After the holiday season ended during my time at Sears NY, the merchandising manager approached me about switching from cashier to in-store signage associate. It paid 80 cents more per hour and didn't involve selling Sears cards. Jackpot. Store signage includes promotional signs and price tags. I'd come to the store early in the morning … Continue reading How To Read A Price Tag
Today, I went to Sears NY for the first time in almost a decade. I wanted to use up whatever Shop Your Way Rewards points I had left before the store closed for good. A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that Sears' bras were always on clearance because even though Kohl's, Macy's and J.C. … Continue reading Homecoming
The coupon is one of the all-time best marketing strategies. It brings customers into a store, attracts them to certain products, saves them some money, then inspires them to spend the money the coupon saved them (or more) on other merchandise. Customers feel like they got away with something. Everyone wins. That is, everyone wins … Continue reading How To Use Coupons
The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. -- Psalm 118:22 (KJV) To everything, there is a season. To merchandise, there is a time to be full-price, a time to go on clearance and a time to go into the penny stock bin. In retail, an item can no longer … Continue reading The T.J. Maxx Effect
When I first read that J.C. Penney was going to sell appliances, I thought it was another example of brand confusion. No one associates Penney's with appliances. That's what Sears is for, right? Nope. I've been proven wrong. J.C. Penney (JCPenney, if you're nasty) stopped selling appliances in 1983, but it reintroduced them to 500 stores last … Continue reading Identity Crisis, Part 4: J.C. Penney’s Schadenfreude
In Judann Pollack's AdAge article, "Dear Sears, It's Time To Hang Up Your Toughskins", she reminisces about Sears' halcyon days in the 1970s and suggests that the brand lost its relevance when the "Softer Side of Sears" ad campaign began. (Although she says it began in 1983, it was really 1993.) The "softer side" is … Continue reading Identity Crisis, Part 3: The Two Faces of Sears
One of the best thing about working at Macy's was its flexibility. I could swap shifts or pick up extras through the internal website. The Handbags department always had open shifts. Fifteen minutes into my first experience there, I learned why. I'll call her Lana. She was the department manager. She was a tall, impeccably … Continue reading Identity Crisis, Part 2: Macy’s Class Struggle
Internet retailers are taking a significant amount of department stores' business, but that's not the whole story. Department stores need to take a hard look at themselves too.
Thing is, store managers do not want their cashiers to stand behind the registers and wait for customers to come. Like everyone else, they want to get the most out of their minimum wage, so cashiers have additional duties which require leaving the register.
I love me some employee training videos. Not many things can manage to be boring, funny, surreal, informative and inaccurate all at the same time, but training videos pull it off every time. And time only increases these qualities.