My Fisher Internship Fisher College of Business Office of Career Management

My Fisher Internship
How to Survive in Retail: 101

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If there’s one thing you need to know about retail, it’s that it never-ever ends.  When you work in a Grocery Store that is open 24 hours a day, you realize that your 8-4 workday is more or less a guideline. If retail was a city, it would be New York; the city that never sleeps.

I would give you a rundown of a typical day at Giant Eagle, but there is no such thing is a typical day. Most mornings I’ll arrive at 7:30 for my 8am work day so I can check email and access the Giant Eagle intranet. I found out pretty quickly that my work laptop only works when hooked up to a Giant Eagle wireless. Fortunately, this means I can’t bring work home with me.

After walking the store and looking at things that need to be fixed or improved it is usually time for the department huddle. Every day at 10am all of the team leaders meet and discuss their shrink, known loss, sales from the previous day and sales as compared to last year. Shrink includes product that had to be thrown away, such as produce that has gone bad or milk that is out-of-date, and also includes items that were stolen.

Following the department huddle, if I was working in the Grocery department, which includes all the center aisles, Dairy, Frozen, and Beer, Wine & Liquor, I would…

-          Go out to get as much product out on the shelves as possible so we can reduce our back stock,

-          Front products so that they are at the edge of the shelf and make the product look full

-          Reduce the number of the cardboard displays that flood every aisle.

-          Cross merchandise products that go well together, ex. Hot Dogs and Ketchup

-          Order products that need to be refilled

I also have to remember to eat during that time period.

I’ve learned that it takes a special person to work retail. You hardly ever sit at your desk and work on a computer. Oftentimes you’re hauling boxes or moving products around the store.

But if this experience has taught me anything, it’s to look at everything with a critical eye. Every customer is different and they are going to notice different things. Maybe it won’t bother them, but worst case scenario is that it will. When I walk the store I’m looking for trash in the aisles, product holes, signage, and shelf space that could be better utilized. Ultimately, I want to satisfy the customer by providing them with the products they need, so I make sure my shelves are stocked and there are extra in the back room if it’s a high moving product.

Until next time,

Becky stubler

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