Retail Sales Blues

24 Jul

It’s that time of year again. The time that customers love and sales assistants hate; it’s sale time, or more precisely sales prep time. Every year twice a year we are presented with sheets of reductions and we then have to run the gauntlet of trying to get all the reduced items marked while the shop is open!

It gives rise to the situation where you are running around desperately trying to get all the permanent reductions labelled before the sale banners go up and the sale proper starts. The owner wants the sale on by a certain date and we have to make it happen.

Problem is you can’t offer customers good service if your constantly trying to run away to label things. Vice versa you can’t get stuff labelled if you are running around serving customers. So you end up not offering the service you normally would to customers and not getting as much labelled as you would if you were working in an empty shop. The result is stressed and tired staff. It doesn’t help when customers are heard moaning that ‘it’s disgusting that you are not on sale yet and other shops are’ Well there’s plenty of labels to go around you want a sale right now then you best get labelling!’ and asking ‘when does the sale start?’ Probably sometime shortly before my nervous breakdown.

Sale time is usually second only in stress to stock taking. We stay open for that too. Have you tried counting stock that’s constantly being taken in and out of the store room and sold as you’re counting it? That’s right you count It your colleague sells it and then you hand your sheet in with the wrong figures on, start again. Why is it at sale time and stock check time an obscure item always shows up on the list that everyone thought had been sold out of 2 years ago? How does it keep coming back? Is it like a shoe ghost come back to haunt me?

Today I was staring at a shelf confused because the shoes I’m meant to be reducing aren’t where I expected them to be. I’m holding a biro a bundle of reduced stickers and a stock list and wearing my uniform. Someone asked me ‘are you with the store?’ She was a little old lady and probably hadn’t noticed the stuff I was carrying so it amused me rather than annoyed me. I did think though I wonder if there are people who just go around sticking reduced labels on random stuff in other peoples shops? because people do ask us that question. I’ve actually been asked if I work there when I’ve been behind the counter or filling up shelves.

Yesterday my collegue had a customer come and stand behind the counter with him while he looked on the computer to see if we had his size in stock. When we moved away he lingered. I did wonder whether he would end up serving another customer.

It wouldn’t surprise me. When we’ve had electricians in, up ladders with their tools fixing a light fitting customers have yelled up the ladders to them to ask them for shoes. Seriously! They’ve asked sales reps too although they do have a habit of coming in and rearranging stands so I guess I can understand that one.

Well that’s all for this post do excuse my sale time ranting

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