Frail And Contemporary Mall Staff Are Sharing Insider Secrets About Bath & Body Works, Abercrombie, Victoria’s Secret, And Extra

“There is nothing in the backroom. For these that demand us to trip attempting an item relief there, we sit down down for five minutes.”

I for my section indulge in to be in the know about insider secrets in numerous industries, particularly retail. So I, pointless to screech, requested the BuzzFeed Community: For these that worked at a well-liked “mall store” — esteem Hot Topic, Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works, or any others — what is something that quite about a folks produce not know about these stores or would be taken aback to discover about them?

An H&M shopping outside of a Wet Seal

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I realized quite about a pleasant knowledge from the responses I obtained. Listed below are some of them!

Disclaimer: Clearly we’re going to not 100% verify all of these tales, but these folks are supposedly speaking from their very possess experiences as alleged contemporary or used workers. Some responses possess additionally been edited for length and clarity.


“I worked at Claire’s in the late ’90s. It used to be my first job at 16, and I used to be so anxious to originate coaching in order to pierce ears. Well, I practiced on a teddy endure, then on thought to be one of my co-workers, and magically grew to turn out to be a certified ear-piercing specialist!”

The exterior of a Claire's store

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—Courtney, Indianapolis


“I currently worked for Victoria’s Secret. Their contemporary pathos is that they’re inclusive and pork up mental health. This will be a funny memoir. I used to be a supervisor, and the three different managers were so imply I had a mental breakdown and needed to trip on incapacity. They are toxic and problematic. Indicate girls restful exist, and VS is a celebration to this.”

A rack of perfumes in Victoria's Secret

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“My friend worked at Hot Topic after we were in excessive school (over 20 years ago now, direct). He needed to kill so significant perfectly factual stuff esteem T-shirts that didn’t promote after being on clearance for some time. It used to be all destined for the dumpster, and everything needed to be ripped up or broken sooner than being thrown away. He veritably said he used to be going to smash everything on the loading dock but then factual hid the stuff so he would maybe well take hang of it home. So significant kill!”

A wall of garments on hangers in a Hot Topic store

Pernell Quilon


“I worked at Blockbuster in excessive school. I DO NOT possess the same nostalgia that all individuals else seems to be to possess. As an underage excessive school student, they would restful agenda me to work till discontinuance, which used to be heart of the evening. But on every occasion we closed you never obtained out till no much less than 1 a.m. for this reason of of your total closing obligations. The most slack of which used to be striking relief your total videos that possibilities made up our minds they did not have to rent, so that they were factual assign wherever. The worst spot used to be persistently the kid’s section. It might be fully destroyed by the discontinue of the evening for this reason of individuals let their children lumber wild. Blockbuster used to be additionally persistently in the relief of the occasions. When DVDs were king, Blockbuster restful mostly had VHS. They never innovated for this reason of their conceitedness made them accept as true with that they’d persistently be no 1.”

The within of a Blockbuster store

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“I used to work at Abercrombie in college. The rumors you hear about the shop are in actuality correct, and generally there are crazier tales that folks never heard of. There used to be a rumor that the stores’ cologne spritzed out of the audio system, which used to be not correct. Spent all day and hours spraying the shop’s cologne spray on all garments; that is why it persistently smelled intriguing solid.”

The within of a Abercrombie and Fitch store

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“I worked at Victoria’s Secret and if any of your things rip from there, you can trade them.”

An person walking by a crowded Victoria's Secret

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—Devyn, South Carolina


“I used to work at Bath and Body Works from 2013 to 2016. What I realized that simplest about a folks know, along side myself, is that after the semi-annual sale is completed, whatever is leftover from the sale, the workers bag to possess up a medium bag with whatever used to be segment of the sale and simplest pay $5. I used to esteem stocking up my wallflowers! And not using a doubt one of my current products the shop sells and thought to be one of many things I miss about working there. No longer clear if they restful attain that, but it absolutely used to be thought to be one of many perks we had.”

The exterior of a Bath and Body Works store in a mall

Johnny Louis / Getty Shots / Thru Getty Shots

—Donna, Bay Dwelling, California


“I worked at Forever 21 while in college. I haven’t space foot in that store in years, but while I worked there, the setup used to be similar to TJ Maxx and Marshall’s, the set garments are create of piled up or assign on hangers in random areas. Attributable to they were so cheap, they had SO many garments (this store had two flooring), and SO many teens came in. After the shop would discontinuance spherical 9 p.m., workers were compelled to discontinue till all garments had been refolded, rehung, and assign in the appropriate spot.”

The originate air of an American Eagle store

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“Staff would veritably discontinue till 2 a.m. looking out for to attain this fashioned, but their pay stopped at 9 p.m. I stop after about a weeks and went to Urban Outfitters. UO supplied their workers a 40% carve discover and refused to plan us discontinue after the mall closed. As I left for the evening, I’d trot by Forever 21, and their unfortunate workers would be there, folding, staring at the relaxation of us trip away. I am hoping since then things possess changed.”



“Frail Victoria’s Secret worker: I never pay retail discover for any item. They ALWAYS trip on sale at some level; at the same time as you’re going to deserve to possess something, count on the sale for the explanation that retail discover is technique higher than its right price. Also, the typical has declined so significant since I worked there (spherical 2017–18); the panties are so cheap now but priced significant higher than they used to be.”

The exterior of a Victoria's Secret store

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“Bath and Body Works used supervisor right here. One part I cherished used to be the ‘gratis’ for every theme. It’s miles a sensible technique to bag workers to rave about a contemporary product to company. I hated that Mother’s Day evening is a flooring space switch. I bag that you’re going to deserve to possess to take hang of down messaging the 2nd Mother’s Day is over, but workers are or possess mothers. Also the music! I no doubt possess never forgiven them for his or her 12-tune rotation all the contrivance by contrivance of the ‘Hawaii’ theme, and that used to be ages ago!”

The exterior of a Bath and Body Works store

Johnny Louis / Getty Shots / Thru Getty Shots


“Lush worker right here. For these that’re nice to us or factual vibe neatly with us, we WILL provide you free stuff. From bathtub bombs to face masks!”

Other folks walking out of a Lush store

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—Taylor, Pennsylvania


“I worked at Ann Taylor Loft in college. It no doubt taken aback me to learn that after folks returned objects — even from on-line orders — it used to be deducted from the shop’s profits for the day. So if someone ordered $1,000 price of garments factual to identify out on and then returned them to the closest store, it no doubt messed with the shop’s earnings. These profits are used to evaluate the success of the shop and group of workers. By no manner made sense to me.”

The exterior of an Ann Taylor store

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—Raleigh, North Carolina


“Bath and Body Works. There aren’t any contemporary scents for candles all the contrivance by contrivance of different seasons. They are factual repackaged and renamed. They haven’t attain out with contemporary vacation scents in years (esteem 10-plus years).”

Other folks shopping in a Bath and Body Works store

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“No longer no doubt too salacious, but I worked at Skechers some time ago, and in our worker handbook it literally said, ‘No murky nail polish’; we’re not Journeys.’ Why the coloration in opposition to Journeys? I will never know!”

A Skechers store

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—Kelly, Dallas


“Frail Hot Topic supervisor of over a year right here! Other folks persistently gather it laborious to accept as true with how dinky we were in actuality paid. No longer simplest did gross sales mates simplest bag paid $7.25 an hour, but as thought to be one of many three store managers, I simplest made $8.25 an hour. I in terms of stop when I went spherical the corner and heard they were hiring my right enlighten at Hollister, and the pay used to be in terms of twice what I used to be making for the SAME JOB!”

The within of a Hot Topic store

Pernell Quilon


“Bath and Body Works and Victoria’s Secret are sister companies. My supervisor shared that the firm will recycle retired scents and fragrances and price them as price-contemporary fragrances. No shock I’d fetch some of them smelled familiar!”

A metropolis street the set a Bath and Body Works bag sits

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—Jessica, California

“I worked at Victoria’s Secret, and at the same time as you bag the VS bank card it no doubt works at Bath and Body Works too.”



“I managed an American Eagle. All denims possess a lifetime warranty in case of rips or damage. As long because it’s the same size or the same jean kind (if the distinctive used to be discontinued). Also, the watches are taken out of their long-established packaging, but they additionally attain with a lifetime warranty.”

The exterior of an American Eagle store

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—Christina Marie, Contemporary York


“Per chance it’s not ALL of them, but I used to be employed at Forever 21 about a years ago. I made it a total of 4 hours sooner than I legit had a mental breakdown. They scheduled my first day on a Saturday. The supervisor then passed me over to a extraordinary worker, who then commended me to ‘Fold the sweaters on this section,’ which I did for four hours. Time and all yet again. So, in overall, that firm doesn’t give a fuck about you; you’re a walking meat trip neatly with to work for them. My simplest coaching all the contrivance by contrivance of these four hours used to be to fold sweaters; that’s literally it. I couldn’t solution any customer questions, and couldn’t figure out how to identify someone’s bag when the fright went off. Nothing but sweaters.”

The within of a Forever 21 store

Drew Angerer / Getty Shots / Thru Getty Shots


“Bath and Body Works seasonal worker right here. I will’t show you the contrivance veritably a day I needed to disclaim someone’s coupon for this reason of they brought in a Mattress Bath and Beyond coupon, not realizing their mistake. This resulted in extraordinarily embarrassed possibilities OR ones who doubled down and acted esteem we were dumb and didn’t know the title of our possess employer. NEVER AGAIN.”

The exterior of a Mattress Bath and Beyond store

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“I worked at Bath and Body Works, and also you can restful persistently learn the ravishing print on coupons for this reason of they possess obstacles on everything.”



“I worked at Aéropostale for about six months in college. I started working there all the contrivance by contrivance of the vacation season, and by the time the shop used to be closing, it would be an absolute mess. The T-shirt tables would be so chaotic and unorganized that in its set of looking out for to reorganize these tables, the objects would be shoved off the table and onto the flooring to originate contemporary. Also, my sleep agenda took years to enhance after having to work 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. to attain flooring objects (altering the shop spherical when contemporary objects/seasons arrived).”

A worker internal an Aéropostale store folding t-shirts

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“I worked at Bath and Body Works in college. The entrances had devices that counted every person that walked by contrivance of the door, and if gross sales didn’t match these numbers, the shop obtained penalized and workers working that day obtained the blame. I watched managers be outright hideous to possibilities who came in and didn’t steal something for this reason of of this. Also, these extravagant flooring displays you watch space up? Crew individuals possess to discontinue till 1 to 2 a.m. to space them up, and administration expects it to be ideal. It’s laborious!”

Customers lined up originate air of a Bath and Body Works store

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“My managers pulled me from engaged on the flooring and simplest had me on the register for this reason of I wasn’t ‘cheery’ ample to work along with possibilities while they shopped. I worked there for twelve months and never went relief.”


“I worked seasonally at Bath and Body Works. Every plug of their stores is below surveillance, and it’s monitored remotely by their workers. They can faucet into any store at any time. Theft isn’t tolerated there the least bit. A woman used to be let trip for this reason of she assign a exiguous hand sanitizer in her apron and forgot about it. They noticed this on camera and instantly called the shop. It’s creepy at the same time as you demand me, esteem Enormous Brother.”



“I worked at Hot Topic and two things — for starters, there might maybe be nothing in the backroom. For these that demand us to glance, we sit down down for five minutes. One other is that Hot Topic has one of the most lowest turnovers in retail. Attain you’re going to deserve to possess a job there? Correct success! No, critically, they never possess openings. Other folks esteem working there, so that they discontinue for years.”

The within of a Hot Topic store

Pernell Quilon


“I worked at Bath and Body Works for nearly a year. Everything that doesn’t promote every season gets assign in storage to finally be marked down. For these which possess your eyes on something explicit, test your store the subsequent time they possess a sale for this reason of chances are high it’s no much less than 50% off. Also, you no doubt can return something no subject the placement, but persistently demand for a finest trade for this reason of with returns they simplest possess to provide you the lowest discover the article has ever been relief.”

The within of a Bath and Body Works store

Johnny Louis / Getty Shots / Thru Getty Shots

“Also, if the worker is feeling no doubt beneficiant and the scent you’re going to deserve to possess is out of stock on the flooring, they would maybe give one from the relief with different packaging that Bath and Body Works doesn’t need them to set out yet.”


Bear you ever ever worked or currently work at a well-liked store and would maybe allotment some insider knowledge? Record me in the comments below!

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