Press and Media

Caitlin Kelly's interview on the Diane Rehm show.

Caitlin Kelly's interview on the Brian Lehrer show.

An Audio Interview with Caitlin

What is this book about?

What surprised you most about working retail?

What did you most enjoy?

What was the hardest part of working retail?

What should customers know about retail that they possibly didn't know?

What are the most important qualities of a successful retail associate?

How did the book come about?

Why does retail pay so badly?

Who is the ideal reader for this book?

Tell us what it was like to write this book.

Caitlin Kelly's guest blog on the Harvard Business Review.

"Malled is reality journalism at its best, a raw education in the nature of American low-wage retail work before and during the devastating recession of 2007-2009. Malled takes its place with Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed, and Steve Greenhouse's The Big Squeeze as must-reads for any MBA candidate or manager seeking to improve employee morale, workforce retention, and customer experience–or simply treat people with more dignity and respect."
Herb Schaffner,

She (Kelly) acknowledges her professional background gave her an audience that would not have been granted to other low-paid employees and laments their lack of a voice: "The C-suite would get more insight on how to improve business if they spoke to people on the shop floor rather than ignoring them."
Financial Times of London  April 8, 2011

"This excellent memoir is about a journalist who loses her job and has to go into retail. Or in other words, the year 2008." Kelly uses her position behind the cash register to challenge our assumptions about retail work and interviews industry insiders to reveal the complexities of this business.
The Bullseye, Entertainment Weekly  March 25, 2011

Kelly deftly pulls back the cleverly constructed curtain between the shiny, corporate image presented to mall shoppers and the degrading work environment inhabited by the individuals toiling behind the counter. "Working as a retail associate," she writes, "means being reminded daily that you're merely one tiny cog in an enormous global machine, from the workers six time zones away stitching apparel to the equally invisible, distant CEO collecting millions. You're completely disposable."
Kirkus Reviews  February 1, 2011

Wise Words From A Retail Renegade -- In her new book, "Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail", she chronicles her two-year stint on the sales floor, dishing on everything from crazy customers to the sometimes baffling policies under which many retailers operate.
Beth Luberecki,

Kelly says she consistently beat her sales targets and regular customers asked for her by name. But when an assistant manager position opened up, she says, she was denied an interview. What Kelly found most dispiriting, as she writes in her forthcoming book, "Malled," is that no one ever solicited ideas from her or other staffers. "The people on the sales floor have tremendous knowledge, but the company presupposed we're stupid."
Associated Press  April 5, 2011

"Her experiences as a sales associate became fodder for her book, Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail, in which she explains how grueling (and low-paying) these jobs can be, and what the lives of sales associates are really like. Here, she tells us four things about retail that you may not realize when you're asking someone to please bring that item to you in 15 more sizes."
Marisa Lascala, Westchester Magazine  April 2011

"Though initially happy in retailing, Kelly, 50, writes that by the time she quit - burned out from the low pay, the dull and hard work, and the remote commands from corporate - she had concluded that the brutal business could be run better if retailers hired carefully, trained their staffs, paid their associates - especially productive ones - better, and linked managers' pay to employee retention. And if customers were more respectful."
USA Today, International Edition  April 5, 2011

"Kelly's experiences really helped to show just how much we forget all the hard work for very little the people behind the cash wrap go through just to make a paycheck. Every fact she brings up really helps to bring home the fact that the ones who serve us behind the counter are often giving the short end of the stick, they help make our world go round."
Knittykittybelle's Blog  March 29, 2011

"I really enjoyed Malled. She wrote a fair and accurate book about work[ing] retail. The writing is intelligent and the obvious work of a professional writer, again very refreshing."
Charlotte Naylor,  April 10, 2011

"This is one of those books that is just plain needed and should be read by everyone because it applies to all of us. The subject matter of this book is also critical right now at the time that I write this review - when labor unions are being so attacked - when labor unions are exactly what the entire retail work force needs - a unified approach that actually has some power to improve the work place and the behavior of companies towards their employees."
Nyiper,  March 3, 2011