Thursday, February 17, 2022

My Holiday Retail Escape - A Shop-Girl's Observations

Working at my Mall's Soma Intimate shop for the holidays has been an unbelievably fun/enlightening experience. I have not worked retail since turning the crank on my grandfather's general store "Cash Register" in the 50's. Thus it has been "new" learning a touch-screen register/computer system.

My Store

My work involved about one third each - customer floor interactions, checking customers out and floor restocking of panties/bras/sleepwear. The restocking the floor is like mission shopping in reverse.

My favorite is helping and interaction with the customers. "How may I help you?" 

One customer made my day when she stopped and thanked me before leaving; "I know I will lover the bra you help me find. Thank you". Wow! 

I was pleased that I was not relegated to the stock room or unpacking boxes. That could have happened. I have the same responsibilities as all the other gals, including opening and closing.  Kudos to Soma/FAS for providing me the unbiased opportunity. 

Let there be no misconception, women in general love lingerie. Seldom is price a consideration for something worn every day. The selection and trying-on process seem to be something enjoyed. Even customers who come in dressed "uninspired" on the outside, seem to still select beautiful/sensual underwear and bras. Good for them!  

Our store is not an exceptionally large store by mall standards. However, on any given day there was a steady flow of customers and browsers.  This always helped the time pass quickly.  

Being a software GUI designer, there are function that are difficult to locate in the check out system. I am sure that some of the function are placed to make you think twice, like price adjustments. However, "gift receipts" should be on the home screen especially during the holiday season. There were times when expediently checking out my customers took extra effort and patience. This was especially true when multiple request were in play; on-line returns/orders, new loyalty customer, rewards redemption, etc. In "shop-girl" mode, I am not there to complain about their system; just learn and do my sales job.   

It is interesting how retail outlets have become defacto distribution centers. Orders placed on-line are routed to the stores for fulfillment. Many morning we would spend several hours, locating, pulling from our floor, packing and shipping orders direct to the customer's home.

One final surprising observation was the insistence of rude customers. We always want to give all the refunds/discounts deserved and provide a happy overall experience. We gain nothing by denying a return, of not providing a discount. Customers requesting to return a worn item and items without a tag / receipt are asking for a lot. However, we always try.  

Thankfully rude customers were the minority and the overall experience was wonderful. 

Would I do it again?  Absolutely! I will likely fill in "as needed" again starting in March and look forward to a full schedule next holiday season.    





  1. All I can say is "Cool"! (which probably shows my age :) )

  2. Nice story. I went to the SOMA site and entered 44C, my size and the pickings were slim as they had only two offerings. I entered 42C, a tight fit but can be wearable for me. The selections were fairly robust (a bad pun, not intended).
    My question is, what is the stocking inventory for 42 band sized bras at the retail location?
    Also, did you have many crossdressers as shoppers or customers that were either dressed or in drab but somewhat obvious ? That topic might be a future story.

    Angel Amore

  3. We live vicariously thru you Rhonda great article about a fascinating experience.

    Did you meet any transgender persons? How about men "shopping for their wives?"

  4. I am sure I has several. None recognized me so did not want to make then uncomfortable. Had they commented I would have spoken up. Holiday shopping is a wonderful opportunity to be out and accepted as just any shopper. I don't think I has anyone dressed.