Workers at Black Friday stores tell customers not to blame them for shortages

Workers at Black Friday stores tell customers not to blame them for shortages

Big-box retailers and malls across the United States are attempting to make it clear to customers that they are not in charge of pricing, hiring, or the global supply chain.

Manager Jessica Rivenburgh of the Albany, New York, Williams-Sonoma shop at the Crossgates Mall said, “We get a lot of furious people coming in the morning—just coming at the world angry.” She claimed the ire wasn’t directed at her, but rather at a nearby department shop that opened late due to a lack of employees.

In Ms. Rivenburgh’s store, most of the tense encounters revolve on back-ordered merchandise. The 23-year-old added that most clients are friendly and that the number of things in stock has increased in recent months. Despite difficulties in attracting enough seasonal labour, “we’ve hired enough to get by,” she said.

Walmart's Black Friday

This Black Friday, millions of retail employees are on the front lines as the Covid-19 outbreak looms over a second holiday season. According to hourly retail workers, last winter was more uncomfortable at stores because many clerks had to deal with consumers who were unhappy over contentious mask policy. Some stores are struggling to keep up with the demand for their goods and employees, and customers are taking to social media to voice their displeasure.

A rise in holiday sales is expected, according to industry watchers, and major retailers like Walmart Inc. have reported solid revenue in the lead-up to the season. Supply-chain snarls around the world and Covid-19 have made it difficult for retailers and their suppliers to produce and ship products quickly enough to fulfil demand, resulting in product lags.

As a result, more people are leaving retail occupations due to a lack of hourly workers. More workers than ever before have walked away from their retail jobs in the month of August, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There were 685,000 in September, the most current figure available, which is still very close to historic highs.

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