In the past we have worked many hours over Christmas in a retail environment and for several different brands. Every year we found ourselves up against the same struggles and questions as the years before so we thought we would knock up a little post to help both the retailer and consumer during this crazy period.
This post is just for fun and something every person in retail will relate too, by no means is it meant to offend!
1. In retail Christmas has already begun. Most of the Christmas stock is in and for a lot of brands it is out any day on the shop floor for sale (If it isn’t already). If you know of a particular product that you need to purchase for a gift GET IT NOW. It will not be available mid December and it 100% will be sold out by Christmas eve. Don’t get cross with the retail artist when they tell you it’s no longer available. They have been lugging it down from the stockroom and dusting round it for weeks. You need to get in early.
2. Christmas sets change every year. You will never get the same set as the one you preferred 3 years ago and no matter how long you protest about it being not as nice as previous years, it’s still going to be all that is available this year. The retail artist probably also thinks it’s gross but they didn’t design it so they can’t change the situation.
3. Unless there is an offer on, which will be obvious, there are no discounts. Just because you spend £200 on a few sets of brushes there is no special offer. This stuff is expensive and retail artists can’t override the prices that are set by the stores.
4. Be aware of the store opening hours. I know lots of people can only get in to do their shopping once they finish work themselves but if the store shuts at 9pm and you walk in the door at 8.50 to do your whole Christmas shop then you will be hated by every staff member. Not just the person serving you but the counter manager, the department manager, even the security staff that can’t lock up until everyone is out. Nobody can leave until you’ve made a decision between two identical lipsticks.
5. I know it’s hilarious to walk by a makeup counter on Christmas eve when you’ve been out drinking since 1pm and ask the artist to put some makeup on you (men, I’m looking at you in particular). We think it’s hilarious too as we apply a red lipstick stain that you won’t be able to remove until Boxing Day. Explain that to your wives!
6. Christmas sets come as they are. Please don’t ask for the lipstick from one set and the eye shadows from a different set. This stuff is not interchangeable, it comes as it is. We don’t do swapsies.
7. Most counters have a makeup application service. This is a booked appointment system just like your hairdresser appointment which you booked back in October. If you want your makeup done for your Christmas party then you need to book in advance. You can’t arrive New Year’s eve and expect to have your makeup done, it ain’t happening.
8. There are testers of all products out (unless it has sold out in which case the tester would’ve been removed or a sold out sticker will be present). Don’t open the gift sets that are on display, they are exactly the same as the tester example. Once you open them, swipe your finger across the eye shadow and then attempt to stuff the products back in to the box they can no longer be sold. Likewise, don't ask to see the tester of the sets which have sold out. It's gone, it's not coming back in, you need to move on.
9. You cannot purchase the tester. Unless you want a lipstick which has been swiped across the back of a 100 peoples hands? It’s gross and these are not for sale.
10. Unless you are shopping at a swanky department store or counter that offer a specialist wrapping service then don’t ask if your items can be wrapped. Retail staff haven’t got time to do it, they hate it and will do a crap job on purpose (maybe that’s just me). Nip to the 99p store and buy yourself some wrapping paper, stick on a Christmas movie and do it yourself.
We hope this has been a bit of fun for you to read and we're sending all retail staff and Christmas shoppers the best of luck. You're all going to need it!!