Christmas 2014 Archives - I Hate Working In Retail



The horrible holiday season is upon us.

How do I know?

I got my first email from work letting me know that “It’s that time of year again!” and inviting me to the mandatory Christmas meeting to kick off the holiday season. They call this “spreading Christmas cheer”. I call it a “colossal waste of time”.

Call me a Grinch all you want because now that I work in retail, the holidays are a painful, groan-inducing nightmare that lasts from Halloween to New Years.

These 12 reasons all of us in retail hate christmas will make you reconsider taking that seasonal position at Walmart.

1. Christmas Decorations

Yes, setting up Christmas decorations at home with your family is fun butsetting up giant Christmas decorations sent to you from head office the day after Halloween and in the precise place and angle that the holiday floor plan shows is not fun at all.

2. Greeting Customers

Greeting customers during the holiday season usually means having to inform them of the different promotions and new holiday gift sets. It also means having to say, “Happy holidays!” and “Merry Christmas!” a million times over with a perma-smile plastered on your face even though you couldn’t hate the holidays more.

3. The Christmas Music Playlist

What better way to get consumers in the shopping mood than forcing them to listen to the same classic Christmas songs over and over again! When the store playlist is filled with variations of the same Christmas songs by different artists, I’m filled with despair. It feels like some cruel punishment to have to listen to Macy Gray sing “Santa Baby” seductively for twelve straight hours a shift.

4. Holiday Hours

Another brilliant tactic to get retail workers to off themselves– I mean, to get more of our customers’ money is to open much earlier and close much later. This means having to work long and busy shifts and having to cab to work because there aren’t any buses that early or that late. Lifehacker has some tips for surviving those long holiday shifts that you can see here or you can just do what I do and go through your shift in a blur and pass out in a Redbull coma once you get home.

5. Crowds

I remember having to tiptoe and tilt my chin all the way up last year because the store was so packed. You can barely breathe in the store because of the crowd and yet customers don’t seem to understand that they’ll have to wait a few more minutes to get the help they need.

6. Parking

With the crowds of customers that plague the holidays, parking is very, very limited. That means having to leave for work an extra half an hour earlier than usual to find a spot.

7. The Food Court

On the days where you idiotically forget to pack your lunch, you’re stuck in the long lines at the food court. Sometimes you don’t have enough time on your half-hour lunch to eat the food you just bought or even to make it to the front of the line!


All the hot items are in an even higher demand and in short supply during Christmas time so if customers don’t get these items early, they might not get them at all. Of course, only you are held personally responsible for being sold out of whatever item by the customer that’s screaming insults five inches from your face.

9. The Christmas Discount

During the holidays, customers constantly think that by bringing an item of their choosing to me and asking,“Is this on sale?”, the price of it will magically drop like I’m some sort of magical price-reducing elf or something. The customers that have that extra bit of courage even ask if they can use my discount to do their Christmas shopping.

10. Gift Wrapping

Almost every customer wants to save their precious effort and get their present gift wrapped at the cash register, even with the twenty customers behind them in line glaring at the backs of their heads. This means more angry customers and tons of paper cuts.

11. “What will you have on Boxing Day?”

Some customers wait impatiently for me to help them only to ask what items will be going on sale on Boxing Day. If it’s not in a flyer, then either it’s privileged information that I can’t give you or I don’t even know becauseit’s a bloody month and a half from when you’re asking the question!

12. The Mess

I like to call this the Holiday Hurricane where – since we give them the extra time to do it – customers absolutely trash the store. Normally, customers aren’t able to put clothes back on hangers or even in the correct spot but the holidays have them straight-up throwing products on the ground in their shopping frenzy.

Take it Easy!

Regardless of how busy and painful the holidays are for us retail workers, nothing is better than coming home to spend time with my family and friends. Remember to take a break, kick back, and enjoy those precious holiday moments whether it’s baking gingerbread cookies with your mom or ice skating with your friends. Then, and only then, does it feel like you can survive it all.

Sourced from


Walmart To Kick Off Holiday Shopping Season Day After Halloween


NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart is doing whatever it takes to rope in holiday shoppers however they want to buy.

For the first time, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is offering free shipping on what it considers the season’s top 100 hottest gifts, from board games to items related to Disney’s hit film “Frozen” items, starting Saturday. The move comes as rival Target Corp. began offering free shipping on all items, a program that started late October and will last through Dec. 20.

Wal-Mart is also planning to offer discounts, or what it refers to as “rollbacks,” on more than 20,000 items on a broad range of products, from groceries to TVs, starting Saturday. The timing is similar to last year, but the discounter said the assortment is broader. It’s also pulling forward by nearly a month 15 24-hour online deals originally reserved for the Thanksgiving weekend and so-called Cyber Monday, about double from last year. For the first time, Wal-Mart will allow shoppers to pick up those 24-hour online specials at the store. They include 40-inch Element TVs for $199, down from $298, and Crayola Paint Makers for $12, down from $18.88. Customers will be able to purchase the deals online starting shortly after midnight on Monday.

The online deals are in addition to several hundred online holiday specials that start Saturday.

“We’re trying to offer the best deals when they want them,” said Steve Bratspies, Wal-Mart’s executive vice president and general merchandise manager for Wal-Mart’s U.S. division.

Wal-Mart unveiled some of the details of its holiday strategy as it considers matching online prices from competitors such as, a move that could help grab more customers but could also hurt profit margins. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based discounter has matched prices of local store competitors but has not followed other retailers including Best Buy and Target in matching prices of online rivals. But last month, Wal-Mart started to test the strategy in five markets: Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas; Phoenix; and northwest Arkansas.

Wal-Mart is trying to rev up sluggish sales in the U.S. as it battles competition from online retailers, dollar stores and drugstores. At the same time, it’s also dealing with a slowly recovering economy that hasn’t benefited its low-income shoppers. As a result, Wal-Mart’s U.S. namesake stores, which account for 60 percent of its total business, haven’t reported growth in a key sales measure in six straight quarters.

Wal-Mart’s move underscores how stores are being forced to step up their game for the holiday shopping season, which accounts for about 20 percent of retail industry’s annual sales. The National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail trade group, forecasts a 4.1 percent sales increase to $616.9 billion for November and December from last year. But online sales, which are included in the forecast, are expected to increase anywhere from 8 percent to 11 percent.

Wal-Mart declined to say whether it was considering changing its price match policy for just the holidays or permanently. Deisha Barnett, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman, says many store managers have matched online prices for customers on a case-by-case basis.

“Taking care of the customers who shop our stores is what we always aim to do,” she added.

As for its free shipping holiday program, Wal-Mart said that it had store executives pick the 100 items and that products are guaranteed to arrive before Christmas. Wal-Mart’s current policy is that online shoppers have to spend at least $50.

Sourced from