Most employees in clothing, accessory, and general merchandise stores work under clean, well-lighted conditions. Many jobs are part time, with the most employees working during peak selling times, including nights, weekends, and holidays. Because weekends are busy days in retailing, almost all employees work at least one of these days and have a weekday off. During busy periods, such as holidays and back-to-school season, longer than normal hours may be scheduled, and vacation time is limited for most workers, including buyers and managers.
Retail salespersons and cashiers often stand for long periods, and stock clerks may perform strenuous tasks such as moving heavy, cumbersome boxes.
The incidence of work-related illnesses and injuries varies greatly among segments of the industry. In 2002, workers in clothing and accessory stores had 3.0 cases of injury and illness per 100 full-time workers, while those in general merchandise stores had 7.7 cases per 100 full-time workers. This compares with an average of 5.3 throughout private industry.