5 Things You Learn Working In Retail

I’ve worked at Lululemon for several years. I first started working at the Annapolis store when I was still in Law School and have worked, off and on, over the past 5 years.  In my tenure, I’ve learned quite a few things. Some good. Some bad. Some random. Thought I’d share my thoughts. Here are 5 things I learned while working in retail…

1. Most People Are Nice

They really are. The vast majority of guests are kind. They smile. They make small talk. They laugh at my jokes. Some I even become friends with. Only a small percentage of guests are rude and ugly. If you’ve ever worked retail, you know exactly what I’m talking about. For starters, you’ve got the guests who try to return a worn pair of pants with no tag or receipt. If you refuse, they absolutely EXPLODE and demand to see your manager. Fun stuff. Other guests will simply ignore you and refuse to acknowledge your existence.  The ignorers don’t really bother me though. They’ve probably just had a bad day. You then have those guests that we call, in the biz, “high touch.” These are the guests that expect you to be at their beck and call every second they spend in the store. They suck you into their needy vortexes and before you know it you’ve been following them around the store for an hour and a half. But, like I said, these problem guests are the MINORITY. Most are nice!!

2. Caffeine is Key

Caffeine is a necessity for retail workers.  Folding clothes and dealing with people is infinitely easier and MORE FUN if you’re running on 300 mg of caffeine – trust me.  My store recently installed a Nespresso in our backroom and everyone’s efficiency levels skyrocketed!!!

3. If You’re Going To Try on Clothes, Please Wear CLEAR Deodorant

This is a biggie. I can’t tell you how many shirts and bras I’ve had to clean over the years that have been stained white with deodorant. It’s gross. BUT I take comfort in knowing that these guests were at least wearing deodorant!! Better they leave their deodorant on the product than their actually STANK. Some guests do leave their stank on products though. It’s not pleasant. Have some respek people!!!

14. Your Co-Workers Become Great Friends

Not sure if this is a universal truth but it’s been the case at every store I’ve ever worked. I still call every single person I’ve worked with a friend. Major shout out to Lululemon for hiring awesome people! 

5. Busy Is Better Than Slow

Retail shifts are so much better when things are busy. The energy is higher and you have more fun. One minute you’ll be helping a guest find a size, the next you’ll be ringing someone up, the next you’ll be grabbing something from the back, and the next you’ll be cranking out some pushups (I do this a lot). There is never a dull moment. This is why I actually like working during the holiday season!! I’m crazy — I know. But when shit gets crazy, shifts absolutely fly by!

Working retail is a great side gig that I have thoroughly enjoyed over the years. I could easily think of 5 additional things I’ve learned. But for the sake of time, I’ll keep it to 5! 

Cheers to an upcoming holiday season at the lemon here in Nashville, TN! Let’s get it!

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