I worked this job part time for a year before deciding to return to work full time after staying home for 5 years with my kids. Part time hours were fine; pay was minimum wage. I was repeatedly offered the store manager position but the hours would have been less than ideal (working every weekend and several evenings a week) and the pay offered was brutal. All associates were pushed to sell specific products and these sales were tracked weekly. The review process was horrible- you could rate 'excellent' in every aspect, but if your store wasn't meeting the sales budget, you 'failed' your overall review.
During my first trimester, I thought I might get away with continuing to wear my low-slung hipster jeans for the duration. And I probably could have eeked them out for way longer than I did, had I invested in button extenders or a Bump Bandeau (as recommended by JTryner in an earlier thread). But there was always going to come a point when I got a little larger all over (be it from swelling, fat or, y'know, the extra 2 ½ pints of blood that swishes around in women when they're growing a foetus).
Thyme Maternity is by far one of the best retail jobs I've ever had. Full time employees have great benefits and the management was always very positive and encouraging. The discounts were amazing and helping pregnant women find clothes and products that made them feel comfortable and pretty was a fulfilling and fun experience. The breaks were often and fair and the shifts were always a reasonable length. My only complaint is that the part-time hours could be unreliable but for a student or someone with a financial plan to fall back on it would be perfect. I would absolutely recommend working for any of Reitman's affiliates if you get the chance!
Topshop's maternity range delivers on comfort and style, making it exactly what every mum-to-be is looking for (I know, because I am one). The company's denim section in particular is brilliant: It now features maternity versions of its most popular styles. My insider at Topshop told me that the brand's over-the-bump Joni jeans in black are the best-selling style.
Pros: 1) The staff were very helpful and friendly and welcoming to us and our beloved small dog. 2) Very reasonable prices -- which seems unusual in maternity fashion retail. 3) While my wife and I did not love any of the designs available in the store (she was looking for a relatively formal dress for her baby shower), there was one we quite liked, and they had a much greater selection of casual ware. 4) My wife tells me there were huge, well designed change rooms. There was a nice place for me (and other men) to sit so I could do my yelping while my wife tried on clothes. Cons: 1) There were some ads on the wall with models wearing especially nice maternity clothes, but the particular style we liked the best was no longer available to purchase. I prefer the practice of many other chain retailers of advertising particular styles that are actually available to buy. 2) Not so good (although perhaps understandable) return policy. Everything on sale is no return and the one dress we liked just enough to buy, we learned at checkout was no return also (even though it was not on sale) because it was classified as an "occasional" or "party" dress. My wife was on the fence about the purchase anyway and this was enough to make her change her mind and not buy it.