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Mon Dec 31, 2012, 09:05 AM

Retail Workers Bear Brunt Of Sluggish Holiday Sales


(NPR) Several large retailers took a leap of faith on what they thought would be a gangbuster holiday season, hiring more seasonal workers this year than last.

Sales during the two months before Christmas weren't all that stunning, however, and that's meant fewer opportunities for seasonal workers.

Some of them worked vastly fewer hours than they expected. Onieka O'Kieffe, 23, was hired by Lush Cosmetics in midtown Manhattan for the holiday season. Lush told her she'd be working 20 to 30 hours per week, she says, but instead, she's getting only 10 hours a week at most. That's bad news for someone who has a few thousand dollars of credit card debt. O'Kieffe says she's losing out on hours because Lush just hired too many people this holiday.

"There's been times where there's 10 of us in the store and there's no customers," O'Kieffe says. ...........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.npr.org/2012/12/30/168283255/retail-workers-bear-brunt-of-sluggish-holiday-sales



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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply Retail Workers Bear Brunt Of Sluggish Holiday Sales (Original post)
marmar Dec 2012 OP
Sunlei Dec 2012 #1
marmar Dec 2012 #2
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #6
Sunlei Dec 2012 #11
DearHeart Dec 2012 #9
Sunlei Dec 2012 #12
DearHeart Dec 2012 #20
Sunlei Jan 2013 #22
DearHeart Jan 2013 #24
AZ Progressive Dec 2012 #17
DearHeart Dec 2012 #19
RebelOne Jan 2013 #33
leveymg Dec 2012 #3
exboyfil Dec 2012 #4
bunnies Dec 2012 #5
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #7
bunnies Dec 2012 #8
DearHeart Dec 2012 #10
Romulox Dec 2012 #13
bunnies Dec 2012 #14
DearHeart Dec 2012 #21
JI7 Jan 2013 #29
DearHeart Jan 2013 #30
JI7 Jan 2013 #32
DearHeart Jan 2013 #34
Sunlei Dec 2012 #15
bunnies Dec 2012 #16
DearHeart Jan 2013 #25
AZ Progressive Dec 2012 #18
DearHeart Jan 2013 #26
bigtree Jan 2013 #23
Manifestor_of_Light Jan 2013 #27
JI7 Jan 2013 #28
Harmony Blue Jan 2013 #31

Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 09:14 AM

1. I don't know about others, I buy almost everything online these days.

I feel bad for the seasonal retail store workers, many of those jobs will decline. They (general labor) could move to the hotel and resort seasonal work? The resorts, ski places were packed this holiday.

A shame so many people have 'thousands in credit card debt', but that was their choice in the first place.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 09:16 AM

2. The number of seasonal resort jobs is not even in the same stratosphere of seasonal retail jobs.


nt


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Response to marmar (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:20 AM

6. I thought about saying something to get myself banned from this thread via jury, then

 

figured 'what's the point?'

When a poster at DU can first suggest such nonsense (moving from retail to hospitality) and then blame workers, yes workers, for their credit card debts, and you're the only person to weigh in about it, there's no point. Thanks, though, for raising your voice to counter this right-wing bullshit.

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Response to marmar (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:01 PM

11. sure retail jobs used to be huge- but we have the internet these days and times change.

People have to change too and try to adapt to what are the traditional seasonal general labor jobs of today.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 11:35 AM

9. I was formerly one of those retail store workers and I resent your general attitude towards people

who work in retail. We get treated like crap by people who believe that we're all uneducated, lazy people. It's obvious that you have never had to work full-time in retail, probably not part-time either. Good for you...I don't wish retail on anyone!

The reason why we have thousands in credit card debt is because this is the only way that we can live on our crappy wages! With rent, car payments (buses don't run in certain areas of our state), car insurance, and utilities, how do you think that people can afford to eat, pay for gasoline, clothing??

It's not always a "choice" to go thousands of dollars into debt...it is a necessity to live at the lowest level of basic comfort in life. As compared to someone who can go spend their vacations and holidays at beach resorts, and ski resorts; live in nice neighborhoods, in nice houses or condos, and drive nice, dependable cars.

I'm glad you seem to have a nice life and I'm happy for you, but don't make assumptions about people who have different life circumstances from yours. You do not know what has happened in these people's lives that they got stuck in retail (may have had to quit college to help out their family, parents). Once in retail, it's almost impossible to break out of it and into another field, even with a degree or certification for other jobs; hiring managers see years of retail and throw your resume in the garbage. That is what has happened to me and several people I know.

We're not lazy (don't know how many could do the job we do...physically and dealing with a wide variety of customers' temperaments)and we deserve to have a modicum of comfort in our lives.

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Response to DearHeart (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:04 PM

12. I didn't say you were lazy. I commented on the article. Retail sales are in decine. Gone soon.

I have worked seasonal jobs aswell. plenty of Christmas and New years working extra hours. I'm working 7 days a week now, I run a seasonal business. Not retail though.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 08:19 PM

20. Sorry, I know that you didn't say I was lazy, it's the general attitude of "most" people. I'm

greatful for those kind people who have worked retail and know what the situation is like. I understand that retail is in decline right now, which makes things even worse...retail workers will now be getting their hours cut or will be added to the unemployment rolls; it's just such a horrible situation that everyone is going through now. I'm just hoping that we can all remember that we're in the same boat and we all need support.

I hope that I didn't offend you, that was not my intention. I hope your business is doing very well and that WE ALL have a prosperous New Year. Getting a little scared here with what I'm seeing on the news tonight!

Happy New Year!!

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Response to DearHeart (Reply #20)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 11:01 AM

22. Happy New Year

No not offended at all, it's hard on messageboards to express or read emotions. I understand what you mean about retail customers. They are like a bunch of rabid lemmings, especially around the holiday season! Even worse if the boss treats employees like they are robots or slaves.

My business does ok around the holiday season. We work long hours now because in a couple of weeks there is no business, untill the next holiday. I look foward to afternoon naps in February. Try to save enough to pay the bills.

It's hard to get enough hours in todays retail stores. Many stores trend to part time hours so they don't have to pay benefits.

Even worse with some seasonal jobs (other than retail) is what the state of Florida did over the past 10 or so years. That state has about the highest unemployment in the usa. Florida used to be the place to go to get summer seasonal work and the local citizens got hired on too. The trend now is to bring in thousands of foreign visa guest workers to work the jobs that used to go to local citizens.

Obama has changed some of the visa guest worker rules to help Americans get those jobs, not enough. The states need to raise the minimum wage but they will not because they have to pay the guest worker companies the minimum wage for their 'work crews'. The company then pays them less and even charges them money to 'work in USA hotels, resorts, many places.

To wordie, sorry such a complex issue and it's the American citizen who gets the worse end of these deals. So unfair! Happy New Year.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #22)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 06:44 PM

24. Happy New Year to you also!

I had no idea that Florida was doing that with the seasonal workers. Probably happening in most other states also; anything that has a "resort" economy. I remember up in Wisconsin (Door County) there were a lot of Russian and Eastern European "guest workers". It's almost as if we American citizens have become obsolete.

What do you do the rest of the year once the season ends? Does your income stretch enough through the rest of the year? I hope so...hate for anyone to have financial difficulties.

Hope 2013 is a wonderful year for you and yours!

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Response to DearHeart (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:35 PM

17. I'm surprised that its acceptable for the American common people to accuse each other...

of being lazy / not working hard enough / being a bum when just about most of the money that rich people make they didn't work blood and sweat for (because they got it through investments, many that are only available to the rich, as well as by tricking people to accept less pay than they deserve and reaping the difference as profits) and the heirs and the heiresses of wealthy people didn't earn that money themselves. In addition, many rich people in this country before the civil war made their money through slavery, which is the ultimate mooching. The Koch Brothers reaping the profits of higher gasoline costs to increase their fortune by 800% (on the backs of so many American people) is ok, and the CEO of a company that is earning millions of dollars on the year because he/she's cutting costs that are leading to lower wages and lost jobs in the company is ok, but how dare that common person over there not work hard as if they were being whipped by a slaveowner! Poor people should have to work as if life is a living hell!

The American common people must work so damn hard or not get respect or sympathy! While it's ok for the Rich People to not work hard for the money, because this is a two tiered society you know! Learn your place!

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Response to AZ Progressive (Reply #17)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 08:12 PM

19. I know my place! Been put in my place several times by managers, DMs, and yes, especially

the RICH owners! One "CEO" made me get down on the floor in front of my staff and customers and made me scrape gum off of the floor! I'm surprised they didn't whip me while I was down there.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:23 PM

33. I usually shop online for everything I buy other than groceries.

I never go into the malls or department stores during Christmas.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 09:16 AM

3. The recovery is largely an illusion. What's happened is that banks are flush with Fed funds

and credit is again being extended to those fortunate enough to have not been knocked out during the recession. Also, there's a lot of foreign money coming in and buying up big chunks of American assets at extremely low to negative real interest rates.

There's money flowing, but little or none of it is reaching those most in distress and in danger of going under.

The unemployment rate has been so jiggered that it no longer counts those who have been knocked out of the wage economy and are forced into the uncounted, under-counted and uncountable nebulous regions of the self-employed, contract worker and P/T workers.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 09:57 AM

4. An interesting conversation with the bank

that does my GM Credit Card. I try to time my purchases so that I can have a maximum rebate when I go to buy a car. A couple of years ago they dropped me down to $300 credit limit. I am looking at buying a new car in about 7 years (the full cycle for the credit card rebate). i contacted them this morning, and they would not raise my limit even though I have very good credit.

It seems odd since they tie me into being GM for my next car purchase. The 5% represents the best deal I can get out there (you spend $10,000/yr for 7 years and have $3,500 rebate). Time it at the end of year close out of the current model cars, and you can do pretty well. Since I buy cars closer to 12 year cycles, I have several years of inactivity before I kick it up again.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:13 AM

5. Solution:

Pay EVERYONE a living wage so people can afford to buy shit! Why is this so difficult to understand?

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Response to bunnies (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:22 AM

7. But - GASP! - that means the 1% that controls 40% of the wealth in this

 

country might only be able to control 39% of it. The horror, the horror (to quote Joseph Conrad).

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:55 AM

8. *clutches pearls*

Sweet jeebus! What was I thinking?!

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Response to bunnies (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 11:39 AM

10. Exactly! The only thing I like about Henry Ford was that he did pay his employees a good living wage

so that they could buy his cars! His employees won and he won too!

I too, do not get why paying EVERYONE a living wage is so difficult to understand. In fact, it would probably make the rich even richer, why the "clutching of the pearls"??

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Response to DearHeart (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:07 PM

13. Right, but a lot of DUers prefer Hyundais, Toyotas, and other "right to work" made vehicles...

to union made Fords. *Somehow* it will never come back around to them, I guess?

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Response to DearHeart (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:08 PM

14. Supply and demand. Whats that... 9th grade economics?

I guess the pubs dont think on that high a level.

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Response to bunnies (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 08:20 PM

21. I learned this stuff in 7th grade! I gues that some people never learned it at all.

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Response to DearHeart (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 07:44 PM

29. because too many rich people are stupid and rich through no hard work

on their part. Romney is a good example of this.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #29)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:59 PM

30. These rich people supposedly get such a "fine" education at wonderful universities like Harvard,

Yale, Princeton, Stanford, etc., but they sure do seem pretty stupid. Guess they were never taught supply and demand!

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Response to DearHeart (Reply #30)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 06:17 PM

32. these idiots only got in because of name and money , and these wealthy types who did nothing

to earn their wealth also tend to be the most resentful of others who have less.

i find those who actually have worked hard for their money are not resentful of others because they do know how tough it can be .

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Response to JI7 (Reply #32)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:17 AM

34. You hit the nail on the head!

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Response to bunnies (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:17 PM

15. How can we make the State raise the minimum wage? that is the problem.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:35 PM

16. Wish I had the answer.

Better: How to we make the employers give a rats ass about their employees?

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Response to bunnies (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 06:47 PM

25. The only way that employers give a "rats ass" about their employees is if they make money off of

their employees deaths! Remember the "dead peasant" insurance clauses that Walmart and other companies were taking out on their employees, unbeknownst to the employees and their families? That's when they care.

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Response to bunnies (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:53 PM

18. The Rich are not thoughtful enough to realize that people need money in order to buy

They are so selfish enough to not be able to realize and accept that people need good jobs in order to have money to buy products. They would rather invest overseas and let this country crumble. Why doesn't anyone talk about the lack of patriotism or at times even, the outright treason by the rich in this country?

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Response to AZ Progressive (Reply #18)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 06:50 PM

26. I too think it's treasonous! They've subverted the economy of the US in favor of their own

pocket books.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 11:07 AM

23. we know this by heart

. . . hoping for snow (or snow scares) to push food sales. Around here, snow scares are good sport for retailers this time of year. Hometown football teams in playoffs helps some, too. Without either, things get bleak this time of year for hours. I'm designated part-time and I brace for what I expect to be a drop from nearly 40 hrs regular week and about 8 hours weekend overtime, to about 24 hrs reg with the weekend overtime holding (I hope). Tough time of year for retail. Valentine's Day helps . . .

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 07:09 PM

27. I worked fulltime retail some years ago.

Hated it. Had a manager that started yelling at me when the store was open and we were behind a counter. No customers in the store, but she did anyway. I started crying and she started screaming at me "DON'T CRY! DON'T CRY!".

Well, I was such a basket case of nerves I couldn't stop. And I sold crappy "fine jewelry" that I was ashamed of.

BTW I am not lazy. I spent 12 years in college and have a doctorate in law.



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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 07:37 PM

28. Retailers need to provide good product and service throughout the Year

with quality products. customers will shop there and come back when they need christmas gifts and any other gifts throughout the year.

to do this they need to pay employees decently, depending on how big the business is they need to have some full time people all the time . this is all part of investing in a good business.

but people just seem stupid these days. there seems to be a race to the bottom. pay less, provide cheap crap to try to get as many people as they can. rather than focus on building up long term customers with good quality products.



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Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 05:06 PM

31. I feel sorry for the younger

generation...working 8-10 hours per week, with low wages, and having to save up for college/vehicle..what a nightmare.

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