A very different Christmas in retail

I’m mostly recovered from November, but the Christmas season keeps moving forward, full steam ahead.

I increased my time at the part-time job to full-time hours for the season, but BOY HOWDY it’s kicking my ass. I came home from work tonight, after the 20 minute walk in the cold, uphill (cue mournful music and tiny index finger & thumb violins) and promptly took my place for a nap in the recliner. The very recliner I bought from the financial spoils of last year in retail with full-time hours.

This year, I bought myself a new camera (bigger, better, faster, more, as they say) and although I’m taking photos with it when I can, I’m knackered from working the more demanding job. Why more demanding than any other full-time job? Because people are being very, very careful with their money and I’m seeing a high level of refunds/returns even before the gifts have been given!
And the customer service aspect? Increased, definitely. People ask more questions now and want more bargains. They are cautious and want more hand-holding during the decision and purchase process. This makes every customer more work in general. I’m grateful to have a job, don’t get me wrong, but I miss the spend-now-worry-later of last year. There was more energy from both customer and retail worker alike.

The numbers will point to last year being much busier than this year, but I would have to say that this year is more draining and the cause is financial.

Stupid economy.

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4 thoughts on “A very different Christmas in retail”

  1. I’m in retail as well. But what amazes me is the shoppers where I’m at are still not blinking an eye at dropping £600-700 in one go. I go to ASDA and debate to myself if I really *need* yet another black jumper for £8. The people shopping in the store I manage debate wether to buy the blue or the green cashmere jumper for £273 each… and then say “I’ll take both”.

    It boggles. I never experienced a class divide like this living in California.

  2. Wow! That’s crazy! I did have a customer spend £700 with me a day or so ago, but normally people are in the £20 range where I work. He was certainly not one of my average sales.

    I know what you mean though- I spent £8 on a pair of fantastic knit tights at M&S and felt like I was spending like a superstar! (Then I snagged them right away! F’in figures!)

  3. Hmmmm, you worry me Jen. Not looking forward to the Christmas craziness! On the plus side, I can assist you with a lift anytime Im around and ergo stop your coldness and violinity x

  4. I can’t wait to see you around the shop! And thank you for your offer- I just might take you up on it! It’s not too crazy… just very service-orientated. People are being very cautious with their money. Can’t blame them though.
    See you soon! x

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