Working in retail at Christmas

With the cold weather biting and the twinkly lights glowing in the dark nights, you know it’s that time of year when you have to start buying gifts. You dread the thought of trekking through the busy crowds in search for that perfect present for your loved one.

When you finally decide what to get them and travel to the shop, you’re greeted by the smiley retail assistant who has long forgotten the magic that Christmas brings. Instead of being a member of the busy crowd, they have to assist the eager, rushing customers, all the while keeping that big grin on their faces.

“Retail at Christmas time isn’t for the faint-hearted,” said Shauna McDonnell, a retail assistant at Penneys Blanchardstown. “There’s an overwhelming amount of people in the store during Christmas and we have to try and meet their large demands,” she continues. Although Christmas is hectic and its’s easy to forget the magic that Christmas brings, “there’s a great buzz about the place”.

Even though our minds are solely focused on ticking off every box on our Christmas list, it’s important to remember that those working behind the counters are facing the same dilemma. They have to find the time to buy their Christmas presents just like the rest of us.

Retail workers have to endure a lot during Christmas from shop standards to delivering excellent customer service. This is often difficult on an average shopping day but becomes almost impossible during Christmas. Some workers love the buzz that Christmas brings while others can’t bear the thought of it.

It’s important that consumers acknowledge the hard work that goes into bringing them their perfect Christmas gifts and thank retail workers for their help. Without these people there would be nothing but empty boxes underneath the Christmas tree.

Amy Lawlor

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