“So why DO you like working in retail?” they ask in the interview.
Why DO people work in retail? The reasons are as varied as those who work in it.
What is retail to you? What motivates you to stay in a job that can be grueling, unpredictable, oft-times thankless, and physically tough?
No two customers are alike
If you’re like me, the draw of retail can lie in the ever-changing challenges that present themselves with each customer. As much as we may categorize customers and analyze demographics, we still have to admit that no two customers are identical and no two sales are either.
It doesn’t matter how much we think we can predict what a customer will buy, they will continue to surprise us with their choices.
Maybe they will, maybe they won’t
It doesn’t matter how many years we have been in the business, we are still kept guessing. Experience and marketing rules may teach us what customers are USUALLY attracted to and what they aren’t, but we still have to leave room for the unpredictable possibilities. And with customers becoming more educated, we are kept even higher on our toes.
Marketing is more challenging than ever, and now it’s up to Social Media to keep the retail business alive and kicking. Reputations are at stake and at the mercy of anyone who tweets “Store X sucks!”
What’s fun got to do with it?
Everyone is always “getting out of retail,” but most everyone stays. Why? Because it’s just damned fun! Underneath all the grumbling, we are really having fun! What’s more fun than never knowing how the day will turn out? What’s more fun than opening boxes of new product and trying to guess how it will sell and to whom? What’s more fun than helping customers feel good about their choices? What’s more fun than getting to be actors in the role of selling – whichever role we decide to choose for that particular customer!
So, what keeps you in retail?