17 Pros and Cons of Working at a Supermarket

One of the most commonly applied jobs is working at a supermarket.

There is a high demand for a handful of positions, as the supermarket is one of the busiest sectors in the market.

If you want to work in a supermarket, consider some pros and cons before applying.

Below, we’ll give you a decent breakdown of those.

Pros of Working for a Supermarket

Many individuals are happy with working at a supermarket due to several factors.

However, these positives change from position to position.

If you’re considering applying for a supermarket position, you will likely appreciate the following:

#1: Consistent Hours

One of the most significant benefits of working at a supermarket is having consistent hours.

In other positions, you may not get scheduled for a consistent amount of hours, which can be difficult if you need to meet a minimum amount to pay the bills.

Luckily, supermarkets have consistent hours and work with their employees to give them a minimum of 40 hours if they are fully employed.

Part-time candidates can also expect consistent hours, as there is a need to restock, clean, and check inventory daily.

#2: Learn Customer Service Skills

Customer service skills are required in many other jobs.

If you lack these skills, working at a supermarket can be a good idea.

At a supermarket, you will be in charge of ensuring customers are satisfied with their purchases.

This can mean helping them decide which product to buy, making sure they can find a specific product, and making sure products are in stock and shelved correctly.

#3: Flexible Hours

Along with consistent hours, the hours are also flexible.

Since supermarkets are often open seven days a week, multiple shifts can be filled, allowing employees to select a schedule that works best for their lives.

This will enable employees to choose multiple shifts to the graveyard shift, such as the morning, afternoon, or even late night. 

#4: Discounts

Employees may also receive employee discounts on products.

While this varies by location, many places offer an employee discount when shopping at the center.

Over time, this can be valuable, as it can help save a lot on daily necessities. 

#5: Promotions

Every employee can get a promotion at a supermarket as they gain experience throughout the years.

Employees can increase their chances of promotion the longer they work for the company.

If they are proven to be consistent and do their job well, employees can develop professionally and gain more opportunities for growth within the company.

In many cases, employers will also pay for specialized training to enhance their chances of promotion.

#6: Over-time/Holiday Pay

Supermarkets are often busiest during holidays.

Employees working these shifts can earn overtime pay or even specialized payment rates.

Some supermarkets even pay double if you are willing to work on holidays, which can lead to a higher paycheck during these times of year.

In addition, overtime is consistently available, which allows employees to pick up more hours when needed.

#7: Physical

In today’s job market, many jobs require you to be sedentary, which can harm your overall health.

You will constantly be on your toes and walking around in a supermarket position.

This can be enjoyable for someone who hates being crammed into a desk or wants to stay active during the day.

#8: Gain Retail & Marketing Experience

Working at a supermarket allows you to gain retail and marketing experience that will later translate to other jobs.

This can include learning to properly position merchandise, create holiday-themed displays, and even display product placement.

Many of these skills are necessary for other higher-paying positions and can often be a highlight on your resume when applying elsewhere.

#9: Lots of Socialization

If you enjoy being around people, then you’re in luck.

Working at a supermarket, you’ll be talking to people all day long.

If you’re a social butterfly, then this can be a fun position to work in.

You will meet a wide variety of people and be able to work with a large population.

Your day-to-day will be filled with all sorts of conversations and you’ll be able to gain knowledge on what type of people you work with.

Cons of Working for a Supermarket

While there are many benefits to working at a supermarket, there are also a few cons.

Below, we’ll give a breakdown of the many cons you should consider before applying.

#1: Physically Demanding

If you’re not active, staying on your feet all day can become a challenge.

Those who need special accommodations can still work these positions, but they still need to consider the amount of daily activity involved.

Often, employees will be standing for at least a few hours with little to no breaks.

Those applying for this position should be able to pick up heavy objects and also be able to stand for extended periods.

#2: Low Pay

While there are chances of promotions and other high-paying positions, many of these aren’t available until you’ve gained a promotion.

The problem is that the entry-level pay is often minimum wage or isn’t as high as you’d hoped.

So, this can be difficult if you need a position that gives you a higher paycheck.

Applicants should calculate their living costs before taking a full-time or part-time position at a supermarket.

#3: Mentally Draining

If you’re not a people person, working at a supermarket could be tiring.

Often, employees will be dealing with customers all day long.

If you’re not used to social interaction, this can be especially draining.

In addition, some customers may be more challenging, and employees will need to remain professional and polite.

Many times, employees will struggle with this after a few weeks if they aren’t used to social interaction or dealing with a wide variety of people.

#4: Repetitive/Boring

If you’re looking for an exciting job, a supermarket position might not be right for you.

Working at a supermarket is generally very repetitive and requires you to complete the same tasks daily.

As an employee, you may also be tasked with mundane chores such as cleaning spills, counting money, or even greeting customers.

This can be boring for most people looking for a fast-paced and exciting work environment.

#5: Bad Management

Since supermarkets tend to be all over, there is a wide variety of managers in each building.

You might be stuck working with a more strict manager, which can be tiring.

Sometimes, you may also work under multiple people depending on your shift time, which can confuse you.

Some managers may expect you to do tasks a certain way, while others will be more relaxed.

You may get in trouble if you can’t remember what each manager likes.

#6: Germs

Supermarkets, on average, see a minimum of 1,000 to 3,000 customers a day.

If you’re prone to getting sick, then this might not be the right job.

Customers constantly touch the products, and you will be tasked with touching the items throughout the day.

It is easy to get sick, and you won’t always have that many sick days off.

This can be difficult for those who are OCD or enjoy a clean work environment.

#7: Limited Benefits

Often, employees will only have limited benefits.

If you are working full-time, then you might have to work a certain number of months before you are even offered health, dental, and vision care.

This can be devastating for those who need coverage.

In addition, many supermarket positions don’t offer 401k contributions or retirement.

#8: Busy Holidays

Talk to any supermarket worker, and they will tell you how much they loathe the holidays.

This is because supermarkets often become hectic during these times of the year.

Holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and even Halloween require longer shifts and even more people scheduled to work.

The number of customers you’re serving can also double or triple as people make last-minute holiday purchases.

You will also need to be able to work fast, as many times there will be long lines, and you could get in trouble for working too slowly.

14 Pros and Cons of Working for a Supermarket – Summary Table

Pros of Working for a SupermarketCons of Working for a Supermarket
Consistent HoursPhysically Demanding
Learn Customer Service SkillsLow Pay
Flexible HoursMentally Draining
PromotionsBad Management
Over-time/Holiday PayGerms
PhysicalLimited Benefits
Gain Retail & Marketing ExperienceBusy Holidays
Lots of Socialization

Should You Work for a Supermarket?

Working for a supermarket can be excellent if you’re just trying to gain experience or need to fill a position in your resume.

If you’re also planning on working in customer service, a supermarket position can help you gain some experience for a higher-level position.

However, supermarkets aren’t the best-paying option, and getting a promotion can take a long time.

These are all considerations you should have before applying to work at one.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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