This post looks at some of the funniest and most clichéd quotes you hear in retail, from managers, staff, and customers alike.
I love this one, whenever I am in a store and a manager is walking round with a staff member I break down laughing when I hear this one. Usually it pertains to how an item has been placed on the shelf, or the amount of space for walking between fixtures and fittings. Funny how an industry that is based on being accessible to various demographics becomes so focussed on catering for one specific type of person!
“I Have Rights!”
This is obviously from the customer, and if this one is trotted out you almost always know it is not going to end well. It is funny to watch though, unless you are next in the queue waiting to pay for a chocolate bar and a drink. This one is usually followed by a threat to “go further” or report a person for doing their job.
Someone saying this has either lost a receipt and cannot otherwise provide proof of purchase, or has bought something, used and abused it, and now decided they do not want it.
“Would You Like……”
Before going into a diatribe about retail staff, I have to appreciate that they are only doing their jobs in offering an additional sale at the till, and usually only so they avoid being chastised by a target driven manager.
However, a bit of common sense would not go amiss. I am standing with my screaming kids, trying to keep them from picking up chocolate, chewing gum, and anything else situated beside where I am queuing. Do not then ask me if I would like a half price packet of Haribo!
Convenient stuff like stamps is okay, but sweets, batteries, and even obsolete mobile phone top ups? No thank you!
“Needs of the Business”
This is often spurted by managers, although I have tragically also heard this used by staff as well. If anyone uses this with any sort of real meaning, then all hope is lost. It is great being committed to a job, but whatever happened to that small, important thing called “work/life balance?” Surely meeting the needs of the business does not constitute having to work on days off and consistently work overtime without being paid?
Anyone who believes this ridiculously overused line must have their company name tattooed across their chest!
Retail is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to cliché and management speak – and that is at ground level. Imagine what their boardrooms must be like!
Stuart Green is an author in the field of point of sales software and the business environment.