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Surviving Christmas in Retail

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Most people are only just getting excited about Christmas time but I have been ready for Christmas since September. Yes, that's right, September. Am I going insane? I'm aware that this is WAY too early to be thinking about Christmas but I cannot help myself...

I've even got 90% of my Christmas presets bought and wrapped. I'm having to hold myself back from covering my bedroom in tinsel. The reason for my ridiculously early Christmas planning is that I have spent the last four Christmases working in retail. Spending Christmas in retail is both stressful and rewarding but I love the festive buzz you get from it all and I've come up with a few tips to help fellow retail workers survive the festive period!

This time of year I get a lot of lists thrust into my hand. When I look up, the person who has given me the list often looks quite confused and desperate for help. I love these customers. First of all, anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE a good list. Lists are great. Lists keep me going. So someone giving me a list makes me super happy. I also love that most people just want you to grab the items off the list and pop it through the till, meaning you can usually have a lovely conversation with the customer. You can find out who wrote the list. What they like. How much Christmas means to them. It makes you realise how much people love their families and making sure they have a happy Christmas by getting everything on the wish list ticked off.

Sometimes customers can be a little rude towards me but you have to remember, especially in the shop I work in, they have been asked to buy things for friends and family that they don't use or have never even heard of which is quite stressful. Christmas sales assistants provide comfort for some people and ensure that their loved one will receive the gift they really want. Usually an initially rude greeting can end up being a great conversation once the customer realises they are in the right shop and we are there to help. I love when someones face changes from stress to relief; people are so grateful for the help in an unknown shop to themselves! It's easy to want to be rude back to a customer but you have to remember that you are the representative of this shop, they might be "rude" because they are unsure, so make sure you help them as much as possible and keep it light and positive :)

My most important tip: Keep breathing, hydrated and comfortable. Sounds really stupid but last year (this may be TMI) I got an awful water infection because I hadn't kept myself topped up with water and I didn't go to the toilet during busy shifts (yep, sounds stupid doesn't it.). It ruined Christmas as I was in so much pain and I felt like crap. Make sure you drink plenty, you can't function or work properly if you need a drink. Go to the toilet when you need it, the shop will probably survive a couple of minutes without you. Wear sensible shoes. Yes, glittery pumps look AMAZING but you will be on your feet for seven hours and glitter is not comfortable. Sing along to the Christmas songs. Yes, they've been on repeat all week but you can't escape them so just enjoy it and look happy and approachable to customers. It will make your life much easier. 

And most of all, be nice to everyone who walks through the door. Christmas shopping is HORRIBLE and it will be a welcome relief to be served by someone who is friendly and  knows what they are doing. I love the satisfaction of helping someone make Christmas perfect so make sure you find positives in your job and think about the positive impact you'll make on the person you help out. Good luck retail staff!

1 comment

  1. Aw what a lovely post! I wish I got you in some shops rather than people who don't seem like they wan to be there! Good tips! :D

    www.gingerbreadsmiles.co.uk
    xox

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