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Anyone work in clothing sales? Harry Rosen, Nordstrom, NM, etc?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I recently resigned a position I held in the finance industry due to a number of reasons. I've decided to try to find some interim work having some 'fun'. I am secure financially and really have nothing to lose by trying out a few different things. I speak well, I have extremely well-honed interpersonal skills, extensive customer service background, and come directly out of a sales position with goals deep in the eight figure range. I believe I might be well-suited (ugh) to selling men's clothing.

Looking for anyone who makes their living selling higher end men's clothing to chime in here and share their insights on their position. How many hours per week on average? Pure commission or a mix of remuneration methods? How did you start out? Would you recommend it to others? Any other information would be great to help form my decision to explore some options in this industry.

Cheers
post #2 of 33
I unfortunately currently work in clothing sales. It's draw vs. commission. How can I put this delicately? IT FUCKING SUCKS BIG MONKEY BALLS Especially if you like to utilize any part of your brain, to say nothing of being an intellectual. You didn't post what you did in finance, but I assume that you utilized your brain, had an opportunity to sit down at a desk and coordinate your workload at least partially as you saw fit and others (managers, corporate lackeys, etc) didn't treat you and the other people around you like a total moron. If you would like to be on your feet 8 hours a day, like to clock in and out like a 1920's steel worker, don't like having access to a computer, don't like having a desk to leave your stuff in, like the inability to eat or drink at your discretion, don't want to use your brain, like being treated like a child, want to put up with whiny ass customers and don't want to make money, then sure, give it a try. In regards to how I started out: the economy sucks and I couldn't find anything after graduating and the magic man in the sky who doesn't exist knows I have been hustling like a $5 whore on Flatbush Ave. My honest advice? If you are financially secure and good at finance, start a micro-business and see how it goes. Or do some other worthwhile activity.
post #3 of 33
I would expect to work under 20 hrs a week, but you will be thankful for this because it gets old quick.
post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS View Post
I unfortunately currently work in clothing sales. It's draw vs. commission. How can I put this delicately?

IT FUCKING SUCKS BIG MONKEY BALLS

If you would like to be on your feet 8 hours a day, like to clock in and out like a 1920's steel worker, don't like having access to a computer, don't like having a desk to leave your stuff in, like the inability to eat or drink at your discretion, don't want to use your brain, like being treated like a child, want to put up with whiny ass customers and don't want to make money, then sure, give it a try.


I used to work retail, and this description is VERY accurate.

On the other hand, you can actually make pretty decent money if you work at a big volume store and you're a decent salesperson.

I worked the sales during my breaks in college, and I would make anywhere from $30-50 per hour. Then, during slower times I averaged around $23 per hour, so not too shabby for a job that requires no real responsibility.
post #5 of 33
^you were making some solid money for retail. But it seems like this guy has no retail experience so I doubt he could land something that good unless he knows people.
post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS View Post
I unfortunately currently work in clothing sales. It's draw vs. commission. How can I put this delicately?

IT FUCKING SUCKS BIG MONKEY BALLS

Especially if you like to utilize any part of your brain, to say nothing of being an intellectual. You didn't post what you did in finance, but I assume that you utilized your brain, had an opportunity to sit down at a desk and coordinate your workload at least partially as you saw fit and others (managers, corporate lackeys, etc) didn't treat you and the other people around you like a total moron.

If you would like to be on your feet 8 hours a day, like to clock in and out like a 1920's steel worker, don't like having access to a computer, don't like having a desk to leave your stuff in, like the inability to eat or drink at your discretion, don't want to use your brain, like being treated like a child, want to put up with whiny ass customers and don't want to make money, then sure, give it a try.

In regards to how I started out: the economy sucks and I couldn't find anything after graduating and the magic man in the sky who doesn't exist knows I have been hustling like a $5 whore on Flatbush Ave.

My honest advice? If you are financially secure and good at finance, start a micro-business and see how it goes. Or do some other worthwhile activity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayhawk1412 View Post
I used to work retail, and this description is VERY accurate.

On the other hand, you can actually make pretty decent money if you work at a big volume store and you're a decent salesperson.

I worked the sales during my breaks in college, and I would make anywhere from $30-50 per hour. Then, during slower times I averaged around $23 per hour, so not too shabby for a job that requires no real responsibility.

serious? i always thought that owning my own retail business would be swell or even working retail selling and marketing clothing (that i like) would be so much fun (never did though)
and on top of that making 23 bux an hour for a slow time would be a dream to me better than minimum wage !! how do i sign up
post #7 of 33
I worked retail at Nordstrom a while back. I very rarely met anyone with a real passion or knowledge of what they were selling- it's more your ability to push product. It can ruin the whole "menswear thing" for ya.
post #8 of 33
i will agree with what was said above, except some people i worked with made really good money. (retail wise) like above 70 000 a year. some even making over 100 000 etc.
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by West24 View Post
i will agree with what was said above, except some people i worked with made really good money. (retail wise) like above 70 000 a year. some even making over 100 000 etc.

this would be me. i want to see how i would fare in the retail career if i did go into it. i think i have a fairly substantial clothing knowledge and have a natural ability to develop good rapport with women and im very honest (to a fault). i do enjoy conversing with customers and people at the store about something im very interested in and particularly if i can impart some knowledge onto them and/or can persuade them (in a good way, not a push /car salesman way).
post #10 of 33
I have made good money in retail before, but you have to love it. Working every day that you'd want off: Sundays, Bank Holidays, Chistmas and New Year. People don't just waste your time, they expect you to be attentive and subserviant while they do it. If you get that little buz when you make a sale, then you're set, but if you get disheartened then it will suck your soul dry. I've had many friends who were nearly destroyed by Retail Employment.
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayhawk1412 View Post
I used to work retail, and this description is VERY accurate.

On the other hand, you can actually make pretty decent money if you work at a big volume store and you're a decent salesperson.

I worked the sales during my breaks in college, and I would make anywhere from $30-50 per hour. Then, during slower times I averaged around $23 per hour, so not too shabby for a job that requires no real responsibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by West24 View Post
i will agree with what was said above, except some people i worked with made really good money. (retail wise) like above 70 000 a year. some even making over 100 000 etc.

This discussion of retail sales folk making this kind of money has come up before. I don't think this is the reality currently. It may be for established people in high end stores and busier store(as jayhawk mentions) but not in general. I would say the more common experience would be what imagewis describes. Also unless your selling suits, spending a lot of time with one customer and having an experience that you feel utilized your clothing knowledge is rare. Big retail stores want you to spend time with your customers and show them great customer service. That's great. Problem is that you can spend 30 min to an hour with someone that spends $300 or nothing at all. People will go into suiting and try on multiple suits and shirts and then leave saying they will think about it. Meanwhile the person that is going for more transactions is pulling in all the money.
post #12 of 33
I volunteer at a goodwill esque type of place where we sometimes hold sales on clothes. Most of the time, it's pretty fun to interact with customers that are willing to listen and not just there to dick you around. But it's the one or two bad apples that ruin the whole experience sometimes. Also, I don't think it'd be "easy" to just find a part time weekend position at a higher end store, which is what the OP seems like he wants. These stores and store managers aren't just around to cater to your hobby and would definitely want someone who can be committed, even in a high turnover environment.
post #13 of 33
retail sales is a very challenging, possibly soul-destroying environment...go and try to sell some high-ticket luxury items, like luxury cars instead, IMO...at least, the income could make it well worth the pain
post #14 of 33
You should consider sales at Agent Provocteur if you're serious about going that route.
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by brlfvr View Post
This discussion of retail sales folk making this kind of money has come up before. I don't think this is the reality currently. It may be for established people in high end stores and busier store(as jayhawk mentions) but not in general. I would say the more common experience would be what imagewis describes. Also unless your selling suits, spending a lot of time with one customer and having an experience that you feel utilized your clothing knowledge is rare. Big retail stores want you to spend time with your customers and show them great customer service. That's great. Problem is that you can spend 30 min to an hour with someone that spends $300 or nothing at all. People will go into suiting and try on multiple suits and shirts and then leave saying they will think about it. Meanwhile the person that is going for more transactions is pulling in all the money.

West worked at Holt Renfrew, which is kinda like Sak's but in Canada. I don't know what the commission structure is there, but I know that at at holt's competitor (sorta anyway, they mainly cater to women), Harry Rosen pays 10% of your sales. My sales associate made over 100k/yr and so did a bunch of others i knew. I know a guy that was making 20k/yr off one customer alone. In contrast to your example of someone that spends $300, someone could also come in and buy a couple suits and that's $200-400 to you right there. I can't imagine it's that easy when you get started, but as you build up your clientele, you can almost stop chasing new business. At Harry, things were pretty chill. I know my SA took lunch pretty much when he wanted and had a pretty good schedule.

The hard part, obviously, is getting a job at a good company. Most retail operations are not like HR.
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