In the past few months my role here at gap intelligence has changed significantly. I have recently reduced my hours to be part time in order to better adjust to life as a “single mom” to my 11-month old son while my husband is on deployment with the US Navy. With this change, my involvement with retail collections has decreased. But with that being said, I’m not going let that stop me from continuing my blog series on the retail data collectors! I had spent over 2 years managing this group and although I got to know some of them a little bit over that time, I have so much fun getting to know them a little more in depth through these blogs.
This time around my Retail Data Collector blog features Caren from Raleigh. I hired Caren 2 years ago, (so crazy it seems like just a few months ago), when we expanded our collections into the Raleigh area. Since then, Caren has been a perfect fit and has done great work! A little more about Caren…

Location: Raleigh, NC

Q: How long have you been working with gap?
A: A little over two years

Q: How did you get involved with gap?
A: I answered a craigslist ad. Karen then called me and explained what I thought would be the perfect job for me!

Q: What is your favorite part of the job?
A: The flexibility for sure. I can go anytime and can plan my collection around other things I have going on. Also, if I’m in the market to buy something, I have an idea of what a good price is. I can track it and when it hits the lowest price I’ve seen, I buy it!

Q: What is your favorite product category to collect and why?
A: Tablets are my favorite. I can breeze through that category since I practically have them memorized by now!

Q: What is your favorite store to visit and why?
A: My favorite store is hhgregg. It’s funny though because it used to be my LEAST favorite. After explaining myself to the managers they were ok with me coming in and collecting. Now the entire staff knows who I am and they greet me when I come into the store like I’m a fellow employee. They even ask how my family is! I spend a LONG time there since I collect basically everything in the store.
We had a snow storm hit last month and the manager came to the back of the store to tell me I should leave. He said it was getting really bad and he was worried about me driving home. Sure enough it took me 3 hours to get home when it normally takes me 15 minutes. Thank goodness he was looking out for me and told me to leave when he did. It is nice to go into a store where everyone is friendly to you. I am also addicted to diet coke and there is a McDonald’s in front of hhgregg :)

Q: What is something that you’ve learned about retail and consumer electronics through working with gap?
A: The prices change constantly. One week a camera can be $100 less than the previous week!

Q: What is the strangest incident to happen to you while collecting?
A: Every single time I walk into Office Depot there is a man standing in the front of the store with a headset on. When I start collecting he says “the woman with the iPhone is here again!” into his headset. However, in the past 2 years they have never asked me who I am or what I’m doing there. I’m just “the woman with the iPhone”. I feel so famous :)

Q: Share something interesting about yourself: Hobbies? Family? Other Job? Kids? Pets? Anything!
A: I’ve been married for 16 years. My husband and I have a 10 year old girl, 6 year old boy, a Labrador, a Labrador/Australian Cattle dog mix, and a cat who hides from them all! They keep me busy. I was born and raised in the Maryland/DC area and moved to Raleigh about 8 years ago. I love it here, but miss the Maryland crabs! I still root for the Redskins (don’t laugh at me….they will turn around eventually) and the Orioles. I work full time during the day from home as a travel agent. Before we had kids I traveled all around the word. Now we just frequent Disney World. My husband decided to go to nursing school at the age of 43 (it’s never too late!) so it’s great to have a flexible job when he has tests coming up and needs to study at night. I don’t have much free time, but when I do I love to relax on the porch and read. I am also addicted to HGTV and love watching whenever I can, usually with a dog on my lap!

Caren has been so great to work with and always provides reliable data for the analysts. She is always willing to do anything extra that we ask of her which is really invaluable! It’s nice to have her on our team, and, though I’m stating the obvious, she pretty much has the coolest name ever (though I’m not too sure about the way she spells it ;) ).