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Merchandise (Retail) Associate

Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo
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Occupational fields: 
Employment type: 
Part Time
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Now Hiring at Brookfield Zoo -open 365 days a year! $12.50 per hour. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private, non-profit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo. Join an animal welfare and conservation leader! Employees receive Paid Training opportunities, Free Admission to the Zoo, and Discounts on Food and Merchandise!

Each year we hire numerous Merchandise Associates to work in one of our several gift shops, and merchandise locations within the park. We are seeking to fill seasonal/temporary positions with start dates as early as February and working through December.

The Merchandise Associate contributes to the success of the Chicago Zoological Society by providing a high level of quality customer service, quickly and efficiently accommodating guests’ needs, maximizing merchandise sales, and ensuring all transactions are accurate in support of the Society’s financial goals and to provide an exceptional guest experience.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide assistance and directions to guests and co-workers. Assist guests by initiating contact and being friendly, efficient, professional, and knowledgeable about the merchandise. Greet and welcome guests entering the shop and thank them for supporting the Society when they leave.
  • Operate cash register accurately and efficiently for all transactions. Accountable for counting and balancing cash drawer at end of work day. Responsible for completion of daily cash sheets and location records.
  • Participate in the daily operations of the merchandise location, including but not limited to cleaning, stocking, pricing, and display work. Responsible for taking accurate inventories.
  • Follow and ensure all applicable institutional policies, procedures, and departmental protocols are followed.
  • Communicate to supervisors any needs, concerns, or suggestions involving merchandise operations.
  • Other related duties as assigned.


This position includes the following requirements:

  • Must be able to quickly learn how to use a cash register accurately and efficiently.
  • Accurate basic math skills required.
  • Demonstrated ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines required. Ability to interact with others in a friendly, courteous and helpful fashion required.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks.
  • Experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience.

The preferred qualifications:

  • High School graduate or (GED) equivalent preferred.
  • Some experience serving guests or customers desired.
  • Multilingual ability, Spanish fluency a plus.
Additional Information: 
This is a temporary, seasonal position that requires a high level of customer service. Incumbent must represent the Chicago Zoological Society in a professional manner. Merchandise Associates may be assigned to work in gift shops, tents, souvenir stands, photo booths, and/or carts. Merchandise Associates will be trained on a variety of equipment and skills and must be able to quickly learn and become proficient. Merchandise Associates may also be required to temporarily assist at other Guest Services locations, such as food service or admissions areas. Incumbent must have ability to work non-standard hours including evenings, holidays, and weekends. Projects a clean, neat, and professional appearance at all times. The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer If interested in being considered for this opportunity, please visit the CZS Career Center to obtain more details about the position and to apply by submitting your profile. Please visit our website at Please look for requisition number 1782BR.

The Chicago Zoological Society is a private, non-profit corporation whose mission is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people to wildlife and nature.  We operate under the premise that the decisions we make as individuals and as a society regarding the natural world will have a profound impact on our future and that of our children.  Through our Center for Conservation Leadership and Center for the Science of Animal Welfare, we work to deepen people’s relationship with nature and equip them with the knowledge, skills, and motivation to take positive conservation action and to inspire others to do so.  The Society pursues its important mission through its management of the award-winning Brookfield Zoo for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and through its community and field-based programs in animal care, education, science and research, both here and abroad.  Brookfield Zoo, a prime Chicagoland leisure destination, is also one of the world’s top zoos, hosting 2 million visitors each year and proud to have one of the largest number of member households amongst cultural institutions in Chicagoland.