Shopping At Luxury Stores - Page 3 - the Fashion Spot
 
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07-11-2004
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i've never had a bad experience in the mens section of Saks and Neimans, but I was just wondering how much these sales people make???? Are they well paid that they feel they can pick and choose who they want to help?

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08-11-2004
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You should feel lucky for not having 120000000 SA's bombarding you with the "can i help you, do you need anything, can i find something for you??" I personally find it annoying. But i do see you're point that you traveled all that way and had a bad experience.

What I ALWAYs hate is when I walk into a boutique or even an outlet and there are 5-10 SA's standing around doing nothing and talking about nothing (this happened all the time at Neimans Men Section) and I cannot get any help, then i ask them for a size or something and they ignore me and keep talking about useless info.

The wierdest thing that ever happend was at Kaufmanns in a little mall around here. They had just gotten the new Kors by Michael Kors line for Men and I got a "pre-opening viewing/reservation" in the mail because I buy stuff alot from Kors boutiques and stuff. I walk in the night before when they were setting up displays. And this guy comes up to me ( iwas dressed normal in a DKNY sweater and jeans ) and he says "i'm sorry but this pre-sale is reserved for the older folk who actually will buy stuff (note i'm only 17) And i showed him the card and told him i plan on buying a lot of things with my OWN money. and then politely requested another sales associate to give my commission to. the look on his face i will never forget. And i bet if i went in there today and he was there, he'd probably go on break. lol

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08-11-2004
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does anyone find that middle end stores are even MORE snobbier? ive been in a bebe (dont ask) and this place that sells, like, mavi jeans and the salespeople there were incredibly snobby...it was soo annoying particularly since they were selling such tacky-*** clothng in the first place

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08-11-2004
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I guess I'll put my two cents in since I've been both a customer and a retail employee. I've worked in Hechts (Like Kaufmanns/Strawbridges etc.), Filenes Basement and Nordstrom. Each store has a different compensation structure which will often determine the level of service you receive.

At Filenes Basement, you get $6.25/hr. with no commission and a 30% discount. Not bad, but the people who work there aren't about to help you coordinate outfits, they're too busy putting stuff back from the dressing rooms and straightening racks. Management doesn't keep enough employees in the store to do anything but keep it open and the cash registers ringing. Its a friendly working environment and relatively stress free. No one receives commission, everyone starts out part-time and you don't get any benefits until you're full time.

At Hechts, they started me at $6.75, also with a 30% discount. Managment didn't give a crap about anything other than pushing merch out to the floor and ringing the registers. Employees are treated like meat and treat the customers accordingly. Coupons are the bane of any workers existence (i.e. the SAME SALE runs EVERY WEEKEND but people think because its a "coupon" you get more than you got LAST weekend). NO respect and it shows in who helps you. The only people in the store who got commission were shoes and furniture. Everyone else is working poor.

At Nordstrom you get the best of the best. I think I got $8/base back in 1999 with a 4% commission on whatever I sold, which at the time was ladies accessories and later ladies bridge apparel. Commission depends on whatever department you worked in, and everyone received it. Here salespeople will escort you around the store to make sure you find a sweater to match your favorite brooch and personally take your pants to the in-store tailor if you need a rush. Sales floors are not crowded so that people may safely navigate the store and that people with disabilities don't feel crowded. A pleasant working environment, but the staff can get very competitive with commissions. Seniority is usually an excuse for taking someone elses sale. Employees often have college degrees and are highly motivated. The discount was 20% for regular employees and the best seller in each department received a 33% discount for the following year. You can actually make a living wage at this job, the only one of the three stores its possible at.

When you're working on commission to feed yourself you start to become a bit pickier about whom you spend a lot of time with. Imagine how it is to "invest" an extended period of time with someone who needs a lot of assistance but doesn't ultimately purchase anything. There is an opportunity cost - the cost of what someone else could have added to your paycheck instead. You choose the guy in the Ferragamo loafers over the Birkenstocks. I'm sorry, but its true. In your position you'd do the same. Maybe not at first, but once you see its impact on your paycheck you feel the consequences of your decisions.

While each of these retail stores are not "luxury" hopefully it will give everyone some insight into the person across the counter. I'm finishing my masters in April and work retail to score some easy cash and a good discount. Another of my colleagues is midway through her PhD. Snottiness is never acceptable but sometimes you're only as good as the people standing behind you in managment. Associates don't make up lame return policies or have any say in much of what goes on in running a store. Hopefully what I wrote above will shed some light on to why associates behave the way they do in each of those types of store.

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09-11-2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by sugarpea@Nov 8 2004, 10:23 PM
does anyone find that middle end stores are even MORE snobbier? ive been in a bebe (dont ask) and this place that sells, like, mavi jeans and the salespeople there were incredibly snobby...it was soo annoying particularly since they were selling such tacky-*** clothng in the first place
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That's my final conclusion, and I grow more resolute in this belief every time I shop now. But it doesn't bother me at all anymore; I just roll my eyes and laugh at them if they act like that.

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09-11-2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by AlexN@Nov 9 2004, 04:04 PM
That's my final conclusion, and I grow more resolute in this belief every time I shop now. But it doesn't bother me at all anymore; I just roll my eyes and laugh at them if they act like that.
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Huh, they're always hella nice to me in Bebe, even though I tell them I don't need any help, and try on practically everything in the store but don't buy anything. But I don't ask for help and I hang stuff back up where it came from, so they probably like me all right because I don't interrupt their gab-sessions.

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09-11-2004
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Kiimi, I had no idea retail paid that low. I thought stores like mall chains or Macys paid like $10 an hr. Wow, damn....6.25 is barely above min wage.

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12-11-2004
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Well, whenever I go into those department stores I get dressed up to the nines. Classy top, nice pants, hair done, makeup. Nice bag. And they always fawn over you then. Once I went into Bloomindales' with $0 but was dressed really nice, I basically was window shopping and browsing, and the SA's all treated me with respect. One even saw me looking at a sweater; came running and told me she had more colors in a small, because I look like a small and went ahead and opened a dressing room for me. I didn't even have money. I was too embarassed to say that. So I told her I wasn't done looking, and when she was gone, I walked away. I never even bothered to try them on. Why torture myself?

The most snobby SA's are actually in the lower quality stores: BeBe, Wet Seal, and Hollister. Esp. Hollister, the girl SA's always look at me with attitude. Like they even know about fashion? Psssh!!! I hate girls like that! Ugh!!

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13-11-2004
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But it really sux that people have to do that just to get service

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14-11-2004
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Not a luxury department store, still bad service - I was in line at Marshalls to purchase a sweater, but I was in the Customer Service line, which is for returns /exchanges / layaway, and when it was my turn, the sales assistant snottily told me to go to the register lines even though I had already waited in line, so then I had to wait for another line. B*TCH.

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14-11-2004
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Well they normally don't do purchases at the customer service line (unless its super busy and nobody is on that line) so I can't see why she was a bitch for telling you that? You do know that if she did do that, she could have been reprimanded by her supervisor or possibly written up? It's that serious.......usually those lines are seperate and if one is unsure, best to ask prior to waiting.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dixie@Nov 14 2004, 07:13 PM
Not a luxury department store, still bad service - I was in line at Marshalls to purchase a sweater, but I was in the Customer Service line, which is for returns /exchanges / layaway, and when it was my turn, the sales assistant snottily told me to go to the register lines even though I had already waited in line, so then I had to wait for another line. B*TCH.
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14-11-2004
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You've got a point, she's not a bitch, but the manner in which she told me was very rude, and it was already embarrassing to have been in the wrong line as I didn't know which one to go to. But you're correct, she wasn't a bitch and I don't hold any grudges. I still shop at that Marshalls.

Oh yeah, she didn't apologize when I had to go to another line to wait again, but I guess that's not her fault. An apology would have made me feel better about the service though.

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15-11-2004
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Hmm people at Versace weren't nice to me today. Went in the Versace Clothing Store Outlet because they were having a 60% thing (Now I can see why ). In the back where me and my mom went there was this Donatella wannabe with Bleach blond hair, dark visible roots, and overly tan skin just staring at us and didn't even say a word. Oh well, could care less since didn't expect to buy anything: And I may state now that Versace clothes are overpriced $hit. Seriously me and my mom just spent nearly the entire time there picking out clothes and laughing at how ludacris it was: We did found one SIMPLE shirt we like: $200 already on sale :whistle:. Overpriced crap I must state for once.

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15-11-2004
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I haven't worked in retail in over a decade, and I've never worked in apparel retail. However, I have some friends who do, or rather did, work at Neiman's and Sak's. They have quite a bit of pressure to sell not only a certain amount of money but also in some cases a certain amount of units (selling a few expensive items isn't good enough--you need to move product, and lots of it). The amount of money they get paid can also be in a somewhat complex structure; in general, though, they make pretty decent money, or have the opportunity to do so. They might have a base rate of $30/hr, but they are supposed to make in excess of that amount in commission; the amount of commission you make varies by department (intimate apparel you might make like 5%, while in couture you might make like 9%; it depends primarily on the amount of merchandise you move--the more you move, the less per item you make, but the more reliable your commissioned sales are).

Anyway, I used to be intimidated in some places, and then I just started acting like I was completely comfortable and in the right place. Then I started to really feel that way, and it made a big difference in how I am treated, regardless if I walk in wearing a suit or in jeans and a t-shirt. The associates at the high-end store are generally trained to treat everyone equally, since they don't know who is going to walk in with an Amex Black in their back pocket; but human nature being what it is, even the nicest associates get to the point where they think they can accurately smell out the good commissions. I've burned snotty associates that way--never be afraid to ask to deal with someone else, especially if you are buying something of considerable value.

Also, there is complicated etiquette sometimes between the associates themselves--for example, you "belong" to the first associate who approaches you and asks if you need help. And after that, you probably aren't going to get help from a different associate, who isn't going to waste time on you since they aren't going to get any commission from you. Sometimes no one talks to you simply because they think that you're already being helped, and they don't want to waste their time.

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16-11-2004
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I get that all the time partly due to my young age im only 15 ! ne ways i normally get the service i need by waving my debit card around and going excuse me if you dont serve me i will take my custom else were. Like at chanel make up counters (i am a big chanel freak i have at more or less one of every thing there is to buy ) yet just because i am young they blank me and then go on to older custmomers, when really it is going to be me who buys more in the end. Grrrr it really annoys me when you get horrid sales persons !!

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