Tag Archives: retail

Remember When Holidays Were Sacred?

In the quest to make a buck, retailers are open on Thanksgiving Day. It has been over four years since I wrote my previous column. I do not expect people to not shop on Thanksgiving, but what about family? It used to be 5-10pm when we were originally open, now it is 4pm-11pm. I think in the next six years the store will be open 24/7 until Friday at 11pm like how the Ontario Mills is open at 10pm on Thanksgiving and closed 10pm the next day. Sadly our competitor that is building a new store across the street will be closed on Thanksgiving, but at least they have good taste compared to other retailers these days.  I implore people to shop online on Thanksgiving and consider shopping on Friday or even Saturday depending on personal preference.  There has been numerous petitions to encourage businesses to reconsider their plans to be open that day, but frankly they will not listen unless people stop shopping.

When my father did retail in the 1970s, stores were closed on New Year’s Day, now they are open that day and people do not think twice that stores are open on New Year’s Day. It makes me hoping I can escape the retail industry and become a public school teacher soon. I have two more semesters left in my program and I am hoping to have a decent future. Perhaps with California’s tax and spend future the economy will crash so I will just learn to hold the line on consumption.

Crushed By The Wheels Of Efficiency

In retail making sure the customer gets a fast and friendly checkout is the main goal for customer satisfaction. If customers have to wait excess time it reduces the drive for the customer to make a repeat purchase which inhibits the profitability of a store.

The retail chain I work for decided to score the people on the cash register to make sure our efficiency is proficient. It has been hit or miss for me for the last six months, recently I have been hitting the target for the last three weeks with a 91, 102 and 112 percent scores. I am pleasantly surprised. However I do believe I am doing things right, but due to the store manager making it high stakes where the lowest scoring employee who fails to get 90 percent gets low hours we are getting the message.

I would like to see our score displayed like how Target does this for their employees so we can know when we are performing correctly and when we are not doing the job properly we would know when to step it up and do the best job we can for our customers.

I have one more day for my work week and I hope to get a fourth week of a passing score.

Too Many People on a Black Friday

After my shift on Friday I decided to visit another store to see if there was any deals left over and it became more of a bother than it was worth. I am generally a nice person, but when I am not paid to deal with the general public the niceness can dissipate rather easily. ‘

I was hoping to get a laptop since I returned to school to hopefully get my credential eventually so I could become a school teacher.

However with the parking lot crowded and people crowding the parking lot surrounding Best Buy, it was hard to make a decision on what to buy. I also had some tween girls going on Facebook, but if it is the most crowded time in the store web browsing should be quick and short so customers can investigate products so people can actually BUY stuff.

Also I noticed when I was looking at the screen while trying to get an opportunity to check to see if the pc was worth buying. The 11 or 12 year old girl was faking she was 21 to get on Facebook, I hope no expecting guys think she’s legal due to her status information on her profile page. I tried to tell the tween and her friends that I will report her to Facebook to kill her account if she doesn’t let me use the pc due to breaking Facebook regulations. But even if they vanished from that pc, and I bought that laptop waiting in line in that zoo was a bad idea. I saved a hundred dollars just buying elsewhere. (Parents, please monitor your child’s online activity and even if you do not give them online access. Check their names to see if they signed up without your permission.)

Best Buy was not a fun visit, I ended up picking up this at the Microsoft Store. I hope it turns out to be a good laptop. It may not have the good gaming graphics. However it can play most of the indie games on Steam and Final Fantasy 11.

Retail Life

I feel weird when I am on break or off duty and visit the other stores next to my store and customers from those stores ask for help. I was at CVS and had my mobile phone on and a bottle of chocolate milk to buy, and the lady asked me “Do You Work Here”, I told her in a sarcastic tone “Nope”, “But I will be happy to help you at the other store I work at”. I usually try to be respectful even when I am off duty, but it gets annoying when even when you are not wearing the colors of the store, it becomes more of a bother.

Borders Is Dead

Borders, the former leading bookseller before Amazon became popular in American society is finally pulling the plug. I previously wrote about the topic earlier about how the stores in Montclair and Chino went goodbye, but now the surviving stores such as the location at Rancho Cucamonga’s Victoria Gardens is going to shutter because the company’s bankruptcy reorganization plans failed.

If you are a bargain hunter they will likely do a store closing sale very soon at the Rancho Cucamonga branch.

Sadly Borders forgot to adapt to the times compared to Barnes and Noble.

Thank You to Dennis Saunders for the tip.

Life in a Nutshell

The problem in life is I have increasing debts due to my dental fees from each visit I have. The failed crown in March basically killed off my dreams of fiscal stability where over 800 dollars was blown. Because there was no contacts for the crown, the failed crown ended up infecting my mouth causing me horrible pain until I had to visit the dentist.

Then at work I find out that Memorial Day was painful due to an extremely busy store and my boss ended up watching me for almost a hour to see if I was serving the customers fast enough. I am trying to work on reducing non-work related conversation when it gets so busy. I wish I could split myself into two, but that is more science fiction to be honest.

If I get lectured on this issue again, I am going to politely tell my boss to consider other independent metrics such as the amount of items I processed per hour AND number of customers served which is available from the terminal software. Some customers had pricing issues or breakable items I had to wrap, but there is always room for improvement.

I am hoping for a stable amount of hours for each paycheck, a chance to improve my skills to meet the assistant manager’s standards and for me to complete the last four classes I need for Western Governor’s University so I could start on the teaching credential program in January of 2012.

Life at Work

Yesterday was absolutely weird. Our store was again busy and the store calmed down where I was able to take my break, but I followed the rules by telling my supervisor I was going to take my break and I went to the adjacent store to get me a can of Coca-Cola so I could stay awake for the rest of my shift and then when I came back my assistant manager went loopy by thinking I walked off the job, but in this economy even if I wanted to walk off the job I would not. The assistant manager had the nerve to call the house to ask my sister if I was in the house. I don’t have a car so I am not able to get home that quickly.

The company I work for has headsets, the assistant manager should of just used the headset to page the front end supervisor to ask if I am on break instead of causing all this needless drama.

très bizarre

Retail Life

While I am hoping to start the first of my five classes before I can transfer to Western Governors University for a teaching credential, I am still in my retail job right now. And here is my blog entry about debit card machines and how annoying it can be when you are the cashier.

My debit card machine at my store used to have a prompt if people want it debit or credit and life was easy, but since there was a major lawsuit with retailers and the card processing networks retailers are allowed to encourage customers to pay the cheaper way (debit) instead of credit.

Credit ends up costing retailers more money due to interchange fees, and the banks end up encouraging customers to give them profits by offering points and cash back rewards.

I do not care how customers pay as long as the transaction goes through. But even when I tell customers “press the green button” if you want credit, customers still press the red button when the prompt for their pin number pops up. They still press the red button where the transaction still takes longer because I have to tell them again that if you want your transaction to go through you will need to press the green button.

I know my store wants to keep it simple for the customer, while still encouraging debit card transactions when people are using VISA/MasterCard debit cards, but maybe we should post instructions on a sticker next to the pin pads.

99.9% of the time I am very upstanding when dealing with this situation, but maybe if we had instructions printed next to the pin pads or better devices maybe we could save customer frustration and make our transactions go faster where we do not have to waste another 10-20 seconds to load the card again.

Retail Gripes

At the store I work at we are asked to obtain the customer’s email addresses so they can attain our advertisements and coupons.
I know this is an annoying obligation that the store employees are asked to do when customers are already on the list or do not want another email to be added to their inbox.
However I had one customer who wanted to sign up, but just put their domain address but did not put the email account name. I just did not want the customer to chew me out when she did not get our advertisement or coupons next month. Take it from experience, I personally did not get my store circular in my Los Angeles Times, but I signed myself for our email offers so I am not totally out of luck.
I am hoping for the Office Specialist to directly enroll our customers instead of having to mail out the request forms so we would have happy customers.
We all do what is needed from our jobs, but I wish we could make the customers time fast and easy as well.
Also I know some of my web site visitors do visit the store I work at. Feel free to sign up for our email coupons/circular.

Adventures In Retail

Since nothing noteworthy is happening in my life right now, I am going to post an entry in my “Adventures In Retail”. Yes, I am working another Christmas season and I get my fair share of customers for good and bad.

I would like to discuss some of the interesting situations I have had this week.

Coupons and newbie anger.

At the place I work at we have the save on something not on sale coupon that is not a technology product, a book or magazine.  Problem was man decided to buy a gingerbread house and wanted to use his coupon. Unfortunately the store I work at is a place where many people stay away from us until the Christmas season.  So there are a good number of people who look at coupon first, and never bother to read the advert. Yes, gingerbread houses were on sale that week at 10 percent off. They were not 40 percent, but ten percent.

Then the man also asked me to override the item so he could get the coupon price. However it is against corporate policy for me to override items to full price so you can you your coupon, and my company’s loss prevention department can use their auditing software to find out when people do this without management permission. So unless you want to hire me at your company for a wage that is the same or better than the one I have now. I am not going to do that.

Pro Tip: Read your advertisement. If you are not lucky to get one in your local newspaper, my employer has the advert displayed at the front of the store and online for your convenience.

Checks and Gift Cards

Checks have gone in the way of the record store where people regularly bought recorded music. Unfortunately some people want to pay for their gift cards with checks, namely older people.

But if a check bounces you still get your gift card so that is one reason why most retail chains across the country do not accept checks as a payment for gift cards. I know the majority in the world are fine upstanding people, but the bad eggs in the world ruin it for the rest.

Continue reading Adventures In Retail