Today's post is not about marketing or business per se, but about behavior I have experienced with regard to retail shopping. If I had my way, every person in the US would be forced to work in retail customer service for 6 months. We would treat these people better.
Personally I have worked several retail sales jobs, starting when I was in high school.
Today I went with my wife while she picked out a new pair of shoes. We got to the store about 10 minutes before closing. At that time the store made an announcement that the store would be closing and to bring final purchases to the front. We did.
When we got to the front a man barged in the door. The clerk told him that they were closing. He ignored her, barged in and started shopping.
We were in line for a few minutes and got rung up while shoppers ignored repeated announcements that the store was closing and continued to shop. The frustration on the faces of the store employees was palpable.
Shoppers who do this are being selfish, knowingly or unknowingly. Many seem to think they have the right to stay in a store (or restaurant) as long as they want if they get there before closing. When I worked in retail people would try to stay 1/2 hour or more past closing. One man actually tried to justify staying longer because he got in just before we could lock the doors.
If you do this, you need a slap.
Why is the behavior so unacceptable?
- Retail workers are, for the most part, underpaid. The extra couple of dollars they might earn staying an extra half an hour past the their scheduled time is not reward enough to put up with you.
- The workers have been on their feet all day waiting on people. They are tired and looking forward to the end of their shift no matter how pleasant they are towards you.
- Retail employees' work rarely ends at store closing. After you saunter out they probably have to clean the store, cash out, run reports, and set up for the next day. Many of these things can't be done until every customer leaves and the doors are locked.
- There is no retail law, rule, or social norm that says you get to stay in a store as long as you want. Stores close for a reason.
So, the next time you're shopping close to closing, have a heart and let the folks that serve you go home. Don't just try to run around and squeeze out an extra few minutes of shopping.
J D Moore - Marketing Comet