This past week a friend asked if I could help out at the shoe store she was taking care of because they were liquidating everything and closing their doors. Now let me preface this by saying I have virtually no retail experience. I have helped out with the company I work for during our warehouse sales (by helped I mean forced) and for annual events.
When I agreed to this I had absolutely no idea what was coming. It was shoe hell! Complete and utter insanity over a shoe sale! Mind you, it was 70% off, however, most of the people who came through the doors had never ever been in the store before!
Let's get this straight! It is fantastic if you can find a deal on something you want at a store that you shop at. But for the love of all things retail - do NOT go into a store just because there is a sale sign, stand around like a completely clueless fool and torment the staff just because you think want a bargain!
People were behaving like savage beasts! Shoes were all over the floor, they were pushing and interrupting other customers and stalking other people for shoes. I could not believe the behaviour over a shoe sale!
On both Saturday and Sunday afternoon we literally had to lock the gate at one end and I stood at the other letting people in and out of the store like a gatekeeper. People were rattling on the gate complaining about how long the wait was like they were animals at feeding time! I tried to be as pleasant as I could for as long as I could, but eventually I came up with the idea of telling them there was a fire code capacity so I started yelling "WE HAVE A FIRE CODE PEOPLE!!! THERE IS A MAXIMUM CAPACITY YOU ALL JUST NEED TO WAIT YOUR TURN!!" And then a ripple went through the line about the Fire Code and everyone seemed satisfied with that. Who the hell knows if there is a fire code but it would seem logical that there should be - so I set capacity at 25.
What really boggles my mind, aside from the crazy ways that people act and how impatient they are to save money on something they didn't even intend on buying in the first place, in a store they had probably never been to, is how rude and impatient they become.
On Saturday around noon the discount was increased from 60% to 70% off of the original price. (Keep that in mind!) There were also huge yellow signs on every shelf, display and hanging in the windows and from the ceiling say STORE CLOSING EVERYTHING MUST GO! 70% Off!!!
The following occurred over the weekend that really demonstrate the brilliance of the shoe sale mob:
1. On saturday a girl walked into the store and asked "Are you hiring?"
I am not kidding about this. How could I make up something so stupid?
We couldn't believe it. Well first off she failed the reading test! She must have passed 10 signs saying the store was closing.... so she is either oblivious or completely illiterate. What a lovely combination, of course your hired!
2. Although there were signs literally everywhere saying 70% off, I cannot count the number of people that approached any of us asking "how much?" and we would say "70% off the sticker price" and they would stare blankly and say "how much?"
The best retort I made by far was to ask one woman "are you looking at a calculator???"
A few times I also responded with "I'm not a calculator, get your cell phone out and figure it out!" and walked away. Or "CHEAP! JUST BUY IT!!!"
3. One woman asked me if I had one particular shoe in a size 10, I turned the shoe over to read LAST on the sole and told her "no, this is the last one we have and it's a size 8". She then proceeds to ask me to retrieve the other shoe from the back so that she can try it on.
I stared at her and said "NO! That doesn't make any sense! I wouldn't try to put a size 5 on my foot! What is WRONG with you???" and walked away!
I turned into a complete shoe terror! (Please note I developed a really bad cold) It was shoe pandaemonium!
I was so glad when I left the store last night however, I am really going to miss it. I really do not like Aldo. In fact, I hate their shoes and I think that they are cheap crap!
Even though we all felt like we had been through a battle when it was said and done, I wouldn't trade it because I got direct access to save shoes for myself to purchase and they were 70% off!! I also got 3 pairs of shoes for my mom which she loved :)
In total I purchased 8 pairs of shoes and 2 bags! Stay tuned for my shoe haul post..... and whatever you do, do NOT tell my mother I bought 8 pairs of shoes!!! LOL And for those of you that work retail full time or for holiday or closing sales, I do not envy you, and the next time I see you (I avoid boxing day shopping like the plague) I will bring you a cold drink, because malls are dusty, gross and so dehydrating! Thank you for doing what you do, I have a new found appreciation for you because I do not have the patience to do your job!
Happy shopping :)