Remember the Retail Workers During your Retail Therapy

Last week shops opened up in England – much to the delight of people who want to “get back to normal”

From my Twitter timeline there seemed to be two camps:

Those that were happy to queue to get into a shop, along with those who were defending them

Those that would rather stick pins in their eyes and thought the first camp were a little bit daft

Now, I am not one to judge and I can totally understand why people would want to get back to normal but let’s face it, this ain’t normal and it ain’t going to be normal for a very long time.

My twitter feed was full of people either taking the piss out of people queuing up or those defending their right to do so. From my point of view, as someone who has shielded since before lockdown commenced, was that this is not shopping as we know it. This is not retail therapy and I for one don’t fancy risking my life for clothes or anything else I can’t get delivered to my door.

I absolutely get that people may have outgrown their current wardrobe (I know I have)

Not to be flippant but all our kids that are getting taller by the day. The defense for a lot of people shopping was that they could go to affordable shops – but did they all need to go on the first day of opening? Also, there are affordable shops online (Primark excluded), you can buy secondhand from Facebook (social distancing please), you get the picture.

I digress. 

We all seem to have forgotten about a set of people here. The shop workers. The retail staff who have had to go back to work so we can have our “retail therapy”

A lot of the people who work in retail are scared, they’ve kept themselves safe for three months. They don’t want to be on the front line, faced with hundreds of people a day, not wearing face masks and not adhering to the rules. 

A friend of mine works in a shop that has requested specific number of customers at a time, a number they deem to be “safe” according to government guidelines. That is being largely ignored by the customers. Moreover, the staff are being berated because they aren’t offering the sort of shopping experience the customer is used to. The staff in some shopping centres are being left to manage the customers themselves which I think is highly unfair in the current climate. 

Up until a couple of weeks ago we were clapping our front line workers and now we are pushing them out of the way to get to a pair of socks

I don’t doubt the joy that going to the shops is bringing people. I know the feeling of buying something new and feeling good about yourself but please remember the people having to work. Thanks

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