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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. JubeiSpiegel

    JubeiSpiegel Senior member

    Jun 9, 2011
    Sartorial Wasteland
  2. md2010

    md2010 Senior member

    Jul 11, 2011
    Retail SA gets clothing allowance every few months/season(about once every 3/4 months). There could be a probation period (RL stores 3 months) where you will not receive any clothing allowance. The stores wants you to be a model for their cloths.
  3. tacobender

    tacobender Senior member

    May 22, 2010
    Scottsdale / Las Vegas
    I can assure you I make nothing close to a doctor, dentist, etc.....They are all my clients, but I do not make nearly as much as them.

    There is also no one selling 10 million a year, out of any store in the U.S with any sort of consistency. Perhaps an SA hit that in the boom year, by luck....Say a guy at harry winston who happened to get multiple million dollar sales or a personal shopper with a fantastic book? The number of SA's hitting 5 million a year in sales in the US has got to be less then 25 total.

    Hermes is pulled commission so the wall street store does not do nearly as well as the Madison store, so they might have one SA doing 2 mil, and 3 or 4 doing between 1 and 1.5 million...Either way their hourly + bonus from the commission is probably going to top out at 100k, at most.

    I have had friends work at various tom ford stores, I can't say what their pay structure is like, and the price point is very high, But again, I think a top sales associate there is selling 3 mil a year tops, again, I won't say how much they make off that.

    My passion is clothing. I spend a large percentage of my income on it. I made more money 7+ years ago in the IT industry than i do today, and it has allowed me to spend more on clothing than most of my peers. I am the only one in my line of work that has this story, the poster who commented that you meet a lot of people who migrate to this line of work have family money or married well is some what correct.

    The stores will never pay enough to shop there. I've worked at a few stores, and the bottom line is with generous discounts you can usually shop there, but for the average joe who has bills to pay and doesn't have the benefit of a wealthy spouse or parents to contribute, it is hard to buy a lot of the products. Some stores pretty much have to provide a uniform as they can't risk a sales person showing up in less than fashionable clothing attempting to sell suiting or high priced jewelry.
    1 person likes this.
  4. CYstyle

    CYstyle Senior member

    Jul 18, 2009


    The Nordstrom nearby has more than a dozen selling $1 mi+l/year. Those in Women's shoes/salon shoes for example make 10% base commission plus bonus commission for beating goals, profit sharing etc. They make a good 150k+ at least.
  5. Prive212

    Prive212 New Member

    Feb 22, 2016
    I am a former TOM FORD employee and you are given 1 complete suit jacket, one vest, two suit pants, two shirts and two ties along with one pair of cufflinks and shoes per season/every 6 months. Yes, the suits they provide to staff are essentially off the rack, but in reality they are they same cut as those sold in the boutique just made in foreign Asian countries to cut uniform costs and prevent employees from re-selling when no longer employed with TOM FORD.

    To be clear, all TOM FORD products proudly have a "Made in Italy" label while it's identical uniform counterparts given to staff appear the same but the jacket, vest and shirts will all be made in Asian rather than Italy. While the shoes and ties will be authentic from the boutique Made in Italy products, they will come in generic white packaging to discourage employee's from re-selling the accessories.

    Please let me know if you have any further questions. I have been in this business a long time and will happily share my insight with an inquisitive mind.

    Also, all employee's at TF receive the same uniform, regardless of position. The only exception at GM's and the Director of Stores who receive rather generous clothing allowances.
    1 person likes this.
  6. othertravel

    othertravel Senior member

    Feb 9, 2011
    Are you still in retail? Which TF location?
  7. David Reeves

    David Reeves Senior member Affiliate Vendor

    Feb 16, 2009
    New York

    Often they sacrifice a lot to wear clothes like that even at discount, I remember when I first started out I was paid 11,000 pounds a year to work in a designer store (year 2000) but I still put in 1k (maybe more) to look the part because I wanted to look professional and it was expected. Still looking back it was quite exploitative.

    Other designers may actually give clothes away or some stores may have very good commission/salary, at a store like channel a sales associate can make a very comfortable middle-class living.

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