ways but I’m a good saver anyway so any other money I didn’t spend, went into savings.

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Pro Number 2:

The people. I was pretty lucky that my time in retail was very positive in regards to the people I worked with. I met some lovely people who genuinely made my time working there a lot more fun. It can be a fantastic environment a lot of the time and there’s always plenty of people to help you pick an outfit for a special occasion at least.

Con A:

Thefts or attempted thefts. I worked at Monks Cross retail park so there were security guards anyway who regularly popped by and we had a radio that allowed us to communicate to not only them but the other stores. Whenever someone was on front of house duty, they were in charge of keeping a watchful eye out on customers and manning the radio. I can’t tell you how many times people attempted to steal things and it never was one of two items, they tried to steal loads of things every time. How smart do these people think they are. Even when we introduced tamper proof labels to the store, people were still attempting to grab and dash. The labels always did the trick and there was no thefts with them on. I recently read an article that said 49% of people buying items, hate the tamper proof labels via Data Label. I myself don’t mind them at all and from an employees perspective, they helped to reduce losses to your store which affects the performance.

Con Deux

The customers. Not every single time I might add, but very occasionally you will get a demanding customer who really wants you to magic something up from thin air, or go into the back and whip up one yourself on a sewing machine. It’s very tempting to get mad at them and give them all sorts of hell but unsurprisingly you cannot. The customer is always right in retail and that’s the way it is. It would be nice to let your sass out but you just have to learn to deal with things and know it’s not something you’ve done, just something else that’s potentially wronged them that day.

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Now I’m hoping I haven’t put any of you off a career in a retail store because by any means, I loved my time there and the pros certainly outweighed the cons. Sadly it wasn’t the career path for me but whilst at college, I had an absolute ball.

Let me know if you’ve had any similar experiences.

Laura

*This has been a collaborative post but all thoughts and writing are my own as usual*

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