Working in retail for even just a few weeks will give you insight to the types of customers that will come in. Today I want to talk about those lovely customers that clearly have no intention of actually making a purchase, fill up an entire cart, then simply leave without buying. This happened just the other day. You can usually tell this type of customer apart from others because there is often no reasoning behind what they are grabbing. I work at a CVS, and usually customers come in with just a few things in mind, and may stop and pick up a few groceries along the way. Most people do not go to a drugstore to do their primary grocery shopping, and when they do it is often less than fifteen items.
Well just the other day a middle aged rough looking woman with dirty clearly unwashed dark blond hair came into the store. She grabs a shopping cart, and proceeds to go around the store in no specific order just putting random items in her cart. A $70 hair straightener, Sure why not? What about a bag of adult diapers, hairspray, a dress, and a $20 bottle of shampoo. Just throw it in. Oh need some random greeting cards, weight loss pills, and leather photo album? Sure another $80 sounds reasonable. This went on for about twenty minutes, going from one side of the store to another, putting completely random items in her basket.
After she is all done and her basket is literally overflowing with overpriced crap she then come to the counter and asks if we would hold the massively overflowing cart of stuff for her why she goes to “pick up her son from piano lessons”. I am fairly certain that this rough drug using woman’s son would not be in piano lessons but instead be under the protection of child protective services!
The thing is; this is not the first time, nor will it be the last time this woman has done this. Back when I worked for Walmart and Petsmart she would do the same thing! During my day working for Petsmart she would even go so far as asking employees so many questions that we essentially became her personal concierge shopping assistant.
She is not the only person that does this. Over my 6 years of working in retail it has happened so often that we would usually recognize the people when they would come in. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that not everyone can afford to have everything that they want, and that this simply may be a way for them to go out and enjoy themselves. That said living in a fantasy world where you can afford anything you heart desires is not the reality you live in. If you are going to do this as a customer please don’t fill up a basket. We really don’t mind if you just want to come in and browse, but when you leave carts full of items, it is always left to the employees to put the items back. Sometimes if it is late in the day this means we have to stay late, and on more than one occasion I have been written up for going over my scheduled hours because I was putting up a giant cart full of stuff that you decided to leave for us to return fifteen minutes before we close.
In short, we don’t mind if you want to window shop, but please come back to reality, and do not fill up a cart full of stuff for us already miserable employees to have to return.