Holiday Shopping is Hard—Don't Shoot The Sales Associate

27 November 2017

Holiday Shopping is Hard—Don't Shoot The Sales Associate

Let’s face it: nobody sees sales associates as heroes. With the exception of Shopgirl, few movies feature a protagonist who lives this life. And yet… so many of us find ourselves working in sales—even if it was never the end goal.

Maybe you’re one such person. Maybe you thought you’d make it as an actress, but you decided to work a day job behind the counter just to pay the rent in the meantime. And then 10 years go by. You still identify as an actress, but it’s been years since you went on an audition.

This is a true story of a woman named Martha, whom I met years ago when I worked at the beauty counter of a NYC department store. Martha’s story is not unique. I encountered countless stories like hers. And yet… these stories are never portrayed on the big screen. Like an elephant in the room, they’re the stories most commonly lived but never discussed.

And then there are the people who decide to reenter the workforce, and think that the seasonal retail gig is their way in. They never foresee how brutal retail during the holiday season can be. So as the holidays approach… have some empathy for these sales associates and their unexamined lives. With the economy and consumer confidence on the rise, large retailers are excited for you to visit them online, but they’re desperate to get you in their stores, in the flesh. They’re also prepping their employment ads promising temporary sales positions that may eventually turn into permanent ones, but most only have enough bandwidth to focus on the near future—enough extra hands and smiles to handle the stressed-out holiday shoppers. Those seasonal employees will most likely be giving up time spent with family and friends to be in the store and earn that paycheck. Don’t forget their stories either.

As a TSC reader, you are probably a bargain connoisseur by now and you know better than to be anywhere near a mall on Black Friday or the week before Christmas. But we still encourage you to go visit the stores when you can and feel the glorious energy of the holiday frenzy. And when that frenzy turns to chaos in those brand name stores, sample sales are a breath of fresh air from it all. As always, we’ve got suggestions on that front.

Though there are plenty of clothing and shoe sample sales in New York this week, we must focus on home merchandise as we’ve stumbled upon the trifecta of sample sales that shouldn’t be missed. Trends quickly come and go in fashion, but tableware purchases are… forever? Considering how expensive they are, that’s how the saying should go, right? Here are three European brands synonymous with quality and luxury:

  • Baccarat Crystal is a French based company, located in Baccarat.
  • Waterford Crystal is named after the city of WaterfordIreland, with production in different European cities.
  • Lalique is also French and proudly carries the name of its founder, a renowned glassmaker and jeweller René Lalique.

A well-thought-out purchase at any of these sample sales could be enough to make your house feel more like a home… or tiny NY apartment more like a castle.

The Baccarat Sample Sale brings tableware, decorative pieces, lighting collections and a large selection of jewelry at 80% off.

The Lalique Sample Sale will feature select pieces from their interior design, decorative objects, jewelry and fragrance collections.

The Waterford Sample Sale has a wide array of formal and casual dinnerware and giftware, crystal stemware, flatware, lighting, collectible figurines and holiday items all discounted from 50-75% off.

Start decking your halls. Happy shopping.

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Posted by Staff Writer at 12:15 AM
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