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How does an SA afford to wear expensive retail clothes?

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

  1. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn Senior member

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    For some reason I find this statement extremely hard to believe. Obviously, the range of what a doctor makes is pretty variable. But I'm willing to bet even the lower end of that range is higher than what an SA at Tom Ford makes. (Unless an SA at Tom Ford has an uncapped commission structure, and manages to haul in a whale or two each week).

    Store managers, on the other hand? Maybe. I know of at least a few major retailers at which store managers easily clear $100k, and some in which they can scratch the surface of $200k. But those are exceptions to the rule, and generally, they depend on the sophistication and size of the operation. Retail is a very low-margin business, and paying doctors' salaries to employees wouldn't make a great deal of financial sense.
     
  2. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    Some perspective this forum has, people in retail are nearly homeless by your definitions. The reality is that some of them do very well, and yes you need to know he to sell in order to do so.

    Typically they're incentivised on a tiered basis with both the store volume and AE volume in consideration. Good store, good AE and they will make over 100k, smaller store good AE will make 40-60k. It's not impossible to sell over 1m/year in a medium to large store. At that level most companies give you a pretty decent commission schedule.

    They are rarely given the clothes, but they are usually given a decent discount.

    Their is also an exceptionally large percentage of luxury retail employees who have family money, married well or both. Not sure why, but they all seem to migrate to retail. The person you're looking down upon because they're working in retail possibly does much better than you give them credit for.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
  3. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    Uh, no.

    Admittedly, the word 'doctor' encompasses a wide variety of professions (from a vet in rural MN to a heart surgeon in NY). But, by and large, your assumption is incorrect.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
  4. phoenixrecon

    phoenixrecon Senior member

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    At ferragamo the all store employees are given their clothes. Each season they get a whole new set in fact. Its like 5 shirts 2 suits 3 ties a belt and shoes. Plus discounts.
     
  5. Macallan

    Macallan Senior member

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    Gieves used to give staff a budget to spend on work clothes (same rules probably still apply), staff got no benefit for underspending.
     
  6. David Reeves

    David Reeves Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    I just looked at the average Doctors income in the states and knowing a lot about retail ops Id still say they are comparable.

    I once sold a million pounds in Bespoke in one year at Richard James. I didn't get paid commission but right there you can see what I am talking about and I wasn't the best "seller". A friend of mine who used to be the MTM director at TF in NYC who was paid commission beat me by doing $10,000,000 in a year and Im inclined to believe he did it. Often top sales people used to be managers or they fill both roles. They get to a point were selling is more worth more financially or the managers get the big sales because the big clients want to deal with them.
     
  7. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    For those interested, calculate 5% of 10M and compare. Though I will say, IMO that is not typical. 1-3M in sales in a good location would be on target for most top end locations.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
  8. cwh812

    cwh812 Senior member

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    I think you guys are pulling our legs here. Selling $10 million worth of clothes in one year? That is approx. $27K per day. I understand you might have a good day where you might clear $100k with a high roller, but to say that happens once a week is just unbelievable. I can give you a couple million or maybe even $5 million, but $10 million is just ridiculous.
     
  9. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    Some of the assumptions in this thread are laughable. The one guy who heads an MTM dept. at a firm doesn't get 5% of the total gross of his/her department. Furthermore, I do have a very good sense of the financial profile and concerns of many of these high-end retailers, and I can assure you that they don't have one salesperson responsible for 10-20% of their total top-line.

    On the question of doctors - as I said, the medical field encompasses a wide variety of professions. I've seen signs in the subway that proclaim that the highest paid grad of some technical school is now making $400K / year (decades after graduating), which is more than what the average employee at Goldman Sachs makes. On the surface that is true, but I'm sure any intelligent person can find the obvious holes in that argument.
     
  10. sportin_life

    sportin_life Senior member

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    I thought for some stores, the SA's are required to wear the store's clothes? It was a long time ago (10 years), but I remember in college my friends that worked at BR or J. Crew had to wear their clothes.


    Physician salaries vary widely. Most PMD/GP's make about $150-200k but the more competitive specialties make between $300-800k, not including administrative bonuses, technical fees (if they own the centers), or more if they own part of the practice. The problem with comparing across professions is that a similar percentile of performance needs to be compared. If you are comparing the top 1% for SA's, the top 1% of physicians probably clear 7 figures.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
  11. jeff13007

    jeff13007 Senior member

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    Without fail every time i have visited the TF store on madison I've seen at least 1 person buying several suits/shoes/shirts etc. First time i saw one of the contestants of the Bachelorette spending his 50k clothing budget from the show there. When i went in for a fitting there was some guy who bought 10 suits according to the sales people there, he shows up in a diff color ferrari, with a diff girlfriend each time, but that day he was with his "main GF". When i went in to get a shirt, the guy being served before me bought like 20 shirts and 5 or so suits. So 10 million is not hard to imagine for the whole store during a year. BTW a salesman there makes about $150k. But these are their senior sales people who worked for Zegna, Brioni, Armani, asks, bergdorfs etc. If i remember correctly their current manager was from Armani.
     
  12. David Reeves

    David Reeves Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    some clients do things like buy entire collections in multiples for multiple houses. When you have people like this and a busy store with expensive product in it, its really not unfeasible.
     
  13. David Reeves

    David Reeves Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Well obviously, but I said "a" Doctor, which of course is still rather impressive/shocking considering your just selling clothes. Being more precise then Id say the top 0.1 percentile of SA make as much as the average Doctor.
     
  14. jeff13007

    jeff13007 Senior member

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    Just double checked with my friend who used to date a SA at Hermes on wall street. He claimed he by himself clears about 2 million in sales per year.
     
  15. brokencycle

    brokencycle Senior member

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    I think it is important to remember, we're talking about the top 0.01% here.

    By way of contrast, I was an SA at JAB in college and made like $7/hr. The manager was salaried plus got like 1% of the store's gross and like 3% of what he sold, so he was making about $50-60k/yr. When the store stopped growing by 5% YOY, he was canned, and because there was more than one store in the region that failed to meet their goal, the regional manager was canned despite planning on retiring in <6 months.
     
  16. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    Please read what I wrote then consider formulating a response that is relevant.

    Eustace, this may be mind blowing to you, but highly educated professionals are not the only people on the planet making good salaries. As mentioned in my experience 10m in sales is not typical, but not every doctor makes 500K and not trader at GS makes 2M, but it's not impossible.
     
  17. David Reeves

    David Reeves Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Of course though 10 million is really, really a lot. It's truly exceptional, It's the most I have heard of, but 2-3 million in sales for "regular" staff at a high end store sounds about right.
     
  18. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    Not my point at all, but nice work twisting my words to suit yourself.
     
  19. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    Sorry, I reread your posts. The tone of this thread in general is raising my blood pressure. The bottom line to my point is that, yes, these people can make a good living and it's not comparable to the part-time department store job that most are comparing it to.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
  20. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    This is a fact for some same band boutiques, though policies vary depend on the "vibe" of the boutique. Some boutiques require that their SAs wear the signature pieces, and essentially issue a uniform, which changes out frequently, and which the SAs get to keep. Others have clothing allowance, but are still required to mix in the signature pieces and wear the clothing in a particular manner and fit.
     

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