What trumps being a kid in a candy store? Being one in a toy store! Needless to say, I was ready for a second childhood when I got to shadow Jennifer Koh, Sales Associate at Big Bird’s Emporium inside Universal Studios Singapore.
You can’t run a toy store without having, well, toys.
My first task of the day was to do a stock take and check the delivery orders to ensure that the numbers tally. I learnt that the store has more than 600 items. I don’t think I can remember them all in a day.
Moving on, there was a bit of housekeeping to do before the store opened. From wiping down the shelves to arranging all the toys neatly, no effort was spared in ensuring the store was in tiptop shape. It’s about the presentation after all.
We do this throughout the day. If we spot anything amiss, we fix it immediately. So the morning session is really just to give it a final touch before the store opens for the day.
Once the store opened, the customers started flocking in. And this is where you get down to the crux of a Sales Associate – not only selling your wares but the experience. Greeting and responding to customers’ enquiries, having a vast sea of product knowledge at your fingertips, informing them about relevant in-store and Resort-wide promotions, even playing tour guide was par for the course. Jennifer handled it like a pro.
Then it’s all about ringing up their purchases. It’s harder than it looks as a million things could go wrong – the credit card terminal could malfunction or someone might have used a fake card! And this is supposedly the easiest part of the job.
Over the course of the day, it’s necessary to keep an eye out for stock levels in the store and to replenish those that were selling fast. It was surprising how quick popular items were being snapped up by customers.
One of the best sellers here is the 18” Elmo and Cookie Monster plush. I’ve been promised to secrecy not to tell how many get sold but if you can’t decide what to get, pick up these plushies.
As it is with any product, there are bound to be defects. The last task of the day was to keep track of damaged goods and file the necessary reports.
The job of a Sales Associate is not exactly a bed of roses. Yes, you are surrounded by toys but you stand all day and need to have the pleasant demeanour to face customers all day. But in the end, when some kid, somewhere jumps for joy at his gift, you know you’ve played a part in that process.
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