What It’s Really Like Working Retail

Before I’d ever worked in retail I always wondered what it was really like so I decided to ask on Twitter for some questions on what you’d want to know about the retail worker lifestyle!

What kinda retail do you work in? I work as a sales assistant at a shoe shop.

Any task you HATE? The one task I used to hate was lacing up shoes because you’d be surprised at how many different styles of lacing there is. I could never do it but practice makes perfect and I don’t mind it anymore.

Why are you really nice until the customer asks an uncomfortable question? Obviously, it depends on what the question is. There are times where I don’t know the answer to the question which comes down to a lack of knowledge but I’m never not nice about it and will always be as friendly as I can be, even if you’re asking me if the Dr Martens we sell are actually real.

Is there anything you do while at work that you really shouldn’t do? I’ll try and avoid doing kids shoe fits at all costs. I’m trained in it but hate the whole social side of it with having the fit the shoes correctly and balancing a conversation with the parent/guardian and the child.

How long have you worked in retail? In my current job, I’ve worked for just over 6 months and I did 3 months in a supermarket previous.

Fave/least fave thing about working in retail? My least favourite is rude customers. The ones who hand you a shoe and say “i WaNt ThIs ShOe” as if I’m supposed to already know their shoe size and a please/thank you wouldn’t hurt. My favourite thing is the whole customer service side to the job, the conversations with old ladies, the laughs you have with younger customers. At the end of the day if you’ve had a positive experience in store, if you’re asked to leave feedback do it because it really makes our day when customer feedback comes through.

Best and worst customer engagement and why? Worst is when the customer is 100% either trying it on with you or flirting lowkey. I had one customer add me on Facebook and Instagram after my shift because he’d seen my name on the till screen and then proceeded to ask me out for lunch… don’t do that. Best engagement is sharing your love for certain shoe brands with customers who also share the same love, you’d be surprised at how you can have a really great conversation talking about your love of Vans.

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27 thoughts on “What It’s Really Like Working Retail

  1. This was so interesting to me! Having never worked in retail, but always kind of wanting to at some point in my life, I found your thoughts to be extremely enlightening! Plus now I know what my friends who work in retail mean when they’re complaining 😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve worked 3 different retail jobs and to be honest they were all horrific in their own ways. I’ll be trying my absolute hardest never to go back to retail because the rude customers really just boil my blood! The amount of customers I had criticising my tattoos or taking pictures of me. I had a weird interaction like you too although it was the other way around, a guy was messaging me quite a bit and stalked me on insta, found my facebook and that I worked at The Body Shop and then just fucking turned up… and then he pretended he didn’t recognise me then proceeded to message me later that day going ‘OMG didn’t realise that was you today!!’ Errrm, yeah ya did mate. It was the weirdest experience.
    Alice Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve never worked in retail, but I never understand why people are so rude at times. Manners don’t cost anything. I think I’d like the social side of it, conversing with the customers. That’s what I liked most working on events / behind a bar.

    Thanks for sharing a bit of insight into retail work! 😀

    Aimsy xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Customers can be awful sometimes! I worked for Topshop for a while and I was there over the Christmas sale period. It. Was. Awful. But overall I actually liked, especially on fitting rooms because you got to eye up all the new stuff while you were working 😂. That guy who found your name on the till sounds like such a creep x


    Liked by 1 person

  5. SO relatable! I used to work in retail when I lived in the UK and I haaated having anything to do with shoes. My manager once messed up and gave a customer two right shoes instead of a right and a left and it was put on me. Never working in a shop that requires me to have anything to do with shoes ever again! xx


  6. I totally relate to this post, I had previously worked in retail since I was 16 and had a few different jobs in a few different shops and I have to say the worst thing about it sometimes can be the customers especially when they are just rude for no reason!! Makes my blood boil! X


  7. I’ve never worked in retail before, but I’ve worked in hospitality for years and some things here I can totally resonate with. Especially rude or creepy customers 🤦‍♀️ It’s awful when a customer is not only trying to flirt with you, but is drunk so just digs a deeper hole for themselves! Get me OUT of there 😂

    Beka | http://www.bekadaisies.com


  8. I used to work in retail whilst I was a student. Although I loved the social aspect the dealing with tricky customers is difficult and my patience wears thin. I think after working in retail you do appreciate the staff more and I learnt a lot. Great post!xo

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I worked in food retail for a year and the customers literally make or break it. Some I could have a real laugh with and others I could totally just see judging me and being rude. Nearly had two have a fight at my till once, it was kind of scary… oh those were the days.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It sounds like you’re quite happy in your job already! There are always downsides to a job, retail or not, but once you weigh them out against the upsides you normally start to appreciate the job a bit more! I worked in retail before I had my girls and again for 8 years until I got my current job. The role I was in was right for me but I have to say I don’t regret getting out of retail xx

    Liked by 1 person

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