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Saturday, 10 February 2018

Does Anyone Else Remember When Saturdays Were Busier?

I remember a time when I hadn't been working in retail very long, back when I was seventeen ( which was a really long time ago, I'm now thirty-four) I worked in Bay Trading.   It was my first retail job that I had and I worked as a YTS there (Youth Training Scheme), before going onto a better paid, part-time position with them.   These were back in the days when Saturdays in retail were frantic with customers who worked the Monday to Friday jobs, and way....way before online shopping had hit it's peak.

Saturday's were always my favourite day to work in retail.  In some ways they still are.   A lot has changed since internet shopping took off, particularly where I work in House Of Fraser.   I have been working with House Of Fraser since 2003, and I distinctly recall when the Lincoln store received our first online terminal which was towards the end of 2007.    'Buy and Collect' as we call it, takes a hell of a lot of House Of Fraser's profit because we sell more on there than we do in store.   Just to give you a quick example, we used to sell electrical goods.   I remember all those times when I got asked about a coffee machine's 'bar pressure', or if a kettle is say 'quick boil' how long does it actually take? And at that time, I wasn't exactly an expert I would just read from the instructions from the box.   We don't sell electrical goods in store anymore, it's all online, accompanied with thorough in depth descriptions of features and benefits.  And that is true of every product that we sell.  

Really when I chose the title for this post, I think I should have really titled it as 'Does Anyone Else Remember When Saturdays Were Busier....With Customers Shopping In Store'?   Because it is fair to say, and this is from experience, that Saturdays can be busy with customers, but a lot of the time that is because they are coming to store to collect their item that they have bought from the internet the night before.  Saturdays are still the busiest day for this because a lot of people work Monday to Friday, 9-5 jobs.   This was very true of today in work for me.   To be perfectly honest, it was dead with customers.   I mean, of course we had a few shopping on the floor, but the amount of customers coming in to collect their online purchases today, was higher than that of those physically shopping on the Homewares department.   And I am by no means knocking the 'Order In Store as we call it, because I believe it has kept me firmly in a job for the last ten years.  This year will be my 15th year with the company.  

So today was ridiculously quiet.   The shop floor was pristine, or at least it was when I left at 4.15pm.
My largest in store sale today was probably about £50 or there abouts, on a load of towels that I sold to a couple round about lunch time.    I know we have not long had Christmas and people are still trying to build up their pennies again and only buying essentials etc, but I really do hope things start to improve in the store soon.   I genuinely miss those really busy, hectic, flying across the shop floor from one end to the other type of Saturdays.   But I am an optimistic person, or at least I try to be, so perhaps it's just simply a case of making a bit more of what we have on the shop floor.    The Homewares floor could do with a move around actually.   It would certainly be an interesting place to start!

Thanks for reading.

Sarah x


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