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Retail Industry Employment

ubc121

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It's time for me to find a new job. I am a college student wanting to get into the clothing retail industry. Would I start at the bottom and apply at low end stores like American Eagle or will stores like Holt, Harry Rosen or Roden Gray hire students. Do any of you who work at clothing stores have tips for me or anyone else in the same situation? My experience consists of working in a grocery store for three years and some volunteer stuff.
 

Christopher Essex

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I know many of the chain retailers will hire seasonal people for the Christmas season and if they like their work, will keep some on in the New Year.

I'd try some of them...GAP, Banana Republic, Club Monaco etc. Perhaps even the Bay.

Higher-end stores like Rosen and Holt will want people with experience, I would imagine.
 

RangerP

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Originally Posted by ubc121
It's time for me to find a new job. I am a college student wanting to get into the clothing retail industry. Would I start at the bottom and apply at low end stores like American Eagle or will stores like Holt, Harry Rosen or Roden Gray hire students. Do any of you who work at clothing stores have tips for me or anyone else in the same situation? My experience consists of working in a grocery store for three years and some volunteer stuff.
Do you want to get into the clothing RETAIL industry, like retail sales ?.... or just fashion industry in general? Long-term career goals?
 

AlmostFullBenefits

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Originally Posted by ubc121
It's time for me to find a new job. I am a college student wanting to get into the clothing retail industry.

Let me first ask you this, as its the most applicable career question ever devised: where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Your answer will affect everything, but knowing a little ahead of time from your post, let me try give a few suggestions. Granted, someone who has the career you want to have will be able to offer you much better advice than myself.

Do not start out by settling for low-end mall retail. These places are abyssal pits of despair that make Lovecraft's nightmares seem like Pixar films. First off, all you will get from low-end stores is the prior work experience. However, during the winter holiday season, almost every place is looking for seasonal employees, so getting a better job is pretty easy. Most retail places, regardless of their quality, will consider keeping on the better employees after the season is over. So, getting your foot in the door of a better place while you have the opportunity is the better longterm plan. If this is the career you want, always keep in mind the long term future.

Additionally, most places require you to wear clothes that they sell. Having a bunch of crappy clothes from a low-end store won't benefit you for long, whereas having better clothes always will. Plus, most places give nice discounts, so if you work in a higher-end store, you might be able to bounce clothes you get for cheap at work on places like Ebay. Of course, if you want to save money, this might not be such a good idea, as you might be tempted to spend all your salary on clothes for yourself.

I know Saks Off Fifth is hiring. The benefit is that the nicer clothes they sell there are sold in other high-end retail places, so if you move on to another high-end place, you won't necessarily have to replace your work wardrobe.
 

intent

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I talked once with a guy who worked at a Brooks Brothers retail store who revealed to me he was wearing a suit from a Vietnamese tailor. I didn't know how to react to that.
 

intent

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Originally Posted by bananananana
Why bother going to college if you want to do retail sales?
Don't be hatin'. Some retail stores pay a lot, and it helps to have the college experience in case he wants to go into management.
 

comrade

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I am no expert, but there are, or used to be, buyer training programs at major retailers which
hired college grads. This was presumably a management training program that fast-tracked
talent into the executive ranks. I do know whom they recruit these days, but in the 70s my
sister had an offer on graduating from college from then "hot" Bloomingdales for a place
in one of these programs. It was very competitive.
 

junior varsity

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i'd not do it because you make like absolutely no money in retail... unless you are a ludicrously good salesman at neiman or barneys
 

The Shoe Snob

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GET A JOB AT NORDSTROM!!!! I am serious. I worked there during university and it's a nice place to make a pretty decent dollar. They pay on commission (chance for earning good money) and they love to hire students for seasonal work. But if you do well during the seasonal period, they will most likely keep you on the team, especially if you sell well and show initiative. The key is having a customer focus mentality. If you can demonstrate this during the interview, they will take you on. Just don't get stuck there and find yourself 40 still working there. Many people get side tracked and stay there forever because of the good earnings. But it's a job where your salary can only go so high before it stays the same. Best of luck
 

ubc121

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Thanks. This is some good shit. Also having a commerce degree will help me later on and in lots of cases grads make more more money than non grads. To answer the first question I am looking to get into the retail industry not fashion design.
 

ubc121

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Originally Posted by Handmadeshoes
GET A JOB AT NORDSTROM!!!! I am serious. I worked there during university and it's a nice place to make a pretty decent dollar. They pay on commission (chance for earning good money) and they love to hire students for seasonal work. But if you do well during the seasonal period, they will most likely keep you on the team, especially if you sell well and show initiative. The key is having a customer focus mentality. If you can demonstrate this during the interview, they will take you on. Just don't get stuck there and find yourself 40 still working there. Many people get side tracked and stay there forever because of the good earnings. But it's a job where your salary can only go so high before it stays the same. Best of luck

I am canadian but this could still apply to Holts or something but how did you apply? Did you go and speak with the person who is hiring or did you just fill out an application?
 

intent

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Originally Posted by ubc121
I am canadian but this could still apply to Holts or something but how did you apply? Did you go and speak with the person who is hiring or did you just fill out an application?
Definitely talk to a manager. If you just hand in your application some loser will just reject you.
 

RangerP

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Originally Posted by intent
Don't be hatin'. Some retail stores pay a lot, and it helps to have the college experience in case he wants to go into management.

+1

I know a few people that work at Harry Rosen in Ottawa and they tell me that quite a few salesman make over $100k/year. I can only imagine that the salesman in Toronto and Vancouver make more.

It's not a ridiculously high salary...but for selling clothing, I think it's pretty damn good. Especially when you consider that you never have to bring work home with you. All you have to do is show up for 8 hours a day and do a good job.

I'm not recommending it because I personally think it's not a very fulfilling career but others might think it is...
 

someotherstyle

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Originally Posted by RangerP
+1 I know a few people that work at Harry Rosen in Ottawa and they tell me that quite a few salesman make over $100k/year. I can only imagine that the salesman in Toronto and Vancouver make more. It's not a ridiculously high salary...but for selling clothing, I think it's pretty damn good. Especially when you consider that you never have to bring work home with you. All you have to do is show up for 8 hours a day and do a good job. I'm not recommending it because I personally think it's not a very fulfilling career but others might think it is...
I worked for a independent retailer in Edmonton for 5.5 years, through uni, and make quite the good $$. I personally know a guy who banked 100k the last two years working 4 days a week at another retailer. Don't hate on it - if you're a good sale, you'll make some good coin. Just go talk to the manager. If you can sell him, then you can sell clothes. -MK edit: oh and wear something respectable to talk to him in. act like you want it.
 

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