The Calm Through The Pressure: Retail Employees During Black Friday

Kaylie Barber, Staff Writer

It’s a time of year that brings every type of shopper, especially the wild ones, to your local retail stores to buy up items on sale. It is likely that you have experienced Black Friday at least once, when going into a store and watching crowds of people grab anything they can get their hands on.

This year, while Black Friday was a success for retailers, spending on Black Friday fell due to the challenges with stocking. Retailers have also chosen to spread out Black Friday deals to early October, causing more business in the month before Black Friday. 

But what about the perspective of the employees working there? How does Black Friday affect them?

Chasing the Storm asked a few students working in retail about their thoughts on Black Friday sales month. 

“The work day becomes a lot more hectic compared to a normal work day, because there are so many customers and sales going on,” Brandon Ruiz, a senior who works at Hollister said “You have to pay attention to the discounts going on.” 

JT Head, an employee at Walmart had a similar response. He said that while it hasn’t gotten too bad yet, there was a noticeable difference. 

“Ever since Black Friday season started, [the middle of the week] has frequently become just as busy as the weekends,” Head said.

Another student had taken notice of the difference that has come due to Black Friday. 

“People seem to be starting to purchase Christmas gifts for their loved ones, and our prices are steadily dropping to prepare for Black Friday,” Alex Yurtola, a senior working at Kohl’s said.

When asked about how Black Friday sales increase his stress levels, Ruiz said that it didn’t personally increase his stress because he doesn’t get stressed easily. 

“But I do have coworkers that can’t handle the pressure,” he added. 

Head had a similar response to Ruiz, and said that the Black Friday sales didn’t increase his stress.

JT Head at Walmart with his coworkers on Halloween

 “In fact, the busier it is, the faster a shift tends to go by,” Head said. “So if anything, Black Friday has caused work to seem easier and faster in the long run.”

Yurtola, however, expressed that they have felt the stress that Black Friday sales have brought. He said that he has been scheduled for work far more often which has been stressful.

“The increase in customers has also made the store a lot messier than usual, which makes working on the floor a lot more stressful,” he added. 

Each retail store handles Black Friday sales differently. For Ruiz, he believes that Hollister handles its shoppers properly due to its 150 person limit along with every cash register being open. Head also believes that Walmart is handling Black Friday shoppers well. 

“We have brought on many new hires and have even opened a separate bay on the other side of the store specifically for people picking up Black Friday orders,” Head said.

Yurtola also agreed that his store had been handling the shoppers well, mentioning that Kohl’s has been increasing its hours and the number of cashiers working.