“Attention, Customers. Please Get Out of Our Way.”

Okay, I understand that in the current economy, businesses are trying to keep worker’s hours to a minimum, but I think they need to consider the customer when they decide where to cut those hours. I’m tired of dodging stockers while shopping.

Target 9AM: I could not even walk all the way down any aisle because buggies and big push-carts were in EVERY aisle, some attended by people stocking, some just waiting for someone to get to them.

Kroger 9AM: Buggies and employees everywhere I turned. At least our Kroger has wide aisles so I was able to get through. Kroger is open 24 hours. They have no excuse.

Kohl’s 10AM: Every employee in the store, doing inventory. Aside from the hassle of trying to look at clearance racks while two employees are scanning tags (one on each side of the rack), I’m sure it’s a hassle for the employees to do that while people are shopping. Not only getting in the way, but taking things off the rack to try on. The inventory tags were place on the racks, so how will they know later if something from the fitting room was already scanned? They have a team that comes in overnight to replace the price/sale cards on top of the racks. Why can’t they do the same thing for inventory?

Goodwill 11AM: “Attention, customers. Associates are bringing a rack of items out onto the sales floor. Please allow the associates to place the items on the sales racks for your shopping convenience.”  I might have missed a word or two, but I doubt it, because the announcement was made three times in the 30 minutes I was there. I’m a little puzzled by this one because I see associates at other stores putting clothes on the racks all the time and no other store has felt the need to make this kind of announcement. When I worked at Kohl’s, we did this all the time. It was our job to stay out of the customer’s way, not the other way around. Or, to look at the announcement another way, maybe Goodwill has problems with customers attacking the associates to get the new items as they come out. I’ve never seen it, but you never know.

All these visits were on different days and all during weekdays. I hope the stores are better prepared on weekends. Haven’t large stores traditionally brought stockers in overnight? Has the economy changed that? I can understand Goodwill bringing the items out one rack at a time during store hours. That’s no big deal. That announcement was weird, though.