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On the Same Page

Caitlin Kelly

Festival Appearance:

Caitlin Kelly’s new book, a look at life behind the cash wrap, is Malled: My Unintentional Career In Retail. Entertainment Weekly calls it “an excellent memoir” and USA Today says “Malled is a bargain, even at full price. Kelly is a first-rate researcher and storyteller.”
It was nominated for the Hillman Prize, given annually to journalists “who pursue investigative reporting and deep storytelling in service of the common good.” The book combines her personal story of moving into low-wage customer service at 50 and a detailed, national analysis of this $4 trillion industry, the nation’s third-largest -- and the largest source of new jobs.
A regular contributor to The New York Times since 1990, Kelly has written for USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Glamour, More, and other publications in Canada and Europe. She is also the winner of a Canadian National Magazine Award (humor) and five journalism fellowships.


Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail

Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail, 2011

What’s it really like to work retail? Do sales associates get commission? Which retail companies pay the most – and least? Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail offers a truthful, funny, poignant, no-holds-barred peek behind the cash wrap. After 27 months’ selling for The North Face in an upscale suburban New York mall, Caitlin Kelly shares her stories – and those of retail veterans across the country. From the CFO of Costco, explaining how his firm earns double-digit profits while offering a median wage of $18/hr to a single associate making $7.25/hr in her 50s, Malled describes what it’s like to work in the nation’s third-largest industry, and largest source of new jobs.