As you probably know, every week in a retail store, a new sales ad is in effect. Also, new items are constantly being added to the shelves and old ones are discontinued. It is the job of a File Maintenance Clerk to keep pricing and signage in a store up-to-date and current. There is a software program that was written specifically for our grocery chain, and is used by the File Maintenance people who work backstage (at the corporate level), as well as used right in the store to designate signs, tags, etc. that need to be printed.
Behind every ad you receive in your newspaper or your mailbox, there are people who make their living maintaining the files for each store. My store has a crew of 6-8 people, depending on how large the ad is for the week. Some of the employees simply hang price tags for their whole shift, while others are involved more deeply with the data processing and corrections involved in making the whole changeover from one week to another a seamless undertaking.
I recently began working one day a week with the File Maintenance crew. (Another name for them is "Price Changers".) I begin work at 2:00 a.m., and help with printing signs and hanging tags. It has been a real eye opener for me to realize just how much is involved in keeping signs updated in a large grocery store. I had no clue, before I started printing the signs, that we have something like nineteen different types of signage - which means the person printing them has to pay close attention - no easy task when it is the middle of the night!
The price changers have a lot of responsibility keeping up with all the changes. The next time you are in a large grocery store, take a closer look at all the signs and shelf tags. Every single item in the entire store must have a price posted for it, either a shelf tag or an "on sale" tag, or a tag announcing a special promotion, among others.
I enjoy working this job because it is not boring at all, since there are a variety of duties- from data entry to hanging tags (putting signage where it is supposed to be) - and there always tends to be a certain amount of trouble-shooting problems that were somehow created or neglected back stage.
In my company the position of Head Price Changer or Head File Maintenance Clerk is a coveted position and is usually held by someone with a great deal of seniority.
The work is normally done on a graveyard shift, and many people like the fact that they do not have to focus so much on customers and can give their attention exclusively to the task at hand.
Signs in stores are something we all look at but I, for one, have always totally taken for granted. It takes a lot of work and dedication to do the job right so that everything runs smoothly for the customer in the aisles and at checkout.