Working in the retail industry is something that a significant amount of the population will experience. In fact, at any given time, approximately 1 in 10 Americans work in retail. Some of these experiences are considered a necessary but unpleasant step in the career path, made up of low wages, no benefits, few opportunities for advancement, and few full-time positions. However, there are companies striving to better the working conditions for their employees. Particularly in the fashion industry, there are many retail companies where employees love their jobs.
These are 5 of the best apparel retail companies to work for today:
5.) The Gap
The Gap has been selling high quality, fashionable clothes for a very long time and are consistently liked by their employees. Employees at The Gap enjoy:
- Flexible hours and schedules.
- A great hourly wage and many opportunities for raises.
- Discounts at The Gap, Gap Outlet, Old Navy and The Banana Republic.
The Gap has a fun atmosphere, and employees work together on projects, which can be a great benefit. Employees do feel pressured to push people to apply for the store card, which can be stressful for some. However, employees say that overall, the Gap has a great environment and is a fun place to work.
4.) L. L. Bean
L.L. Bean is known for their high-quality outdoor clothing and products, as well as for their classic styles. Store locations are located almost entirely in the northeastern United States, though they offer catalog and online sales everywhere.
Employees of L. L. Bean enjoy:
- Excellent pay rates.
- A 40% off employee discount.
- L.L. Bean encourages their employees’ passions for the outdoors. Employees have the opportunity to borrow outdoor gear from the company’s use room at headquarters and can camp out in L.L. Bean’s cabins along the Rangeley Lakes.
The work environment at L.L. Bean is incredibly positive. Employee recognition programs and feedback programs help ensure their voices are heard, and management is willing to work with employees to improve their stores.
L.L. Bean employees also have fun working with their customers, and say that most of their customers are great to be around.
Nordstrom can be a fantastic company to work for, provided you are good at sales. Nearly all positions at Nordstrom are entirely paid on commission, and each department gets a different rate of commission for their sales. Some departments may get hourly wages in addition to a higher wage, but sales positions are primarily paid on commission. This may be intimidating to many people considering retail, but there is no limit to the amount of money a salesperson can make in a day.
Biggest benefits of being employed at Nordstrom:
- Employees are able to move up, and promoting is often done from within the company. This can be a great benefit if you intend to make a career in retail.
- Employees often get a lot of hours, though their schedules may not always be predictable.
- Nordstrom has a competitive, but fun environment.
- Employees get a 20% discount and are able to make great money.
Sephora is a fantastic company, dedicated to providing incredible cosmetics, skin care, fragrance, and bath and body products. (We know, they aren’t an apparel retailer so they are a bit outside of the scope here, but all retailers can learn from a good success story!) Employees love working for this company because it provides them with great training, has fantastic products and awesome values.
Sephora puts extra effort into teaching their employees, focusing on giving them as much information about their products and how to use them as possible. Employees are able to advise customers on every product and brand, rather than pushing one particular brand.
Sephora employees don’t get as much of a discount as some department stores offer, but they do get to try out hundreds of amazing products for free.
The pay is not the best in the industry, and employees may not get as many hours as they might want. However, there are bonuses available, and the working environment is one of the best. Everyone is upbeat and works together as a team. Overall, Sephora is one of the most exciting growing companies currently in retail, and many employees say it is the best job they have ever had.
1.) Victoria Secret and Pink (L Brands)
Victoria’s Secret and Pink offer a very positive experience for women and encourage their employees.
Victoria’s Secret employees enjoy:
- Great pay rates, plus commission and bonuses. Employees can earn monthly gratis as well.
- A great discount on merchandise.
- There are many opportunities to move up within Victoria’s Secret, and employees are noticed for working hard. The company has a terrific open door policy and employees get the chance to interface with higher ups often.
Because of Victoria’s Secret and Pink’s marketing aim directed at college-aged women, the stores focus on creating a fun and exciting environment. Employees find that working at Victoria’s Secret is fast-paced, and no two shifts are ever the same. Many employees say that the positive atmosphere was the best part of working for Victoria’s Secret.
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