“ Selling hundreds of unique toys, games, gadgets and puzzles for children and adults. „
UPDATE! TO DOOYOO TEAM ARE AWARE THIS IS IN THE WRONG CATEGORY AND ARE IN THE PROCESS OF MOVING THIS REVIEW!
A Hawkin's Bazaar has opened this year in the Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester city centre. I must admit I had never heard of the shop or its website before I had encountered the shop when in town one day window shoping.
It looked exciting from the outside- like a cross between a Gadget Shop and a toy shop both oriented at Adults and children alike, so I thought I would drag my husband inside to have a look around. There was a big pile of Hawkin's catalogues outside which I picked up to have a good look through later when I was at home.
Whilst in the shop, I didn't see all that many things that I instantly wanted to buy- maybe it was the shop layout or the products they had selected to sell in the store (there is a much larger range in the catalogue and on the website) so they have obviously had to only select a reduced number of things to put in the store.
I left the store feeling that I had seen it all already- the oinking pigs that wander around the shop floor, the mini henry desk hoovers, the wooden xylophone, the donkey that poops cigarettes.... It was all a little disappointing and I didnt see anything in the store that I felt i just HAD to buy or had to shout over for my husband to come and look at... However---
Later that evening whilst sat waiting for the Lotto draw to come on TV, I thought I would have a look through the catalogue and my usual method of catalogue browsing involves getting a marker pen and circling anything fab that I see. Within about 3 minutes, I had circled about 40 products and said to my husband an annoying number of times "oh wow- look at this!!". The range in the catalogue (of products which can be bought on the website) is a far far better and newer range than I saw first hand in the store. The catalogue has over 300 "new" products plus the old favourites.
My personal wishlist of products now includes a book of urban legends/ myths, retro cotton handkerchiefs, various "grow your own" products such as snowmen who grow snow on them and a plastic test tube of "magic snow" (very Christmassy) and also fantastic new things I had not seen anywhere else such as a high tech marble run that you build yourself, sooty and sweep hand puppets, a stuck goldfish bath plug and all sorts of things from indoor fireworks to £1 or under stocking fillers and party bag (or wedding?) favours.
They seem to have all the old favourites such as Morph cufflinks and Marmite sandwich boxes and a Toy Story Slinky Dog wth a load of new inventions/ gadgets thrown in. The catalogue and website should be invaluable to anyone stuck for Christmas gift ideas or stocking fillers. Perfect for secret santa presents or just amusing little moderately priced gifts if you like buying more imaginative presents than a jumper or a perfume for someone. This would also be a great port of call for anyone planning a birthday party and needing party bag toys.
After looking through the catalogue I went back to the store to see if I had just missed all the good stuff the first time around and after about 10 minutes looking. I did manage to find a few of the things I wanted to buy but the store really is just a fraction of their range. I would recommend the catalogue and website to anyone who liked the Gadget Shop and similar shops and likes quirky versions of things and little things to brighten up your home (ie flying geese you can paint for your wall!).
The website is: www.hawkin.com
This review is based on a Christmas Temp Sales Advisor position.
***ABOUT HAWKINS BAZAAR***
Hawkin's offer a uniqur range of toys, gadgets and gifts for children and afults of all ages. Hawkins have a lot of, out of the ordinary products and also offer a different range of toys and gifts for young children and adults.
Hawkins Bazaar started off as a mail order company in 1973, but due to the succes off this they now have a large chain of shops across the high street. You can also buy from their website as well.
***APPLYING FOR THE JOB/INTERVIEW***
It was quite handy as I was un-employed and was desperate to get a job and I knew the assistant manager of the store where I wanted to work, so I had a very brief interview as I had worked with her before.
I just sat down with the manager and went through a few things with him such as experience/working hours etc, and I also had to fill out an application form as well for their records.
As this was an xmas temo job, my last working day was on xmas eve.
***MY ROLE SALES ADVISOR***
I worked here for about 2 months from October 07 until December, 2007. My duties included:
* Putting deliveries out/away
* Stock Replenishment
* Customer Service (Serving customers, helping them, etc)
* Cash Handling (Sometimes I would help count money at the end of the day, when cashing up)
* Training other xmas temp's on the till
I was familiar with the duties as I also worked in the temporary Hawkins Bazaar in Portsmouth a few years before working here!
Sometimes we would be allocated specific tasks to do, but other days we would use our own intiative and if we saw something needed filling up we would go and get stock from the stock-room. We did also got given a section to look after and we would have write a list of stock we needed and then we would go in pairs to fill up a cage with stock and then bring down to the shop floor, ready to put out.
Customer service, was also very big in this store. Customers ask for specific items and they also ask for suggestons for what they should buy people. You have to try and help them to the best of your ability. You will also have to go on the till, to serve the customers. Normally they will have a person for each till and 1 or 2 staff members packing the goods into a bag as well.
A rota is normally done for the till so everyone gets treated fairly, you may also get allocated to stand at specific places in the store to avoid shop-lifters and to help customers out.
***SUNDAY WORKING/BANK HOLIDAYS***
I was a xmas temp and told them I was unable to work Sundays, so I can't comment on this.
Rotas were avaliable in the staff room, which were completed for upto 4 weeks at a time. How-ever if you are an xmas temp your hours are unlucky to change unless you are asked to do extra hours.
***LATE NIGHTS/EXTRA HOURS***
I did work some late nights at this store, which included working until 8pm in the evening. This how-ever would mean that you started later in the day such as 11am., so you are still doing the same hours. As a xmas temp you are expected to work late nights for th xmas period!
You will get given 1 or 2 t-shirts to wear, which are normally red and very christmasy. You will be required to wear these with smart black trousers and sensible, smart work shoes.
I got paid about £5.06 an hour, which got paid into my bank account every week. Tax and National Insurance would get deducted as normal.
I used to work from 9am - 6pm, and I would get 1hr for lunch.
You will receive a small bonus if stores meet their targets and you will also be entitled to staff discount on products which if I remember rightly is 25% or 50%, off of full priced items.
This shop is great to work in, with a bright, bubbly atmosphere. How-ever, this shop does get extremely busy and it gets so busy you cant physically move in there yourself because of all the customers. I really enjoyed working here.
You will have customers moaning that you havent got specific items in stock, and expect queues all day of about 10-20 people non-stop. I remember the store I worked in had a queue from the till to the back of the shop and up to the front of the shop again!
If you like to keep busy and like to keep on your toes I would definately suggest working here as a temp. How-ever if you can't face putting up with customers getting rude and annoyed with you i would not suggest it, as you will no doubt get this in here!