Reading about all these retail closures lately makes me wonder if we’ll see a shift in what working in retail entails in the future.

At the moment, for example, I wouldn’t want to be caught dead working in retail. In my eyes it is poorly paid grunt work dealing with a bunch of slack-jawed idiots with no real job satisfaction.

The reason I say this is because whenever I’ve asked someone in a shop a question about a product it turns out they know even less than I do about it. That’s not particularly surprising in itself but it makes me wonder what they’re actually contributing to the shopping experience. It seems they’re basically there to physically move objects around and interface between the customer and processing of money/stock control.
I eliminate the latter at supermarkets by using the self-scan checkouts but the former is of course still required.

As such the staff contribute nothing to my shopping experience. They’re an annoyance in most cases. I loathe Games Workshop stores for the staff – I do not want to talk to you and I do not want you to waste your own time and dignity trying to convince me to buy something.

But what if retail work actually paid well as staff were expected to be experts in their fields?
What if the staff working in the music section were musicians and music geeks who were paid for their knowledge and ability to make the experience a positive one?

It’d be nice if retail work could be more than the job of human robots. We’ve got so much knowledge and so many skills but currently big companies don’t seem to recognise that they have any value.
At least the staff at my favourite bookshop/café are lovely but they’re an exception.

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