April 22, 2011

Review - Malled (Caitlin Kelly)

Admittedly I've had my share of student's jobs in the world of retail too, many years ago. Reading Caitlin Kelly's book Malled, where she describes how she ended up working retail out of necessity, to bolster up her income as freelance writer, brought back both the good and the not-so-good memories of that time.
Coming from a journalistic background Caitlin's experiences as a retail sales associate for The North Face provides not only a very personal insight into her life, but even more so, it is both well written and informative. This report draws a very accurate picture of the tedious work at a minimum wage, including everything from only having one break in an eight-hours shift to safety hazards in the stockroom, not to mention disinterest of management concerning work-related suggestions. If you've never seen the world of retail from this side and only walk into stores as someone intent on buying things, this will be an eye-opening read for you. And hopefully it also leads to a better understanding of that person behind the cash register and to more respect towards this person too.
In case you've read Retail Hell by Freeman Hall, well, Malled is a lot different and definitely the more substantial book dealing with the topic.
In short: Ever worked retail? You should definitely read this book. Only a shopper? All the more reason to read it.

4/5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley.com book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. I know plenty of people that do work in retail that would probably love this. The closest I've ever got is waitressing though (and never again!).

  2. Your review is much like mine - we seem to agree on the book. :-)

  3. I am enjoying this book as well. I am also a writer who has taken various jobs in the recession, which I am now writing a book about. In case you are interested, you can read a few of my stories here: www.revolvingjobs.com. Thanks for this post.