I have never been one of these people who enjoys shopping as a hobby or goes shopping for the experience. But I have realized that shopping is going to get more stressful, and I will explain why.
I am not referring to large supermarkets in this post, I am writing about other retailers. They are all feeling the pressure. Footfall dropped astronomically this year (kind of obvious!) and their sales figures are horrendous. They want us back in their stores, wearing facemasks, and spending our cash. That’s understandable, isn’t it?
But now the staff are going to be under pressure from store managers. The managers are going to be under pressure from regional managers. Regional managers will be under pressure from Head Office. They want results. They want them as soon as possible. They will be looking ahead to the holiday season hoping they can start to recover some of their losses.
That means that when we go shopping to buy what we need, a sales assistant is going to try to encourage us to buy other items. Why? Partly to make more money (and part of that is just make a basic turnover at all) but now, staff will be watched more carefully. The won’t “carry” anyone. They will be analysing the performance of each sales assistant. If a sales assistant is not encouraging customers to make additional purchases, or is chronically unsuccessful in persuading customers to add more items to their shopping basket, they may be first on the list when it comes to future redundancies.
There will be more redundancies. There will be more store closures. That means that companies may take the chance to crop “dead-wood”, or sales assistants who are not reaching targets, and recruit new staff. There will be a lot of people competing for jobs.
It is going to be stressful for the staff in stores, who will be feeling that pressure to go and pressure shoppers to spend more money. They will be anxious over their job security. Their managers will be telling them every single day that they are not doing well enough and they need to try harder. As a shopper, I am dreading it. I don’t want to be pressured into buying items I do not need. I want to be allowed to wander around and collect what I went in for and make a quick escape. But I truly sympathise with the sales assistants who are anxious over their job security. The prospect of being made redundant at a time when new jobs seem scarce and there is so much competition is frightening.
Oh what a to-do!