“ Supplier of stationary products. „
Paperchase is the retail brand leader in design led and innovative stationery in the UK. Paperchase have been trading for over 30 years and now have over 100 outlets in the UK, as well as an extensive opening programme in the USA. Paperchase trade through their own stores as well as concessions in Borders Books & Music, selected House Of Fraser Stores and Selfridges stores.
Paperchase have 2 flag-ship stores (Tottenham Court Road, London and St. Mary's Gate, Manchester. These stores carry an unbeatable range of unusual papers and art materials as well as stationery, greeting cards and gift packaging which can be found in other stores.
***WHAT DO THEY SELL?***
Paperchase sell a range of cards, stationery, gifts and gift packaging. They sell occasion cards such as Thank You and Congratulations, Baby Boy and age cards but they do not stock cards for specific family members such as Mum, Dad, Brother, Sister, etc.
***APPLYING FOR THE JOB/INTERVIEW***
I applied for a full time position as senior sales advisor. I handed in my cv and I got a call asking to go for an interview.
My interview lasted just under an hour as they ask lots of questions and get to know you. I was then asked to go for an hour's trial in the shop to see how I got on in the environment. I was asked to price cards and put them out in the appropriate place. This hour's trial, showed them how quick I was at doing this task and how easily I could find where the items went. It also showed my interactions with customers and health and safety as well.
I applied for the job as I have worked in the same environment before and I was with the company for over 4 years, and I loved every aspect of the job and my responsibility. It also looked like a great atmosphere to work in, and the shop was bright and colourful with lots of fantastic products.
***MY ROLE: SENIOR SALES ADVISOR***
I worked at paperchase from 1st October 2007. Although it's a senior sales position, I didn't realise it actually meant Supervisor, which I was quite happy with anyway as I like the responsibility. My duties included, cash handling such as serving customers, cashing up and daily banking. Opening and closing the shop, stock replenishment, checking off deliveries, general house-keeping duties such as cleaning, etc, job-lists and customer service, refunds and exchanges.
My hours were 39 hours a week, which does included weekends, which is every Saturday and every other Sunday. If I work a Sunday I get 2 days off in the week, so I still only worked 5 days a week. My hours were 9:00am - 6pm most days, but obviously some stores trade later than this, and store hours do change over the Christmas period.
When you first join Paperchase you will have a probationary Period which is for 3 months. Everyone has to go through this as the first 3 months is for you to learn about their requirements and for them to review, how well you are settling in with the job. During the probationary period, your performance will be continually monitored by your manager. At the end of the probationary period a full review of your performance will be completed. After the probationary period, if you are full time, you will become a permanent member of staff if your 3 month period is satisfactory.
My daily duties involved stock replenishment, marking off deliveries and putting delivery out. General house-keeping such as cleaning, emptying bins at end of day, etc and general customer service such as serving customers on the till, helping customers to find products they need, etc. Between 12 - 3 no work is to be done on the shop floor as this is customer service, time where we focus only on the customers and nothing else.
If you are a full-time member of staff you have to opt in woring sundays, whereas if you are part-time you can choose to opt in or opt out.
Although in the branch where I worked the manger never worked sunday's so technically they are opting out when they are not allowed to, which I think is unfair!
Staff rota's are meant to be up 4 weeks in advance . . in my branch this very rarely happened . . most of the time its 2 weeks in advance and they are forever changing so you can never actually plan much for your day off which gets annoying and irritating!
***LATE NIGHTS/EXTRA HOURS***
If you are full time memeber of staff you dont get paid over-time, you have to take it off in lieu! When occassions come up such as valentines, mothers, fathers day and christmas, the closing hours are normally extended, and sometimes you may be required to work late nights and start earlier than your normal shift, how-ever the manager in my store also doesn't work any late nights during the busy periods!
Paperchase provide you with 3 black shirts if you are a full time member of staff. They are black shirts and have paperchase written on the shirt pocket in blue. You are expected to dress smart, wearing black smart trousers. Management don't normally wear the paper chase shirts, they can wear either black or grey providing it looks smart.
My pay was salaried and works out about £6.30 per hour. How-ever after you have completed your probationary period and you have become a permanent member of staff you will get a pay increase.
As my wages were salaried you don't get paid for over-time, but you have to take this back in lieu time, for hours or days they owe you for working extra. How-ever working bank holidays, is double time.
Wages get paid directly into your account every month, which falls on the 28th of every month. As with any other normal job, tax and national Insurance is deducted as normal. You will receive your pay-slip through the post which comes to the shop, the day you get paid.
As I was a full time member of staff and work from 9am - 6pm, You get a 30mins break and also 1 hour for your lunch break as well. Some stores do a 15 min break in the morning then an hour lunch and another 15 minute break in the afternoon. It varies in different stores.
All staff are entitled to discount after completing 3 month's service and are offered a permanent contract. Discount is 50% off current selling price, excluding sale items and promotional offers.
Senior sales and the management team are sometimes legible for a Bonus if their store performs well. I think it's a bit unfair how management only get the bonus, as everyone works together as a team so I think every staff member should be eligible for it!
They also offer a Personal pension Scheme as well.
I have had at least 5 different jobs, 3 of them being management positions. I have worked in the same environment before and I loved my job. I enjoyed every aspect of it. I loved the responsibility and I enjoyed working with the products, staff and I loved interacting with the customers.
Christmas is manic in the shop, as you can imagine, but it makes the more fun as there's lots to do and lots to look out for. Customers are really friendly and they are forever commenting on how nice the products are, and they prefer shopping in our shop to other well known card retailers (not mentioning any particular stores).
I think it's a well-paid job and very enjoyable as well. I think the staff discount is generous, compared to other shops. Products are of good quality and are a reasonable price, as well as different and quirky compared to other stationery stores.
The staff I worked with were friendly and we all got on well and work well as a team. It's a great company, to progress up-to management and there is normally always this option, if they have a suitable position available and they think you are performing well in your job.
It's probably one of those shops which will get very quiet after Christmas. They are open Boxing Day which I personally think shouldn't be aloud, as I think this should be classed as a holiday and I think all shops should be forbidden to open.
On delivery day's there is plenty to do, such as marking off stock, pricing and putting away stock, but to be honest when there isn't delivery I do find the day used to drag, as you normally get made to clean, we're talking cleaning the tables/fixtures and everything you can think of once every-week! I appreciate the shop needs cleaning and house-keeping duties need to be done, but my manager is getting us to clean constantly going over bits we had cleaned a day before. I chose this job to work in retail, not to spend day after day cleaning!
If you have a really good manager, this would be a lovely place to work, with a relaxed environment and friendly, outgoing staff. I can't say in the branch I worked this was the case!
With great prospects and the opportunity to progress in a well known retailer, this job comes with good benefits and bonuses.
I left Paperchase in August 2008, to start a career change, and because I was sick of my manager giving me abuse at work and being rude to me and to customers. I was also annoyed that he used to leave at 5pm every single day and always leave me and the manager to cash up!
After leaving Paperchase I wrote a letter to head office about the manager giving me abuse and saying rude things and things which wee out of order but I never got a response back from them, which i was very dissapointed at!