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5 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Ross Employees

The discount retail chain is notoriously understaffed, and that may affect your shopping experience.

After adding 40 locations in Oct. 2022, Ross Stores surpassed its off-price retail competitors T.J. Maxx and Marshalls as the largest such chain in the U.S., according to Retail Dive. If you're one of the regular discount hunters at Ross Dress for Less, this might not come as a surprise. But what may shock you is what former employees have to say about the store. Keep reading to hear what warnings they're issuing to Ross shoppers. They may affect the choices you make on your next retail excursion.

READ THIS NEXT: 5 Warnings to Shoppers From Former T.J. Maxx Employees.

Trying on clothes may not be sanitary.

inside ross store
ZikG / Shutterstock

It's hard to buy clothing without trying it on first, but if you're doing so at Ross, you may want to suds up when you get home.

"I think you should shower after trying on clothes at any fitting room. Bed bugs and lice are very common. I used to work at Ross. Those clothes are never cleaned," claims ex-employee Alpha8472 on Retail Watchers.

Another former employee doubled down on this claim in the comments section of a TikTok video, saying, "I used to work at Ross and everything is Unsanitary!" The poster of the video added, "I worked at 2 Rosses & they both had problems with mice."

You can only try on one piece of jewelry at a time.

woman wearing a necklace
SERGIOKAT / Shutterstock

If you're looking at items in the jewelry case, be aware that you can only try on one piece at a time.

"Once upon a time I worked at Ross Dress for Less and I was a cashier, so I worked up at the front," @sarahhryniewicz said in a TikTok video. A customer she was helping asked to see two pieces of jewelry at once, and she explained, "I can only take out one at a time." After arguing, the customer complained to corporate.

It may be frustrating not being able to compare necklaces against each other, but the policy is likely in place because the store has experienced a shoplifting problem and even has a loss prevention team to catch people stealing.

READ THIS NEXT: 6 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Kohl's Employees.

Don't expect inventory to be organized.

ross dress for less store in georgia
Billy F Blume Jr / Shutterstock

At any discount store, things tend to get disorganized faster. After all, there are items from so many different brands, and the inventory gets turned over quickly. This certainly seems to be the case at Ross.

"I worked at Ross for about a week before I couldn't handle it anymore… Managers would tell me, 'don't worry too much about folding or organizing, just get stuff off the floor,'" MundaneNhilist wrote on Reddit. Another commenter added, "Any holiday was 10 times worse."

In a separate Reddit thread, yet another former employee joked, "I used to work at Ross…I called it Ross Mess for Less instead of Dress for Less!" Both employees and shoppers agree that the store is often completely disorganized, especially at closing time, which is another helpful reminder. Make sure to put things away where you found them so you don't leave employees even more work.

The mess could be why there are no cashiers.

ross dress for less store
Billy F Blume Jr / Shutterstock

If a store is busy, you may have to wait for an employee to ring up your purchases if they're busy cleaning up the store.

"When I worked at Ross it was a very stressful environment and they were always shorted staff," a former California sales associate wrote on the employment site Simply Hired. "It felt like it was always disorganized since they have you run around cleaning the aisles and call you to the cashier to ring customers up."

Likewise, a former Ohio employee said on Indeed that "corporate only cares about pushing more and more product out and does not care about employees or store management. the store has been severely understaffed for almost a year."

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Don't be offended if you're given a senior discount.

ross in arizona
Eric Glenn / Shutterstock

On Tuesdays, Ross offers a 10 percent senior discount for shoppers 55 and older. In the comments section of a TikTik video about working at the store on this day, an employee said, "we literally have to assume or ask if they're 55 or older." Another employee added, "they say just add it if they look old but then they're like oh I look old and I'm just like ummm."

Bottom line: If you're under 55 and are given the senior discount, don't be offended. Employees are likely erring on the side of caution, so just appreciate the money you're saving.

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