I think one big difference between US retail and European retail is the tolerance for people who don't speak the national language.
My sister worked at a retail store here in Tucson and is fairly good at Spanish. So much so that when Mexicans would come up to shop from Mexico (not uncommon), the other employees would steer them towards her. You'd think Spanish would be widely spoken here, and it really isn't. Parts of it- South Tucson, for example- yes, but mainly no.
My sister and her husband were in Germany for two years (he's in the Air Force) and she said she was surprised that after-Christmas sales, at least where she was, were non-existent.
In Italy we were in a town that doesn't get, I suspect, a lot of the tourist trade, and I bought a little stuffed animal in a clearly non-tourist shop (it sold mainly school supplies). The nice woman behind the counter starting talking a mile a minute in Italian, and eventually slowed down, looked at my bewildered face and said (this much I understood) "you don't understand Italian!" I said "si! non capische!" and she went right back to talking away cheerfully a mile a minute.