How does an SA afford to wear expensive retail clothes?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Edge89, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. ruben

    ruben Senior member

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    I often wondered about stuff like this, how some of those young guys who work at Polo can afford their Black Label suits.

    A girl I knew in high school worked at Hollister. If I remember right, as a way of making sure only certain sized girls worked ther they gave their employee discounts only on certain sizes of clothes.

    I still don't really understand the commission system, but it'd make sense that a good SA should do well for themselves.
    A couple of the SAs at J.Press once mentioned to me that they lived on the upper east side, which kinda surprised me at the time.
     
  2. Jeff10236

    Jeff10236 Member

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    Quite a bit of (in some cases contradictory) info has already been given out. Here is my experience (though it is old since I've been out of retail and sales for a decade now).

    Discount rates vary from store to store. Most of my experience was mainly with department stores where it is typically about 20% (we got the discount on sales and clearance items, and when there was a good sale, plus a coupon sale, and our discount, it could be a nice discount sometimes).

    The OP seems to assume that all retail sales associates make very little. Now it is true that many retail jobs suck, some pay pretty decently. It is all over the board, but I would assume that at higher end retailers (where it is usually a commission based pay structure and high dollar items) that pay is pretty good.

    Today, most retail is a straight (and low) hourly rate, but that isn't always the case. In the early 90's when I worked at Macy's many still paid almost everyone on commission. At a good location, you can make good money selling retail on commission. I found Macy's to be a pretty comfortable existence for a 22 year old young man (I shouldn't have left when I did, but I wanted to try something else and left retail). When I worked at Hechts (local DC/Baltimore area store that was bought out by Macys a few years back) the sales associates were hourly but some departments were commission. I know many of the salespeople in the men's suits department made quite a bit, often more than their managers. A few years after I left my sales job there I went back to another Hechts store as a manager. One of the store managers at the store where I worked a few years earlier when I was a sales associate worked at my new store as a salesperson in the men's suit department and she certainly did not see it as a demotion. She made more money and had better hours than she did when she was a manager.

    Of course, there are some quirks to a commission retail position. With a draw instead of a base wage (i.e. if you don't sell enough to cover it one day, say during a day shift, you have to make it up when you work a better shift), and with the full-timers staffing the store at low traffic times (the store needs staffed in the morning and afternoon on weekdays even though there may not be a lot of traffic) and part-timers coming in at high traffic shifts (when they are most needed), part-timers would often make as much, and sometimes more, than full-timers (a full-time associate would often have fewer good shifts than the part-timers). Also, a bad location and low traffic can be murder on commission and result in very low pay, while working for the same company in a higher traffic area can be quite lucrative. Then if you are unlucky and work more than one location you may have trouble developing repeat customers.

    So, anyway, I guess the bottom line is that there are a lot of variables that can effect what a retail salesperson will earn. However, in a good location, a commissioned salesperson at a high end retailer can make a very comfortable living (one that can often exceed lower and even mid-level management at the same company).
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  3. atila

    atila Senior member

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    little lower
     
  4. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    Given to the staff to wear without charge. The actual cost to the employer is minimal.
     
  5. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Cyber Eliitist

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    Well it was 2 different girls at 2 different times but both were about 1.5-2 years ago. One worked at J Crew and one worked at Madewell. They had both been there over a year, however and one of them was a manager (at J Crew) so I'm not if that makes a difference. All I know is that they definitely got a better deal than that. I only dated each of them for about 3 or 4 months but between the two of them I got probably 5-6 sweaters, a couple sports coats and 5-6 shirts. They might have stricter regulations on summer-only workers.
     
  6. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Cyber Eliitist

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    I had a buddy who worked at RL for a couple of years and he gained an extremely wealthy client while there. This dude was an older guy who clearly had great taste and was the same size as my friend. Each time the guy would come into the store for new stuff he would literally give my buddy a pile of clothes from the back of his closet. Some of the stuff was junk but the vast majority was all beautiful stuff. Lucky bastard.
     
  7. Dicko

    Dicko Well-Known Member

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    your mate must have been loving that!
     
  8. Pawz

    Pawz Senior member

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    *taps your shoulder*
    The stores supply their employees with clothes. As for myself:

    I wouldn't say I'm rich, but I do OK. If you love something, you find means to support it (within reason). I would never opt to dress well over having shelter, food, etc., nor will I spend every 'spare' cent I have on clothes (or anything else for that matter). Going to Saks to drop $2500 on clothing is a (rare) treat for me - not something I can do regularly.

    Most of my high-end clothing comes from sales and thrift finds (a Valentino jacket for $11? Yes, please!). My everyday stuff comes from the malls and is inexpensive.

    I'm blessed to have what I have. That's all I have to say.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  9. DerekS

    DerekS Guyliner

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    I would gladly live in poverty working for TF if i got a free suit every once in awhile. :lol:
     
  10. connor09

    connor09 Senior member

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    So true! You'd be mad to pass up a free suit, especially a TF suit.
     
  11. H2T

    H2T Well-Known Member

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    Hah! Its advertising! The CEO of McDonald's has to eat junk food for lunch at work. Think about it.
     
  12. jeff13007

    jeff13007 Senior member

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    Correct, one of my best friends used to work there. BTW the suits that that staff wear are made in china, and are not of the same fabric. Close but not quite there yet, they still have all the tom ford labels but instead of "made in italy/switzerland its made in china.
     
  13. jeff13007

    jeff13007 Senior member

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    btw he also said that 2 times a year they take them to the factory where they get everything 85 percent off. and i have been to one of their sample sales at their store where it was 90% off plus he got another 50% with his employee discount, meaning a 3700 dollar suit was around like 180ish, and shoes were 80 bucks.
     
  14. DerekS

    DerekS Guyliner

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    Id sell every vital organ to get to one of these sample sales.
     
  15. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Cyber Eliitist

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    New items on the bucket list:

    1.) Befriend TF employee
    2.) Gain access to TF sample sale
     

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