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Westfield determined to have lifeless shop assistants

Kerces 13 October 2005 15

I was happily perusing the paper this morning when I discovered that as of the end of October Westfield plans to extend its weekend trading hours.

Yippee! I cried (non-enthusiastically), because as a uni student and casual shop assistant, the weekend is the time I get most of my shifts. And now those shifts are about to be extended to shutting at 6pm. Which means not leaving the shop til roughly 6.30pm.

In the half of the story that’s missing from the net, there’s some discussion about the Leases (Commercial and Retail) Act 2001 which apparently states that a landlord can’t change a shopping centre’s trading hours without the written consent of the majority of tenants.

However Westfield have gotten around this by saying that although the Belconnen and Woden centres will be staying open longer, none of the shops are actually obliged to follow suit. Yeah right. As if any of the shops, the chains anyway, would risk letting other people make money while their doors are shut.

Of course, like the 48 hour trade last Christmas (which will inevitably be held again this year), the centre management staff aren’t the ones who have to work those extra hours and have work cut further into their living-time. That’s left to the store managers and their (mainly) casual staff.

UPDATE Westfield given out a schmick-looking flyer to all the stores explaining their reasoning for the extended hours. Hit “more” to see said flyer.

Westfield extended hours brochure

Westfield extended hours brochure

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Westfield determined to have lifeless shop assistants
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johnboy 9:20 am 15 Oct 05

Not that I care much for WorkChoices but I doubt most casuals will notice any difference at all.

And smart businesses will split their employees shifts if they are too long to stay sharp on.

Bad businesses will be less competitive.

In my own retail days based in cinema, a day ran from 9am until after midnight.

Did anyone work a full 09.00-00.00? Almost never.

bonfire 11:08 am 14 Oct 05

why do people flock to these westfield temples of avarice for xmas shopping ? there are many alternatives.

patronise the alternatives, such as the various town centre business areas. you will probably save money and certainly wont be subjected to psychological warfare by master marketing manipulators.

Jey 8:23 am 14 Oct 05

‘Workchoices’ ha!

Tempestas 8:34 pm 13 Oct 05

Wow so by next year Workchoices will mean all those casual workers in retail will be doing the extra hours for no more money than they are now, even less if their employer is at the cutting edge.

On the bright side this is the shape of work to come, Sunday/Monday its all the same day, just work it so you can have enough to keep your lord um I mean landlord happy. Lets face it if you are unskilled you maybe able to save on rent by working all the time.!

bulldog 2:01 pm 13 Oct 05

Humbug yerself…

wonsworld 1:04 pm 13 Oct 05

Bah Humbug the lot of ya.

I do like Christmas (even the carols) and really everything about it. I fear that we get overtaken at times by the commercialisation and moreso in the past few years, “the americanisation” of the event, but its a personal thing about how much you let that effect you. SO Bah Humbug to you moaners and Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all the rest!

Ho Ho Ho!!!

bulldog 12:45 pm 13 Oct 05

Top analogy thumper; kudos.

I feel you knocking with Mall music; I have suffered enough, so I try and get my shopping done in one painless planned assault on Civic. More outdoor areas equates to less music and random idiots stopping to do something dumb in narrow thoroghfares.

Outdoors you only have the buskers to contend with, but at least it’s not Dean Martin telling me about the scenery in a far off distant land I have no interest in.

Thumper 12:38 pm 13 Oct 05

I hate Carols with a passion greater than a hungry stoat after a chicken….

Jey 12:38 pm 13 Oct 05

Note to self: escape madness if shopping at Belco mall by hanging out at Colorado :p

Kerces 12:31 pm 13 Oct 05

Last Christmas we played carols for about three minutes in our shop then decided we couldn’t stand it. Many people complimented us on having our regular bland pop music instead of annoying carols.

Jey 12:23 pm 13 Oct 05

“inevitable feuding” … good to know it’s not just my experiences
the music…yes! It all sucks!

Grinch I am.

bulldog 10:37 am 13 Oct 05

Jey the Grinch… Nice one, I hate christmas and the inevitable fueding that goes along with it. Oh, and the music suck @rse as well…

Jey 10:29 am 13 Oct 05

Let’s not have Christmas at all!

Thumper 10:20 am 13 Oct 05

I have a cunning plan….

Lets have Christmas on the 26th of December, then we get an extra day of shopping.

You know it makes sense….

bulldog 10:04 am 13 Oct 05

Hving worked for quite a few years in retail, I would have to say this a terrible idea.

The first reason for this as that the business is not there to support the additional costs incurred by the smaller retailers who are staying open. Centre management will lean on these guys to be trading the additional hours, regardless of what is said in the article.

The second reason this sucks is because retailers have families too. Yes, that’s right, sales staff and shop managers are people too (I know this may come as a shock to certain people), and some of them even have families which they may like to spend time with.

In my experience Australian consumers forget that sales staff are real people, have real lives, real families and real emotions. They are not fabricated machines that are there to take a kicking from people. Contrary to some people’s belief, they are not a lower class of people becasue they work in retail. I would ask people to remeber that next time they are shopping.

That’s my gripe after six years of retail. I would think that most RA posters don’t fall into this prick customer category, but certainly some people may read this and think twice before welcoming extra hours at the soul-less emporiums of misery.

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