Giving You A Mall-ing

, , , , , | Working | December 27, 2017

Years ago, I worked for a company on the team that set up new store fronts. That year, the CEO made a promise to stockholders that we would have five new stores open by Black Friday in the state.

Unfortunately, one of the new stores was being put in a mall that was being built. They ran into problems, and the construction of the mall was delayed by six months. This pushed the store set up long past the holidays. We found this out early and reported it to corporate.

The next morning, my direct supervisor got a furious call from the CEO. He said he had promised a store ready to go by Black Friday, and we would provide it, no excuses.

So, October of that year we went to the active construction site of the future mall. We had to carry racks and merchandise from a block away by hand, as we couldn’t get a vehicle close, and we had to wear hard hats to go to and from the store. There was no plumbing or electricity, so we had to rent generators to run rented lights and a heater while we worked. The windows weren’t installed yet, so we had tarps taped over them.

Finally, after the most difficult store set up ever, we took pictures of the set up and sent them to corporate.

They responded to now pack everything back up and ship it back to corporate. By the time the store could have customers, everything would be seasonally changed, and they didn’t want anything valuable left behind.

So, we taped the boxes back up, undid everything, and carried it out to be shipped back. The whole process was three weeks of labor for a team of six, plus hotels, travel, shipping, and rental costs.

The photos of the “finished” store went out to stockholders, captioned that the CEO met his promise of having the store ready for Black Friday.

Six months later, they sent us back to set up for real this time.

The company went out of business since then, and every Black Friday I remember this story that demonstrates why.

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