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Anyone work in retail?

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Old 10-20-2008, 11:46 AM   #1
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Default Anyone work in retail?

Or ever have? Can you tell me a little bit about the pro's and con's? I am looking into getting a 2nd job ( which is really needed, money wise ) so I can purchase a home in the coming years. I'm looking at maybe something like a Target or Kohls. ( which are both nearby )

I'm looking to get something for somewhere in the 15 hrs a week neighborhood. Will they consider me for such a low number of hrs a week? If you don't mind answering, what were you paid. Min wage? I little better than min wage?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help me out.
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Old 10-20-2008, 11:50 AM   #2
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I haven't worked retail in a while, but I own a business where I often hire seasonal people.

Most places have plenty of openings for part time cashiers and retail people - it's a benefit to them to hire part timers because they don't have to provide full benefits like they might for full-time folks. But if you're going to work part time, you will most likely have to commit to weekend hours ... and that means at least one full weekend day and more likely, both Saturday and Sunday.

One thing to consider is that right now companies are hiring for the holidays and you might not be able to get a commitment for a longer term job. Some places will keep on a percentage of the people they hire, but January is a big lay-off period for part time retail - since it's the slowest time of year for retailing.

Here in the Atlanta area retail usually pays anywhere from $7-$12 an hour, just depending on the store, the hours, and your experience. I wouldn't expect to start very high. You can also find places that will pay you based on commission, but I wouldn't recommend going that route.

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Old 10-20-2008, 11:55 AM   #3
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Retail is great for extra money because there's always openings. You can def get away with 15 hours a week and the schedules are flexible. Now is a great time because people are looking to line up their Christmas help. I have worked retail and am thisclose to doing it again because the job market is AWFUL. However, it is really a last resort because the hours would suck for me (nights and weekends) and the pay is quite low for the people you have to put up with. However, if I had a day job and needed extra $$, I might be singing a different tune about it.

I actually left retail years ago and went to work at an atheltic facility as a member services rep. I saw a lot of the same customers (families participating in the programs) and got a free gym membership. The schedule was just as flexible and I had that job through college.
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:04 PM   #4
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I worked retail years ago and I would probably do it again if I needed a second job because YUP, they ARE always hiring and part time hours are preferred.

Pros:
If it's a clothing store, you usually get some sweet employee discounts. Heck, most stores will offer discounts, but the clothing ones are my personal favorites! AND you will always be knowledgable of the current trends 'cause you'll see 'em first.
SOME retail stores will offer commission on top of salary. Commission is wonderful.
You'll always get to talk to people.
You'll always be on your feet/occupied which is good because it keeps you away from food and boredom eating (heh heh, how professional does it look to be crunchin' on a bag of Munchies while touching other people's merchandise? )

Cons:
Some of the people you talk to will be VERY annoying and yell at you for things that are not your fault. Some customers will expect you to fix everything for them and when you are unable to do so, they may yell again.
Being on your feet all the time, while preventing you from eating, still gets a bit tiring.
It's boring, but really, these days, when is WORK FUN?!
The pay pretty much sucks, but if you're just looking for extra, why not?

In regards to salary, up in Virginia (5-6 years ago), I made $8.50/hr starting out and then $11.50 as an assistant manager.

Down here in Florida, most retail jobs pay $7-$9/hr if you're a regular employee and $10-$12/hr if you are any sort of shift or assistant manager.
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:54 PM   #5
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I've worked retail--but many, many years ago.

The sporting goods store was horrible. I was cashier and I had to memorize all the weekly specials (this was in the day before scanners). I had to know what was on sale because it was too much work to mark things down for a week and then mark them back up when the sale was over. And I had to refold all the clothes that the customers picked up and threw back on the display. With retail, weekends are the busiest, so be prepared to work every weekend whether you like it or not.

I worked in an optical shop. This was a better job as I was able to sit from time to time, but you get some really loony people in there sometimes. My Dad was an optometrist and I was one of the opticians who fit the glasses. Not a bad job as I got commissions from time to time.

My favorite was working in a record store. It was an independent store (not a chain) so we carried a vast array of records (yes, this was before CDs--in fact I was working there when the very first CDs hit the market). Again weekends were mandatory but it was fun being able to listen to great music all day! The only bad thing here was the night we were robbed at gunpoint. Thank goodness I had that night off! And discounts were great!

A couple of years ago I was talking to a woman about my same age who was just starting work at Barnes & Noble. She had recently quit her job as a court reporter because the job was too stressful. Like the record store, a book store would be a perfect fit for me because I read so much!
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:00 PM   #6
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Pros--
the extra money (provided you don't spend it all on the good deals you are getting with your employee discount)

the employee discount

the customers/co workers

Cons
having to work Black Friday and through the holiday season

you are more than likely to NOT get a "set" schedule

the schedule is not posted very far in advance so it is hard to make plans

some places have a "call in" policy which you can be scheduled to work if needed but won't know until the last minute

the customers/co workers

*****
I have to sat that it is a good time of the year to get your foot in the door and some places will keep some of the best workers, but there are no guarantees
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:24 PM   #7
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If you're looking for money I'd try for cocktail waitress/bartender waitress because you will get the same (or similar) base pay as retail as well as tips.
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:29 PM   #8
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I am a college student and I spent 2 summers working at Kohls.

The thing I hated most was having to push the damn credit cards. We would get in trouble for not harrassing customers to sign up for the kohls card.

I thought it was very boring overall. Yeah I would get crap from customers occasionaly, but didn't have much trouble blowing it off. Also there was ALWAYS crappy food in the break room, they would order pizza, or have a crap load of baked goods lying around.

It pretty much takes 3 days to pick up everything you have to do, then you do the same thing until you leave. I would end up ringing something cute up and have to buy it before I leave. The only good thing was I learned how to clearence shop like a pro.

These kinds of jobs are made or broke by your boss and cooworkers...if their laid back and fun to be around the job is alright...if they suck and are breathing down your neck..you're misrable.

I also hated that they would only schedule me for 4-6 hour shifts. I personally prefer to stay longer and come in less. After I shower, get ready and drive down there I would rather at least stay long enough to make it worth my while.
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peachcake View Post
If you're looking for money I'd try for cocktail waitress/bartender waitress because you will get the same (or similar) base pay as retail as well as tips.
I am now a cocktail waitress...we make $2.85 per hour plus tips. The hours are TERRIBLE (getting home at 3am). The money is good not great, you can make $20 one night and not even make hourly minimum wage or $100 another night...you take alot more abuse (because the people you depend on with the exception of the bartenders all make minimum wage and don't want to take any of your crap) both from the customers and your coworkers. Plus the good and bad nights are pretty evenly distributed..ie you need to work monday and tuesday in order to work Sat. After everything is said and done I probably only average hourly slightly above, the slightly higher than minimum wage jobs..ie people at subway who make $9.50 per hour, and I deal with alot more crap and bad hours.

When I started I did a little better, but because of the economy people aren't going out as much, and when they do they are less likely to buy the whole table a round of $6 shots. I haven't had a bar tab over $200 in quite some time and I used to get at lease one every other week.
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BornToFly View Post
Or ever have? Can you tell me a little bit about the pro's and con's? I am looking into getting a 2nd job ( which is really needed, money wise ) so I can purchase a home in the coming years. I'm looking at maybe something like a Target or Kohls. ( which are both nearby )

I'm looking to get something for somewhere in the 15 hrs a week neighborhood. Will they consider me for such a low number of hrs a week? If you don't mind answering, what were you paid. Min wage? I little better than min wage?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help me out.
I hire for a retail store . I get paid considerably more than minimum wage but I also start new hires a good amount over min. wage. I think we pay a little better than most places, though. I'd happily hire a capable person that wanted to work 15 hours a week! The biggest thing I look at is availability. I like having people who are more open.

Be yourself, be confident!! Confidence is key. Don't be afraid to apply everywhere, even if you think you're underqualified! You can do anything you set your mind to!
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:56 PM   #11
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I wouldn't cocktail waitress again for the world. I *might* consider tending bar if I could get a job at a busy but decent place.

Cocktail waitressing might be the hardest job I've ever done in my life for the absolute worst amount of money. Drunk people don't always tip well. Actually they don't usually tip well.

I enjoyed tending bar, but I worked in a hotel bar/club and got a lot of businessmen who were having cocktails on the company tab and so they tipped well (esp. if I flirted a bit).

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Old 10-20-2008, 02:11 PM   #12
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I HATE folding clothes, so I stay away from places that sell clothes. Michales or Office Depot or some place like that would be cool. Try to work somewhere that you like to shop at or that carries items that feed a need. Like if your into crafting, check out Michales. You'll get first shot at clearance items and employee discounts.

Personally, I loved-loved-loved bartending and hotessing. Lots of exercise and interaction. Great tips and you dont work as many hours as retail. EX:
8 hours retail - $9 = $72
6 hours serving - $13/hr = $78 conservative and more time with the family. (Based on a 4-10pm shift, average $2 a table, 5 tables an hour is $10/hr. Plus your min wage $3/hr usually.
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Old 10-20-2008, 02:35 PM   #13
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I've worked in retail/customer service for more than 13 years now. It can vary how things are in the store. I worked in Eckerd in the photo lab for over 6 years and for the most part, loved it. Then, I worked at Barnes & Noble and while I loved it probably 85% of the time, I hated the store during the holidays and hated when I was forced to work in the cafe.
Really, it's all in how much patience you have. And even still, things can be trying at times with customers. If you think positively, you should be okay overall as long as you are ready for the insanity of the holidays.
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:29 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone. Question, if there is nothing in the paper about a store hiring where should I ask about filing out a hiring form? Or should I not worry about looking at places I'm not sure if they are hiring or not? What about ones that are just in the window Now Hiring, would I go up to costumer service? Sorry for so many questions, the only other 2nd jobs I have had were babysitting and I"ve been at my current job for 10 years.
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:00 PM   #15
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I would go up to a few store managers and just ask. Retail jobs aren't always posted in the paper. Our local mall posts all jobs on a website but the outlet mall only posts on a bulletin board in their food court.

I do customer service for 40 hours a week in an office setting but I have worked two second jobs. The first was a cashier at Cracker Barrel--the pay was decent and I had a set schedule--8 hours every Sunday and an evening here and there when I was needed. I loved it but had to quit after an accident. When I was depressed with the empty nest syndrome I worked at Bath & Body Works--I didn't have a set schedule, the schedule wasn't posted until a few days before the first work day on it and they had a crazy call in schedule where you had to call in an hour before a shift to see if you were needed. The hours fluctuated really bad, one week I would have 4 hours the next it might be 24, plus I was spending way too much. I finally quit due to the crazy call in schedule.

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