I have been in the retail industry for the last five years. As an employee I know how life is when you have to maintain your store from opening to closing each day. I deeply get annoyed when people mess up my store. No matter what store I shop in, I try to put back unwanted merchandise or take it to the register so they could put it away. I believe that we should have the decency to be respectful no matter if you are the customer or the employee of a retail store operation. If you have unwanted merchandise do not dump it around the corner near my register just give it to me.
I understand you may have two rowdy young children who like to move around my store and like to dump random junk in your shopping cart. The customer who got offended at my statement of her littering the store may be right that I was using the wrong vocabulary at her. However I should of phrased my request a bit better. I should of stated to the customer “Could you please place your unwanted goods to me so I could place them neatly”.
A clean store is a happy store. Despite the lack of employees at key times throughout the day. My store does quite better than some of the bigger branches of my company because we are clean. Customer service is a team effort between the employees and the customers of our businesses.