Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sales Clerk Offers Inside View: 'We're Supposed to Befriend Kids'

Do some sales clerks try to pal around with tween shoppers in an effort to get the kids to spend more money? Yes, says one reader, a sales clerk, who offers a great reply to the post: Telling My Daughter the Truth about Her New 'Friend,' The Salesclerk!

Here's one sales clerk's story:

I was hired about a month or so ago at a 'tween clothing store, and I've come to find it not so much my cup of tea. We're supposed to make "friends" with the girl and adult, or the girl[s], and try to sell them as much stuff as we can, by talking to them, or even looking at what they have, and bringing more stuff that matches/accessorizes/looks similar, and show it to them and so on.

I find it uncomfortable, personally, because while I love kids, and enjoy talking to the few people who are very friendly, I'm only supposed to be friendly enough to make the sale and make more sales while doing it, and that in itself makes me feel fake, seeing as we're supposed to make the store feel like a second home to the girls, but yet simply see them as consumers and a goal of how much money we can get them to spend?

I personally would get quite irritated with a sales person bringing me loads of stuff, and always have been that way, so I have a hard time seeing how so many people could like someone following them & constantly foisting things on them.

Just my rambling thoughts after an exhausting day at work.

-- written by MVanity

Thanks to MVanity for providing such a thoughtful comment. (@ MVanity: You make great points, and I appreciate your insider's view. Thanks for taking the time to write!)

As a shopper, I'm in the same bag as MVanity. I also get annoyed when I'm tracked through a store. But my pre-teen daughter can be flattered by the attention.


Anonymous said...

I have a funny story regarding this. Many years ago my husband and I went our separate ways while shopping. When I returned he had a handful of clothes that I totally vetoed. He said the worker, a cute young thing, said the colors "brought out the color in his eyes". I rarely let him shop on his own, there's no telling what he would come home with.

Woman with Kids said...

I used to work in retail as a teen, and most places have that kind of process. Get to know the customer, regardless of age or gender, and become friendly. See what they like, make conversation, suggest things very lightly. Sneaky, aren't they.

Jackie R said...

I'm always rebuffing sales pitches/people in the stores. I could never do that job and it offends me. I'm pretty sure that most of the teens/young people who work there don't like doing it either.