Archived Softlines expectations

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Hello to everyone! I was recently hired as a softlines TM even though I don't recall applying for this position o_O
I've never even worked in retail before so I feel very overwhelmed. I've had 2 days of training on the floor and 2 of cashiering (only for backup). I asked the girl who I was sort of shadowing on the floor a lot of questions but I didn't want to burn her out so I'm hoping some experienced softlines people can answer some questions for me about exactly what the job entails. Any help is greatly appreciated!

1. Describe a typical work day (start, middle, end of shift)
2. Do you generally work alone doing reshop?
3. Are we expected to know where everything is in our area? (this has been especially difficult for me and I've only been able to reshop things I had previously seen on a rack/shelf)
4. What do you do with an item when you simply can not find where it belongs and you have no PDA? (I have not been able to even use one yet because the store doesn't have a lot and they tend to shut down easily)
5. Should you always drop what you're doing to help a customer?
6. Who is the "go-to" person when you can not figure out where something is or to ask any kind of general questions about items, etc.?
7. How long did it take you to learn where things belong?
8. How to you call the backroom if you have no PDA or walkie?
9. Which numbers should you give to the backroom on the item so they can get it?
10. How do you check the backroom if a customer asks if we have any more in stock? (shirts on tables, diapers, baby food, shoes, etc.)

I guess these are all I can think of at the moment but I know I'll have even more by tomorrow. Please help me out f you can because I can already feel a tinge of anger from a few co-workers when I ask them how to do something. :(
 
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Feel free to ask questions! Any good trainer will appreciate this, it shows that you want to learn.

1) This depends a bit on what time you come in. Sometimes they'll have you sort reshop, then push it out, other times they'll have you push sort reshop. At night, mostly you just zone. If you open, sometimes they'll have you push stuff from the truck if they're behind.
2) Yes. I believe this is done to prevent socializing, which can slow you down a LOT. The only exception really is when you're training.
3) No, you can always ask. They always move stuff around so it's impossible to know where EVERYTHING is.
4) Ask someone else, or just put it in reshop to take to guest service. Someone else can have a crack at it. Or find someone with a PDA and ask them. Or use a price scanner (it'll tell you the location).
5) My STL has told us yes, drop whatever you're doing. He didn't tell us this part, but without guests, we have no store and no jobs.
6) I would first ask the TM in that area, then the TL, then the ETL. STL would be last resort.
7) I've been at my store for four years now so I dunno. They do keep moving stuff though so I always have to relearn things.
8) Find someone that has a walkie.
9) Give them the DPCI, that's the only way they can look it up.
10) Check with a PDA using item search, or check with a price scanner (the ones in my store tell you if there's more in the backroom).

Here are some terms you might not be familiar with:
TM = team member, just a hourly employee
TL = team leader, supervisor
ETL = executive team lead, usually you'll have one for softlines, one for hardlines, one for guest service, one for logistics, and one for HR. This varies based on your store size (we combined softlines, hardlines, and guest service all into one ETL position).
STL = store team lead, store manager
 

commiecorvus

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GTC for itsamutiny.

And welcome to The Break Room scaredstr8.
 
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Thanks so much for your response! I'm having my first closing experience tomorrow so I'm a little intimidated. Do you have any advice for how to survive the closing shift, on a Saturday? Do things really need to be perfect for the next day?
 
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I'm afraid I don't work mornings much, so I can't write a guide for that portion of the softlines work. I do know about closing in softlines though. :)


There are two main ways of zoning - which you do depends on how many softliners are closing.

On busy days when there are four or more team members in softlines, everyone will have their own areas. Typically, it's dividied up into: men's and baby basics, toddler racks and boys, girls and shoes, and ready-to-wear. On top of that, accessories, intimidates, and the pulls are given to the team members that arrive earlier than the others. (the team member who arrives at 4 pm might have intimidates and the pulls on top of their two other areas, for example.) Sometimes there is also a team member who's sole job is to do foreign when there are five or more team members on duty. Everyone's duties, at least at my store, are written down at the fitting room.

On slower days with only three team members working, typically one person will start in men's, the next in baby basics, and the last in toddler racks. When the zone in their areas are done, they go to the next area on the circuit that hasn't already someone zoning it. The circuit is, men's, baby basics, toddler racks, boy's, girl's, accessories, intimidates, shoes, then ready-to-wear. Ready-to-wear is typically zoned from Merona to Xhileration, as Merona gets less traffic - that means your zone lasts longer.

Men's, toddler racks, boy's, girl's, sleepwear, and ready-to-wear:
- Help guests find what they want.
- Collect any foreign that doesn't belong in your areas.
- Refold any unfolded shirts on the tables and make them look neat. There's a pull out folding tray on some of the tables that you can use, if you'd like.
- Make sure all the clothing is hanging correctly. The hanger should be turned so that when the clothing is facing you, the top of the hanger makes a backwards C.
- All jackets should be buttoned up or zipped up so that they look nice and won't fall off the hanger.
- Clothes should be in size order. XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXL for men's, girl's, boy's, and ready-to-wear. For toddler racks, it's NB, 3M, 6M, 9M, 12M, 18M, 24M, 2T, 3T, 4T, 5T. For pants, the numbers should go from small to large. Also, 6X goes behind 6. (6X is a size typically seen in girl's pants)
- Make sure the racks are aligned properly; they should be in a neat grid pattern.
- Move any abandoned carts out onto the race track so they can be pushed back to the front of the store.
- Finger space all the hanging clothes. Don't bother finger spacing the clearance racks on the first zone - wait to do that until touch ups, because the spacing will be destroyed quickly after the first zone if you do it.
- Get the foreign for your area from the fitting room and put it all back where it goes. If you are unsure where something goes, ask another team member. If the item is the last one of it's kind (you can use the PDA to check), hang it with similar items.
- Have a pen on you to write on any tags of stolen product you find. Include the time you found it, the date, where you found it, and your initials. The tags all go to the fitting room for the operator to handle.

Baby basics:
- Pull all the produce forward so that it covers the holes on the shelf.
- Make sure hanging product is hanging with similar products on the right peg.
- Diapers should be not be stacked on top of each other on the top shelf, stacked two high on the middle shelves, and stacked three (or as many as will fit neatly) on the bottom shelf.
- The food aisle should have all the food pulled forward, facing forward, and looking neat. The glass cans of food should be stacked two high; it makes it easier in the long run if you try and keep the cans deep zoned (pulling all the product forward, not just the first two or three) but you might not have time for that. Be careful handling the glass cans - they like to fall. If one does fall, follow typical target spill procedures to clean it up.
- If someone wishes to purchase a crib, check on the PDA to make sure the crib the guest wants is in stock, then have it pulled. If you don't know how to pull something yourself, call backroom and have them pull it for you (have the DCPI of the crib ready for them if you do this.)
- Stack the Similac baby formula two high; on some of our product, we turn the second formula on it's front and balance it on top of the bottom Similac.

Intimidates:
- Pull the bras forward so that they're not all pushed to the back of the rack.
- Make sure all the bras are on the hanger correctly. There shouldn't be more than an inch between the hanger and where the triangular part of the bra starts. (no bra should be dangling at the end of it's straps.)
- Bras should be hanging with similar bras, unless they are on a clearance rack.
- We don't put our bras in size order, but this may be different at other stores.
- Panties should be in bins with similar panties. When putting back foreign, it helps to take note of whether they are Gilligan or Xhileration, as the two brands have their own separate bin areas.
- Panties should be pulled forward in the bins, so that the guests can see them easily.
- Xhileration socks, the folded ones in the bins, should be laying neatly on top of each other, sorted together with similar socks.

Accessories:
- Purses, hats, scarfs, belts, and gloves should be on the correct peg with similar product together. People like to move stuff around, so you need to look for anything that obviously is out of place. (red gloves hanging on a rack with a bunch of blue purses, for example.)
- Purses should be zipped and buttoned up if possible.
- Double check any hats on shelves and make sure the stacks of hats haven't been moved to over the wrong price.
- The wallet/clutch display tends to be irrevocably mixed up at our store, but do your best to move all the product forward and stuff with similar stuff.
- Look through the jewelry wall and jewelry turn tables for any out of place jewelry or any empty packages.
- Make sure all the jewelry in the $4.99 is actually the $4.99 jewelry and isn't out of place jewelry.

Shoes:
- Pull all the boxes forward and make sure they're neatly stacked on top of each other.
- Make sure the display shoes pairs are pushed together and facing forward. Boots should be standing up right, if at all possible.
- If you find an empty box, try and find the pair of shoes that go in them. Keep in mind the size - don't put a size five shoe in a box labeled as size 11. If you can't find the shoes for the box, put the box in your cart.
- At the end of the day, take your empty shoe boxes to the baler. Make sure nothing but friendly baler material goes into the baler!
- Keep an eye out for shoes that Target doesn't actually sell. Some people leave their old shoes when they steal our's.
- The slippers on the back wall should be on the correct size peg. The slippers in the bins should be neatly ordered and the cartoon kid slippers should be all facing forward.


... I think that's all. It's all I can think of right now, at least. :)
 
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Honestly just do your best, if they REALLY wanted everything perfect, they would schedule more people. At my store, the front end is responsible for zoning boys and girls and usually our zone still isn't perfect.
 
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Thanks so much for your response! I'm having my first closing experience tomorrow so I'm a little intimidated. Do you have any advice for how to survive the closing shift, on a Saturday? Do things really need to be perfect for the next day?

With softlines, it is most important that the first row, Spoints, and back wall are zoned first. This will look most appealing to guests, and draw them into the floorpads. Rack alignment is also key. Make sure clothing is not hanging over the floorpad and that you can see clear isles in between racks (it's basically a grid system). If you make those your top priorities at night, you should be in good shape for the next day! Also, do not leave any clothes on the floor. No one would in hardlines.
 
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That's really good advice because I heard similar things from one of the TL's. Only one mind you. Everyone else left me to my own devices with no actual guidance. I survived my first closing which was on a Saturday so I'm almost surprised I only left one cart that didn't get finished, though it was filled to the brim and spilling over. How do you manage keeping tables and racks in check when they get completely messed up 2 seconds after fixing them? I was literally picking up armfuls of clothes from the floor and throwing them into a cart just to get them out of the way. I had 4 full carts from doing sweeps in the 8 hours I worked, finished 2 but only with the help of a coworker. Then folding the 8-10 tables which never stayed folded for more than 10 minutes. Plus the clearance tables which literally looked like a tornado hit them. I could hardly bother with them in the end so I just folded some on top to give the illusion of order. I do not understand how they expect one person to keep an entire area such as this in check when you have so many people constantly messing things up? And then they have the nerve to give me deadlines for all the tasks? I'm completely overwhelmed.
 
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It's really upsetting when people destroy your work in front of you. Softlines is so hard, especially when someone messes up your adjacency! My only suggestion would be to work on the important areas first, and then go right back to them when the store actually closes so you can perfect them before the next day. And with the clearance, if there is no order, I assume the normal shelves have sold down at which the adjacency says you can hang them! It always looks nicer on a hanger than a thrown table.
 
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When I see guests starting to mess up my tables I go and do CIHYFS. This usually stops them on their tracks. sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't I kinda look at their direction and I let them know I'm watching what their doing, hoping that they get a sense of guilt haha.
 

mrknownothing

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When I see guests starting to mess up my tables I go and do CIHYFS. This usually stops them on their tracks. sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't I kinda look at their direction and I let them know I'm watching what their doing, hoping that they get a sense of guilt haha.

There you go, give them The Look.
 
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