Which Department Store Clothing Sections Sell the Most Over the Holidays?
October 15, 2012 5:43 PM   Subscribe

My girlfriend has applied for work as a sales associate at two upscale New York City department stores and has been offered a variety of clothing departments to work in at both. She wants to work through the holiday season and to earn as much as she can in that period via commission. Assuming that all departments offer the same rate of commission, can anyone advise us as to which departments would have the highest sales in Oct/Nov/Dec? Or point us to any internet resources with such info? I've been unable to dig up any on my own. Thanks!
posted by laswingkid to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Anecdotally, I've heard you can make a killing in Nordstroms shoe department.
posted by whoaali at 5:52 PM on October 15, 2012

Well, the best selling departments are going to have the most people on staff at the right hours.

Moreover, unless your girlfriend has retail experience, she is probably not going to get put in the best spots.

That being said, shoes?
posted by k8t at 6:27 PM on October 15, 2012

I second whoaali-- shoes, absolutely. I've had several friends work at Nordstrom and specifically, the shoe department at Nordstrom, and they raved about the commission. During the holidays, they always seem to be understaffed, so with a little hustle, I imagine it'd be a pretty chunk of change. It's far easier to sell a pair of shoes than say, a particular clothing item or attempt to build an outfit. Customers are far easier to please in the realm of shoes.
posted by chloe.gelsomino at 6:35 PM on October 15, 2012

Unfortunately there are no Nordstroms in NYC (yet!).

I'd agree that shoes are probably the winner. Depending on how upscale the department stores are, I might pick the one that is less upscale -- in my experience the ritziest places never get that crowded, even during the holidays. In other words, more Bloomingdales, less Bergdorf.
posted by telegraph at 6:42 PM on October 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Make sure that returns aren't charged back against her commission. Bergdorfs or Barneys would be good in Fine Jewelry, handbags, shoes and perfume.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:24 PM on October 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

I always heard the perfume/fragrance counter was the place to work in a department store during the holiday season.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 10:58 PM on October 15, 2012

Best answer: Over the holidays (at Nordtsrom, I know that's not the store you're talking about), Point of View and Individualist always made a lot of money, shoes not as much. POV and Indy are women's clothes, POV more moderate price and Indy a little more pricey. Where you go to get your mom or gf a sweater for say $100 or $200. Cosmetics/fragrances also did very well, but those were hard to get into. NY may be different. Handbags were pretty good, fine jewelry was dominated by people with existing client books, and fashion jewelry was pretty good - they always cross sold with the handbags and cosmetics since they were close together in the store. Men's departments were not as easy to sell in, but there were less returns.

As managers we had historical info that would give us goals for sales by hour, and we always staffed up so that each person working would just about make draw. That said, a lot is going to depend on her schedule - which department will give her the best hours? Also, which one can she personally sell the most in? She's going to have to make the most of every customer she gets to interact with. Our top moneymakers always managed to suggestive sell by not being too pushy but suggesting additional items or upgrades. They also sold items from other departments, so your gf should make sure she gets commission on every item she sells, even if it's from a different department. Every day she goes in to work she should know what's new and have an idea what she can put together with other items on the floor.
posted by mrs. taters at 6:52 AM on October 16, 2012

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