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Retailers, Customers Often at Odds in ‘Post-Pandemic’ Shopping Reality

Retail staffers and shoppers alike struggle with experience

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Before the pandemic, consumers had gotten used to instant gratification, including packages and groceries delivered to their doorstep in under an hour, and stores that stayed open around the clock.

But now, many workers who provided such services throughout the pandemic are fed up and don’t want to go back to the way things were, the Associated Press reports. Instead, they want better schedules, and sometimes quit their jobs altogether.

As a result, many retailers and other businesses haven’t been able to resume the same hours of operations or levels of services. Others have made changes in the name of efficiency. For example, Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer and private employer, announced this past summer it doesn’t have any plans to return its supercenters to their pre-pandemic always-open operations.

For now, this translates into frustrated customers and workers alike. Artavia Milliam, 39, of Brooklyn, is a visual merchandiser at H&M in Times Square. She said she spends more time helping on the sales floor than updating the mannequins because of a shortage of staff.

“It can get overwhelming,” she told the AP. “Every day, I encounter someone who is rude.”

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