I’ve worked with this company for 10-and-a- half years. I’ve been at this particular store, which is in an upscale suburban mall, since July, 2011. My clientele includes women and men between 20 and 70 years old, who are usually quite loyal (a testament to our addictive, natural-based products).
This story first appeared in the February 10, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
When it came to holiday shopping this year, we were tasked with engaging shoppers in nonbusiness conversations, finding out who was on their lists and reminding them not to forget about themselves. Before Christmas, we sold out of our limited edition, value- priced starter kits as well as two of our most well-known skin care collections.
A variety of our fragrances sold very well as did our award-winning, luxury-priced antiaging cream. During the holiday rush my average sale was $65 and typically included two to five products. I found that most of our shoppers’ purchases were about 60 percent gifts and 40 percent personal.
All in all, the impression I got is that customers are certainly still price-conscious, making smaller gift purchases, but splurging for “special” things and value sets. I also noticed that many of our customers bought the items they loved and used for themselves as gifts for friends and family.
Although we came in slightly below our sales target for the store, we were close to it and definitely exceeded last year’s. My personal sales philosophy is that patience and knowledge are the two most important traits to convey on the selling floor.
I am an ambassador of the brand and it’s my duty to focus on the customer above all else. I like to spend a few minutes, usually between five and 10 (about two during the holiday season), inquiring about a person’s beauty routine and individual needs so I can make the right product recommendations. My goal is to get a customer back in the store, not to return something that wasn’t quite right, but because they can’t live without the product I put into his or her hands.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: This was written by a beauty adviser for a specialty brand at a shopping mall in the Northeast.]