What does Christmas feel like from the other side of the shop front? Chanel Etienne went to Westfield Stratford to find out.
Christmas is just around the corner and many sales assistants are getting ready for the mad rush of customers demanding the most popular must-haves at the very last minute.
Westfield Stratford is especially busy – a beacon to shoppers from across the region. But what’s it like to work there? One of the sales assistants in the toy department at John Lewis, described her experience of working in a ‘high volume retail environment’:
In the run up to Christmas it is always busy. Especially weekdays in the mornings, and weekends all day. Typically, customers manage to shop weekdays in the mornings after they’ve dropped their children off at school. Customers buy a range of gifts from toys, food, fragrances, candles, socks, slippers and nightwear as gifts every year.
I work in the children’s department, and the company is one of the top five department stores for Christmas shopping. Preparations include setting up a Christmas shop within the shop – everything from Christmas trees and decorations to cards and stocking fillers.
I particularly like the extravaganza evenings, when customers can save a lot of money on gifts from various departments around the store.
John Lewis is a traditional store which tries to highlight the real beauty of Christmas. We pay particular attention to detail – everything from the Christmas special adverts to customer service. I believe we are responsible for giving customers that extra helping hand which makes Christmas a little easier.
My interviewee may well be right. But since she works there, she’s hardly likely to say anything else!