My experience with Pet Valu
Sales Associate (Current Employee) – Calgary, AB – 3 December 2019
This is my first job (hired at 16 years old), the company so far is great, I work for a corporate store so management is quite easy and you get to know people that work in other stores quite quickly. The dynamic in the store between people that work there is quite good but you can get on the bad side of people if you aren’t holding up your responsibilities. My manager has been very supportive of me in giving me flexible hours to work and there is always something to do. During peak hours there are usually two people working but in off peak you can expect to be alone and be able to open and close without aid from someone else. You are expected to be active with customers greeting them in a timely manner and being a reliable source of information for them while also performing daily tasks.
Communication with upper management is good and they are an email away with any sort of concerns you have and communication with head office is great as well with the CEO having visited a few of the stores during the summer. There are set expectations there for how displays should be set up during each flyer period and brand standards. There have been an issue with new managers not being trained enough though so this is an issue which effects the store greatly.
Training at the start is time consuming but worth it, you become knowledgeable not just about dog and cat nutrition but specifics about certain brands and other animals as well. New modules have been added since I’ve started so there is always new information to be learned. There is also a part of the LMS that allows you to make suggestions and ask questions to the head office like if a certain product will be available soon or if a brands cans are BPA Free which is great if a customer has a question you aren’t sure about.
Since the company is made up of both franchises and corporate stores it can be difficult to help customers if something is out of stock at your store and you suggest a different location (some items are frequently out of stock in the warehouse for months at a time) which is very frustrating for the customer.
It depends on which location you work at on how busy it will be but even though it might be slow you are still expected to achieve a certain amount of sales and certain benchmarks like multi line and dollars per transaction.
Pay is great in my opinion as minimum wage for under 18 in Alberta is 13.00$/hour and I had a starting wage of 15.25$ already over what minimum wage for adults is. There is annual performance reviews and you are eligible for a raise based on this so putting effort in daily is worth it. It has been mentioned that they are looking at putting in benefits for part time employees in for the future but as of now there is none.
There are several roles that you can take on like receiving orders, placing orders, doing paperwork, on top of basic sales but everyone is responsible for things like freshness tracking, cycle count, cleaning, etc.
The hardest part of the job is picking up slack for others that don’t do their responsibilities, in my experience management can be quite lack in reprimanding people for poor performance and it effects the team culture. I believe that although people that don’t have much experience that may be promising are great, having some people with previous retail experience makes the flow of everything better as everyone is on a different experience level rather than everyone learning stuff at once.