SCRIPT: Retail Apocalyse

Author’s Note: I wrote this because I am a lifelong shopaholic/mall rat who started working retail in 2007, watched all of these companies burn their businesses to the ground with crappy, unnecessary changes, and now lacks any kind of sympathy for any of them.

Corporate Retailers: Why are we all constantly declaring bankruptcy and closing all our stores? We can’t figure out what we’re doing wrong!

Retail Customers: Well, once upon a time, most of you had a solid business model with solid products that created customer loyalty. Then you decided to throw away that model in favour of a constantly-changing array of cheap, ugly crap that doesn’t last and overcharge for it. Now people can no longer find the products they were habitually buying from your stores.

In the case of clothing, you flat-out refuse to cater to the average-sized American woman, instead creating exclusive lines for size 2’s only. That’s not a realistic, profitable business model. It’s just not. You can fantasize about some perfectly proportioned woman who will never exist, but reality will NEVER match your expectations. If you want to make money, you’re just going to have to accept the fact that woman are all unique individuals who deserve fabulous clothes regardless of their shape or size.

Second, you change the floor set every five minutes, creating chaos and confusion. How am I supposed to find anything when you’re constantly moving all the displays?

Third, you train your employees to harass every customer by following them around the store asking incessantly if they need anything. Then you try to push those customers into signing up for your credit cards and rewards programs, even if they said no the last 50 times they came to the store.

Retail Employees: Another part of your problem is that you hire 20 part-time workers to work 5-10 hours a week each when a small handful of full-time workers could easily cover those same hours. Yet you refuse to schedule anyone for a full 40 hours a week so you don’t have to give them healthcare or benefits. Then you cut people’s hours down even further by sending them home early citing “payroll.”

You tell us this is because “retail jobs are for teenagers and college students,” completely dismissing everyone who has a degree in, oh, let’s say fashion merchandising, for example. It also ignores people who don’t have degrees and people living in rural areas where the closest mall offers most of the non-ag/industrial/manual labor jobs. Yet you pay shit wages that don’t even cover a week’s worth of groceries for most families.

On top of all of that, you demand we harass customers with credit cards to meet arbitrary sales goals when there is absolutely no reward for us. You treat your employees like easily-disposable garbage that you can replace just like that and wonder why your employee turn-over rate is so ridiculously high. You fire people without giving reason or warning so they can’t file for unemployment or get the benefits they need. Then you call this “job creation” and tell us to be grateful for it.

Retailers, you do all of this, every single day, and you wonder why you are shuttering at an alarming rate. Seriously, fuck off.

Corporate Retailers: We just don’t understand why we’re losing customers. Let’s blame Amazon and online shopping! Now get back to work, you ungrateful maggots. We’re cutting your hours and your hourly pay even more. And don’t even ASK for healthcare in the middle of a pandemic! Just be grateful you even have a job!

Now, if you don’t mind, we’re going to go sail around on the yachts we bought with all the money we made off of screwing over both our customers and employees. Then we will beg for a big government bailout when our company goes under! Yay capitalism!

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