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In my 23 years of living, I never had to work in retail. I did my fair share of shopping in department stores without knowing the other side of the retail business. I have been in continuous guilt because of one thing. I did not know that something so small and mindless could bother me once I was behind the register. The thing that has been poking and prodding me is the things I have done in a fitting room.
I am not talking about putting graffiti on fitting room walls or not wearing the appropriate garments when shopping for swimsuits. I am talking about the fact that I did not know how important a clean fitting room is to the sales associate checking you out.
A clean fitting room allows for new customers to enjoy a private space to try on clothes without worrying about the discarded garments on the floor. It is a place that gives a clear impression of the store to the customer, according to the condition of the fitting room. Also, cleanliness shows respect toward other shoppers in the store.
Now, the sales associate cannot keep the fitting rooms clean all the time. The state of fitting rooms is dependent on how many customers are coming in and how many associates are working that day. I am in a rather large section of the store that I work at and it has one of the main fitting rooms on the floor, which can get dirty fast. I sometimes monitor this section by myself and I can be stressed out with arms full of clothes in seconds.
I must try and check the fitting room every thirty minutes and start putting up the clothes when I am not selling. It is a system that can break easily because new problems pop up all the time. I can say I never have a boring day.
I made this list in my first few weeks I started working retail. After passing the five-month mark, I would say I am an expert in fitting room etiquette. This list of things is a reflection on what I have witnessed or dealt with on a daily basis.
Fitting Room Etiquette (Clothing Only)
- Don’t bring too much to a dressing room. If your arm starts hurting from the number of clothes you are carrying, the sale associate’s arms will also hurt as well putting the stuff back.
- Put the clothes you tried on back on the hangers. The most annoying thing you could do for the sales associate is leaving clothes strewn all around a dressing room, inside out and on the floor. A fitting room is not your house.
- You can leave the clothes in the dressing room for the sales associate to get, but if you know where you got them, you can put it back. You will literally make the sales associate so happy they will want to give you a hug.
- Do not be afraid to ask where the nearest fitting room is. In a big department store, there will be multiple dressing rooms in different sections. If in doubt, ask someone where it is.
- Don’t be rude. It is good to ask for help if you need anything concerning clothing or help to get something off. That is what a retail worker is there for. A sales associate must deal with the public every day, so just be patient and be kind.
Note: This list is conducted by my sense of humor and is no means to offend anyone. I just wanted to share what I have seen and go through when dealing with the fitting rooms at a retail store.
I have been told by coworkers and customers alike that it takes a strong person to work retail. Over time, you develop this attitude toward other people that are mixed with tranquility and patience because you have seen people at their worst. The worst does not have to be when they have a return or making a complaint. It can be observed in a fitting room. Next time you go clothes shopping, I hope that you keep the fitting room etiquette tips in mind to make the shopping experience pleasant.