A day at work can be different depending on what job you have to do that day. At Abercrombie, we have brand representatives, and stock associates. I am one of the brand representatives, here are the different tasks you could be asked to do!
At Abercrombie, a brand rep has the most responsibility as an associate. We have to help the customers, run the registers, and maintain the store.
At Abercrombie we make customers our number one priority. We will do anything it takes for them to be happy. The first approach you should have with a customer is asking them questions like, "How are you today?" to greet them as friendly as you can. The next question you should always ask is, "Are you looking for anything in particular today?" This allows you to get an understanding of what they are for and they will be more likely to buy something. The last thing you should say to a customer is the promotions going on in the store. If you tell them there are sales going on as they walk in, then they will want to stay. The most important task a brand rep must do is checking up on all the customers in the store. Once you have let them shop around for a little bit it's good to be asking, "Are you still doing alright?" If a customer is not finding the help they need, they will get angry with the associates. A lot of the times there may not be the correct size in something so you will have to check in the back. If a customer does not find what they are looking for, give them other options. Tell them they can order it online, or help them find another item. Remember you always want a customer to leave happy! Make sure you thank them for stopping in and to have a great day :)
Shoplifting is a big problem anyone in retail has to deal with. You have to be aware of everyone that comes into the store and expect it from any customer. You should never leave a room unattended with a customer.
What should you look for?
1) A customer that does not want any help from you, and wants to be left alone.
2) Big bags! If a customer has an abnormally large bag, then they may be planning to steal.
3) Large piles of clothes out of place in the store. If you find clothes out of place, this means someone is planning to "booster." They may come in to prep what they're trying to steal so when they come back in, they can easily steal a large amount of clothes.
How can you prevent this?
1) If you suspect someone is a shoplifter, ask them if they need help continuously. If you keep bothering them, then they will not steal.
2) If you see someone steal something, ask them if they want something to match whatever they stole. You CANNOT call anyone out for stealing. You can even ask if they want you to hold their items at the register, hinting that you know they stole.
4) If you see someone run out of the store that stole, call mall security! At this point you can't do anything else.
5) Always check up on people in the fitting rooms. This a perfect spot for people to take off sensors! Count the items they have when they go in, and when they come out.
6) Constantly check for sensors around the store! Shoplifters will put them in random locations around the store: fitting rooms, coat pockets, under large piles, etc.
HOW TO WORK IN RETAIL
There is a lot of different tasks you could have to do while maintaining the store. You have to greet and help the customers, check customers out, continue to fix the clothes, and put people into fitting rooms. It is very important to try to keep the store as organized as possible so it is easy for customers to find what they are looking for. Even if you are really busy, quickly reorganizing a table to make it look better is something you should continuously do throughout you're shift. At the end of the night any retail store must go through and fold down the store to make it look perfect for the next day. An associate must always be aware of the fitting rooms! You don't want a customer to be waiting too long for a fitting room because this may upset them. Also constantly cleaning them out so they can be ready for another customer. Lastly, knowing exactly how to run the registers is very important. At Abercrombie it is pretty straight forward because it tells you on the screen what to do. But you must be ready for many different scenarios: returns, price adjusting, online orders, etc. Always ask the customer if they found everything okay so they know that you cared about their visit! If something was priced wrong always honor it, this was the stores mistake, not the customers! As long as you are aware of what's going on in the whole store while you are there, even if you are busy with something, then the store should run very smoothly!
Updating the store can be a very hard task for all of the associates in any store. You usually will have close to everyone working on these days! At Abercrombie we can have updates close to every 2 weeks where we may only switch around a few tables. A floor set only happens close to 4 times a year, where you change everything in the store! This usually happens with a change of season because you will get all new clothes in shipment. Floor sets are definitely the hardest part of my job.
The first thing you should do if you are updating a table or closet is looking at the paper for that particular spot and finding all the clothes that go there! They could either already be out on the floor or in the stock room.
It is very important that you can properly fold clothes! All it really takes is practice. At Abercrombie, we sometimes use the board folding technique.
1) What is the hardest thing about retail?
"Dealing with difficult customers because it can be hard to handle everyone. Working here you have to have emotional intelligence and you have to be stable. Another thing that is hard is achieving plan for each quarter, which keeps us on track with how much money we should be making."
2) Do you like working in retail? If so, why?
"Yes, I am a marketing major and I love getting to see how customers experience the brand. I recently moved here from Sri Lanka and I used to be on the side where the items would be made. I love the idea of experiencing other people and have learned so many different cultures working here. When I started working here I wasn't used to cash, and didn't even know what a quarter was. I first started as a manager in training and I have come so much further working here. Everyone here pushes me to do my best, and I like being able to challenge myself. I really enjoy it."
3) How would you deal with an angry customer?
"I would first shut off taking it personally and then listen to the customer and figure out what the reason is they are angry. I would then ask myself if it is in my control, and if it is then I will try to make the customer as happy as possible. I want them to leave happy."
4) What would be the first think you do if you see a customer stealing?
"I would try not to panic, if I notice it I would play it smart and use recovery statements. If they are aggressive, I would call mall security. I would try to recover the merchandise, but in a safe way. I would want to make sure that all the associates and everyone in the store is safe out of harms way because that is my responsibility. I think that 90% of the time people steal because nobody is around to see them do it. So good customer service and checking up on them will help with this."
5) Is it hard managing a store?
"I wouldn't say that it's hard, but during busy days like black Friday it can be overwhelming. If I know what I'm doing and trust the people around me, it isn't hard. It can be challenging but I like the experience of challenging myself. I feel like all the associates have a sense of ownership so I am never stressed because I know that everyone knows what their doing. That is why I like it, because everyone at the store is really good."
- Make sure the edges of each pile line up.
- If you can't fold correctly, use a board folder.
- Tuck all tags in!
- Make sure everything is in size order.
Use these screws to find the exact piece of clothing you are looking for and how much you need
Building closets can be very hard and it was very challenging for me at first. But if you use these images of the pieces you need and follow the paper, it can be easy. You have to make sure you space out everything exactly the way it is in the picture.
This was my very first closet I built and did all by myself. It took me a few times to be able to get the shelves right but with trial and error, I got the closet to looking right. Updates can usually take all day, and we even have separate days for the boys side of the store and the girls side. It can sometimes take an hour for one closet or table, and with the whole entire store, it takes a very long time. You have to be patient and really be able to challenge yourself to getting everything looking perfect.
The last step of an update is to update all of the forms with the new clothing. This is the first one I've ever dressed! Following the paper to make it look exactly the same took a lot of focus, but I was up to the challenge and was pleased with how it turned out.
When I first started working at Abercrombie I didn't really know if I was going to like it or not. I had gone into a million stores to shop before, but I had no idea how it would be on the other end. On my first day I remember thinking to myself, "What did I just get myself in to?" Retail was a lot more work than I could have even imagined. Until you actually work in retail, you would never know all the work that goes on behind the scenes. Greeting people as they walked in was definitely not the only thing I had to learn. As you saw on this site, it takes a LOT of work. There is times that I wonder why I'm still doing it, but when it comes down to it, it really isn't that bad. I would never go into retail as a career but I think this job taught me so much. I learned how to use great customer service, how to challenge myself, and learn to overcome hard tasks. I even learned how to deal with unhappy customers, and staying calm even if they are yelling at you.
All of these things I know I will use later in life, and I learned so much more about people. This job made me appreciate other stores so much more and now whenever I go into a store, I appreciate everything they are doing, and have so much more patience. I know the relationships that I built with work will last forever and I'm so happy I was able to get close with everyone. Having the opportunity to work for a serious company like Abercrombie showed me the seriousness of how you should treat you're job when you're older. How I would treat working here differently if I had to start over would be staying calm when I first started working, and not stressing out about everything I had to learn. Any job is going to be hard at first but it just takes time, and before you know going to work will be just as normal as going to school.