Here’s How to Enjoy This Year’s Holiday Shopping in the Bay Area According to Retail Employees

5 mins read

California’s and the United States’ Recent Coronavirus Case Updates

Many retail workers in the Bay Area recently express their worries and concerns about this year’s holiday shopping experiences. With nearing festival celebrations like Black Friday coming up, shop employees fear the possibility of shoppers overcrowding stores despite the existence of social distancing guidelines to prevent another surge of coronavirus cases across the state.

With the United States’ recent surge of COVID-19 cases, the majority of large corporate shops like Best Buy and Walmart urge the public to do online shopping more, provide curbside pickup, and extend their Black Friday sales over days or weeks. California, on the other hand, most districts are within the purple tier allowing only 25% capacity of people to shop in malls and retail stores. Despite the coronavirus regulations, retail employees get horrified with the thought of some civilians not following the rules, such as not wearing face coverings properly while they shop.

Retail Employees’ Experiences and Concerns with In-person Shopping

Lola, a retail worker at one of San Francisco’s largest department stores, told the news media that she and her co-workers worry about what will transpire on the nearing Black Friday. According to Lola, she and other retail workers do not understand why the mall they work at hasn’t decided to close due to the ongoing pandemic. All of her co-employees hopes that business would not inflate at alarming rates as crazed last-minute shoppers try to visit stores to purchase the things they would need and want for the holiday season.

Additionally, Lola shared her retail working experiences amid the coronavirus crisis with the news media. According to Lola, while the majority of customers wear masks inside the shopping premises, several of them would wear them under their noses or pull them down completely. Moreover, she recalled how some shoppers ask retail staffers for dressing room assistance without concern about putting on their face masks again. Lola also stated that customers rarely keep 6 feet away from her at work, and while their cash registers have plexiglass screens in the front, clients would often duck their heads around them to talk to the cashiers. All of the said occurrences made Lola feel anxious and concerned with her and her fellow workers’ health safety.

Another employee at one of East Bay’s small game stores, Sarah, mentioned that she feels relatively secured in her workplace due to its small size. However, she also had crazy and nerve-racking experiences with customers violating safety protocol measures. According to her, there were instances when shoppers go inside the store without wearing their masks. Whenever that happens, Sarah and her colleagues repeatedly remind customers to wear their face coverings properly or ask them to leave the shop. 

Meanwhile, a Marin lifestyle store retail worker named Rebecca revealed that most of the customers she handled at work adhered to social distancing regulations. However, like Lola and Sarah, Rebecca also had her fill with people not caring to follow administered protocols. She recalled that there are those shoppers who become aggressive when asked to wear a mask inside the store or people who take their face coverings off to sneeze. 

Additional Reminders to Follow When Shopping in Person, According to Retail Workers

Despite the establishment of safety guidelines to follow in light of the pandemic crisis, the holiday season still poses a threat to a possible surge of COVID-19 cases around the country. In case you plan to do your shopping in-person for the holidays, retail workers have a few reminders to follow so that you can still enjoy your holiday shopping experience.

Sarah highly recommends that people should only stop by her store in-person if they are sure they want to purchase something from there and not go in for window shopping. That would help avoid overcrowding the place and prevent the risk of getting infected by the virus.

Additionally, other retail workers also suggest going in-person shopping with one companion or only yourself. Avoid engaging in long conversations with retail staff unless it’s necessary. If possible, retail employees highly encourage the use of online shopping instead of visiting malls or stores in person. That way, you could still enjoy shopping for the holidays, even in the comfort of your home.