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Old 09-04-2008, 03:18 PM   #1
Evans Family
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Advice - Seasonal Retail Help

I need some advice. I'm considering looking for a p/t retail job for the holidays. However, I don't know if I'm kidding myself to think I could get hired if I can just work weekdays and not weekends.

What does everyone out there think? The retail shopping center near my house has a bunch of stores in it. Does anyone have experience with any of these? Can you tell me if one is more flexible than another or has better benefits than another?

Williams Sonoma
Barnes and Noble
Fresh Produce
Brighton
Bath and Body Works

Any advice you can give will be appreciated.
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:26 PM   #2
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I would just fill out the applications for them all - they usually ask for your availability. You never know until you try.
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:35 PM   #3
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I agree--apply for all of them. Better to turn someone down than not try and possibly miss out on a great offer! I'll bet they'll be in greater need of daytime help than weekends. Many people (at least around here) can only squeeze in part time jobs on weekends. Good luck!!!
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:37 PM   #4
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It doesn't hurt to try. But, it will be very difficult. It all comes down to the individual management at each store - NOT the company itself.

I've worked retail for YEARS - Banana Republic, Bath and Body Works, Origins, Boscov's, Estee Lauder, Ann Taylor LOFT. (DH is a teacher, but works PT at Barnes and Noble.)

In all my situations, I've always been up front with potential employers with my availability issues. (I am a professional singer, which comes with a very weird schedule.) I always let them know that singing is my priority and that I will have auditions, rehearsals, and shows that will always be popping up on my schedule. Some have been great about. Some not so much. Right now I'm at Ann Taylor LOFT and my manager is great about the singing schedule. But that's her thing - other LOFT managers could be less forgiving. (Basically Boscov's told me if I couldn't work weekends in December, they would have to let me go - so I found another job, since December is a busy singing month.)

I would apply to as many places as you can, that way you'll increase your chances of finding that great manager out there that will be okay with your availability.

Good luck!
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:40 PM   #5
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While it's true that most retailers want you to be available for weekends it doesn't mean noone will hire you. I've worked several retail stores during the holidays and there's plenty to do during the week...are you available evenings? At Bath & Body Works we had evening shifts for rearranging the displays with new product, decor, etc (as well as sales positions of cource). At Sears there are departments that work behind the scenes setting up displays, signing sales, etc. And remember there are some people who only want weekends and aren't avail during the week so they'll be a place for you somewhere
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Old 09-04-2008, 05:11 PM   #6
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Good luck on finding a part time job. I have put my application in at several places, have called them, etc and nothing!!! I really need a part time job right now and no one is calling me. My hours are restricted as well. I'm crossing my fingers something will come up SOON!!!!
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Old 09-04-2008, 05:35 PM   #7
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I'm a retail manager & we have been collecting applications for 3 weeks now for seasonal help. While I'm most likely not allowed to say this - I'll say it - availability is the very 1st thing we look at on an app - if you don't have good availability the app goes in the trash. We tell everyone that takes an app up front that they are required to have availability either days and weekends, or night & weekends. We won't even consider an app if you have scheduling issues, restricted hours, childcare issues, can't work weekends, or attach a list of days off right up front. It sounds harsh but that's the reality of retail. Holiday retail hours are brutal. We're fortunate to get enough apps (we had 70 turned in already) where we get several applicants with 24/7 availability - that's what we need. Bottom line for the holidays we are BUSY and need people we can train & have in the store as much as possible.

That being said - if you're in an area where it's hard to get retail help, the store may be more willing to be flexible with your schedule. It's all up to the Store Manager & how they like to staff their store. It never hurts to apply.
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Old 09-04-2008, 06:07 PM   #8
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I agree with the PPs who said to give it a shot. There is a balance - seasonal help is often students or people with other full time jobs looking for some extra money. Their main availabilities will be nights and weekends - so good for you! However, stores are busiest on nights and weekends, since many (if not most) people working during the day, Monday through Friday - meaning stores have to staff more heavily during those times.

Really, you'll never know until you try - I did a part-time seasonal job several years ago - it was great for the extra money, but a LOT of work for very little compensation. The only up-side is that I met my husband there!
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Old 09-04-2008, 06:22 PM   #9
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I worked retail for many years and tradionally the seasonal hires get the weekend/nights shifts. That's when it's busier and the reason that stores hire seasonal help.
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaraPA View Post
I'm a retail manager & we have been collecting applications for 3 weeks now for seasonal help. While I'm most likely not allowed to say this - I'll say it - availability is the very 1st thing we look at on an app - if you don't have good availability the app goes in the trash. We tell everyone that takes an app up front that they are required to have availability either days and weekends, or night & weekends. We won't even consider an app if you have scheduling issues, restricted hours, childcare issues, can't work weekends, or attach a list of days off right up front. It sounds harsh but that's the reality of retail. Holiday retail hours are brutal. We're fortunate to get enough apps (we had 70 turned in already) where we get several applicants with 24/7 availability - that's what we need. Bottom line for the holidays we are BUSY and need people we can train & have in the store as much as possible.

That being said - if you're in an area where it's hard to get retail help, the store may be more willing to be flexible with your schedule. It's all up to the Store Manager & how they like to staff their store. It never hurts to apply.
By law you are required to keep the apps on file for a certain amount of time, even if you have no intention of considering them for employment. Just somethign to think about next time you toss one!

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Old 09-05-2008, 12:42 AM   #11
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Go for it! As a big box retail manager, I am currently beginning to plan what I will need to hire for this holiday season. I will only hire someone who is not willing to work weekends as seasonal employment. If you can work days, that's all the better. It allows me to put my year around hot shots on the busy shifts (evenings and weekends) and they make me more money! As much as I like my seasonal help (I always try to keep good ones) I do not need a bunch of green staffers on a super busy Saturday. It's too fast and furious. And when I do use them during peak times, I stick them at the cash registers for their own safety.
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Old 09-05-2008, 03:22 AM   #12
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Try Macys. I worked seasonally for them last holiday season and only worked a couple weekends. They were a great company to work for and I really recommend them. Macys usually offers day/weekday, evening/weekday, and weekend shifts. There might be a couple of weekends that are mandatory, (i.e. Black Friday), but other than that you don't have to work weekends. Get your application in EARLY because they are starting their first hiring rush soon, if not now.
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Old 09-05-2008, 05:40 AM   #13
TaraPA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyyRedd View Post
By law you are required to keep the apps on file for a certain amount of time, even if you have no intention of considering them for employment. Just somethign to think about next time you toss one!

Kimya
I should clarify - I didn't mean "trash" as in the garbage can - we have to keep all apps in a lock box on site - but there is a yellow folder in the back of the lock box for "unconsidered apps!" They can't be left out in the store either, they have to be locked in a safe or lockbox to protect the applicant's personal info.
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Old 09-05-2008, 07:05 AM   #14
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I used to work in retail years ago.

We did hire high school kids so we expected no days, but.... weekends were an ABSOLUTE requirement. That's when we were busy. We really didn't need that much PT help on a Monday night (even in December!) JenSop is right about managers, but sometimes it's a "company wide" decision. At my first management job the "requirement" to work weekends was mandated. At my second we would have let you go if you weren't available every weekend between Thanksgiving (including Thanksgiving) and Christmas. I had to let go several top performers who "called in sick" the weekend after Thanksgiving. (The intestate traffic in the background was a clue! LOL!)
For PT don't expect much in benefits. MAYBE you will get a discount.


There have been several posts on here lately with PT work with lots of restrictions (evenings for a few hours only, weekdays only, certain days only....) Right now I think that's going to be tough. You are competing with a LOT of folks who are desperate for jobs and are willing to take whatever they can get. At least here unemployment is very high and I haven't seen many "help wanted" signs in the stores I go to!
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