Monday, October 10, 2011

Job Interview...

I mentioned in an earlier post, that I had a job interview last week. The job post was for an "assistant buyer," so I thought I'd send my resume. I get called in for an interview, and I was immediately suspicious when I found out the location. It was on Cutten, south of 1960. Basically, a bunch of farmland with ghetto warehouses. Anyway, I show up, open the door with bars on it to a teeny, dirty office. I know this sounds kind of like a nightmare, but I am actually really glad I went.

I learned about an entirely different channel of retail that I knew very little about. You may have heard of a "jobber" before, but you probably don't know exactly how they work. Let me explain...

Think of stores like Costco, TJ Maxx, or Ross... They all have junky, piecey "designer" stuff. In a normal store, a buyer either orders goods from the designer directly from the designer or through a showroom when they go to market. When you go into costco, and you see brands like Polo or Adidas, that merchandise got their through a jobber. Polo and Adidas would NEVER sell to a store like costco, because it hurts their brand image. So how does it end up in the store? Well all over the country, retailers will operate a store or several stores that legitimately order goods from a company like North Face. Let's say in their one store, they will sell 50 fleeces in one month, but they order 500 or whatever the maximum allowance may be. They then resell the extra merchandise to stores like TJ Maxx for a small profit margin.

The company I interviewed with actually has a "store" on 1960. It is a real store and sells lots of stuff, but they mainly use it to get goods they can resell. This is not illegal in any way, but the people who do this do it through manipulation of the system. The word "creative" was used a lot by the interviewer, so yeah, it's shady. To top it off, I got a tour of the warehouse. There were thousands of boxes of random coach bags and nine west shoes just sitting there waiting to be shipped to an off-price retailer.

I was asked back for a second interview, but I nicely said thanks but no thanks. Yeah I know, the economy, jobs are scarce, whatever... I couldn't see myself enjoying a career based on loopholes and manipulation.

Just wanted to share this in case you have any interest in how the retail business works.

I have this bag (in the jumbo size with caviar leather)... but I got mine from the a-holes at Chanel. Oh, and let me say, I freaking love Costco. Just wanted to clarify.

Love,
Lauren

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