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Getting started in fashion retail.

Bergdorf Goodwill

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I'm sure some of you have experience working in clothing stores, general retail.

I'm very tired of my current line of work (phone monkey at large insurance company) and I know a pretty decent amount (I am dwarfed by some among you, but I know a lot more than most salesmen I encounter at stores here) about clothes. At this point, I am young enough to consider a job in general retail, preferably at a relatively upscale store (which translates to Nordstrom, in the immediate vicinity).

I have never really worked in retail before. How do you break into it? Are there certain things that employers in that sector look for, particularly as it pertains to clothing retail?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
 

AskAndyAboutClothes

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orbitingio:

I only worked part time for 6 years in a men's retail store while I was full time at my career job. Working retail was the most fun, rewarding, and best job I ever had.

Getting hired is easy. They need you in retail. Just pick the best store and walk in with your resume, and wear a suit. They will probably want you to go to work for them that very afternoon..

Andy
 

Bergdorf Goodwill

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orbitingio:

I only worked part time for 6 years in a men's retail store while I was full time at my career job.  Working retail was the  most fun, rewarding, and best job I ever had.

Getting hired is easy.  They need you in retail.  Just pick the best store and walk in with your resume, and wear a suit.  They will probably want you to go to work for them that very afternoon..

Andy
Sounds good, thanks for the anecdote.

I'm going back to school full-time shortly, so I need to abandon my current job (thank god).

Is there a particular person I'd want to speak with? I assume a store manager or somesuch?

My resume's fairly skimpy as I'm only 20 years old, but I'd like to have a go at it.
 

tdial

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As a youngish person (mid 30s), I can tell you there is a shortage of younger, knowledgable people working at finer men's shops right now. If I'm at Neiman's (here in Atlanta) and one of the younger gentlemen asks to help, I invariably say no. Completely useless. So don't be afraid. And if you want to be good at it (and why wouldn't you be?), continue to learn and commit yourself to providing an excellent experience for your customers.
 

Andrew V.

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Don't be too nervous if your resume is skimpy. Just be sure to emphasize any customer-service experience.

Go to the store when it is not super busy, ask to speak with a manager and ask him/her whether the store is accepting applications.
 

Bergdorf Goodwill

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Don't be too nervous if your resume is skimpy.  Just be sure to emphasize any customer-service experience.  

Go to the store when it is not super busy, ask to speak with a manager and ask him/her whether the store is accepting applications.
Where are you in Ohio, Andrew?

I'm sitting at a desk in New Albany right now.
 

amirrorcrackd

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orbitingio:

I only worked part time for 6 years in a men's retail store while I was full time at my career job.  Working retail was the  most fun, rewarding, and best job I ever had.

Getting hired is easy.  They need you in retail.  Just pick the best store and walk in with your resume, and wear a suit.  They will probably want you to go to work for them that very afternoon..

Andy
As someone in your age range (22), I'm gonna have to be a realist here and say that it's not quite so easy as Andy makes it out to be. If that happens to you, great, but don't count on it. A retail job is like any other job, you have to impress (or at least placate) the person interviewing you. Be personable, friendly, knowledgable, outgoing, etc. And bullshit on your resume. I don't mean lie, but skew those facts to look more favorable. After all, isn't that what a resume is all about anyway?

Good luck,

Dan
 

Andrew V.

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Originally Posted by Andrew V.,Feb. 07 2005,14:53
Where are you in Ohio, Andrew? I'm sitting at a desk in New Albany right now.
I'm sitting at a desk in Obetz right now.
 

Bergdorf Goodwill

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(AskAndyAboutClothes.com @ Feb. 07 2005,17:35) orbitingio: I only worked part time for 6 years in a men's retail store while I was full time at my career job.  Working retail was the  most fun, rewarding, and best job I ever had. Getting hired is easy.  They need you in retail.  Just pick the best store and walk in with your resume, and wear a suit.  They will probably want you to go to work for them that very afternoon.. Andy
As someone in your age range (22), I'm gonna have to be a realist here and say that it's not quite so easy as Andy makes it out to be. Â If that happens to you, great, but don't count on it. Â A retail job is like any other job, you have to impress (or at least placate) the person interviewing you. Â Be personable, friendly, knowledgable, outgoing, etc. Â And bullshit on your resume. Â I don't mean lie, but skew those facts to look more favorable. Â After all, isn't that what a resume is all about anyway? Good luck, Dan
Absolutely, yeah. It's already "fleshed out" a bit. I tend to be fairly charismatic, so impressions are usually in my favor. I'm also not in the biggest fashion market in the world (Columbus, OH), so I suppose competition should be relatively slim.
 

stache

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You may have to take a math test. Macys makes everyone do sums.
 

esquire.

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Unless you work at a really high end store, I don't know if they even expect you to know as much about clothing as some of the people on this board. I think their expectations for you are to just be able to work the register, and that's about it.

It also seems that the higher end stores like Nordstroms have been doing much better than the mid level retailers, so you might be able to find some openings at those stores.
 

chorse123

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I would agree that you should go for the top store possible, or perhaps a better option, a family owned mens clothing store if there is one anywhere near you.

I got a job in retail (cameras) by doing exactly what Andy did, sans suit. I walked in the door at a fantastic family owned camera store (100 years old, too) and walked out with a job.
 

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