Sunday, September 27, 2009

The topic of.... freight.

A couple of you commented from my previous post that you like to hear about my job! Thanks guys! My job is really important to me so that makes me feel really good!! :)

I thought I would go into detail about how new merchandise gets to a store's salesfloor. Now, I was going to go into depth on sweatshops but, honestly? The topic of sweatshops DESERVES it's own post so I will save that for another day!

Let's start with the boxes. Depending on the size of the company and the volume of the specific store most stores get new freight to process daily. My store is one of those stores that gets boxes Monday-Friday. I'm a little anal about getting new merchandise to the floor quick, so I get anxiety if we don't get going on it right away.

Everything comes in typical moving box sized boxes and each item is individually wrapped in plastic. Yes. Each shirt, each necklace, each pair of underwear is individually wrapped in plastic. My store receives between 30-60 boxes a week depending on the time of year. During back to school season that number doubles. Each box takes approximately 30 minutes to an hour to process. In a perfect world.
Ok, ok. So, maybe it's not as many boxes that are pictured above, but sometimes it sure feels like it! Today we received 15 boxes and in those 15 boxes was approximately 700 new pieces of merchandise. Crazy, right? ;)

Now, you've got your boxes. What do you do with them? In my location I instruct my staff to empty out the boxes into large black bins (these look nicer if out on the salesfloor than brown boxes) sorted by tops, bottoms, pajamas, underwear, specialty (like jewelry and small toys), shoes and brand new (i.e. needs to be put out NOW) merchandise. From there each item gets unwrapped, attached to a sensor to prevent shoplifting, put on hangers and from there it's ready to hit the salesfloor!

Is that really it though? If you said no, you guessed RIGHT! Now it has to be displayed (or merchandised) properly. This is where the fun starts! Making outfits! Putting different items together to wait and see if it sells. If it doesn't, you need to move it around. I always tell my girls, "It's our job to make something mediocre look adorable!" So many times we get something in and our first thought is, "WHAT WAS THE BUYER THINKING?!" Then we see it on an 8 year old we go, "Ohhh, it IS cute on her!" :)

Originally, I went to school to be a buyer. I wanted to help forecast trends and allocate goods to appropriate stores. I quickly found out that I belong out in the field. I did not like sitting at a desk all day. I enjoyed being out and mingling with people. I enjoyed leading a successful team. And I especially loved the number crunching and (although I hate to admit it) the pressure to make that sales plan!

So, that is a little insight to what I do! There is much, much more!

12 comments:

short southern momma said...

That was so fun to learn about!!! I used to have to put up stock in a restaurant I worked at and that sounds like sooooo much more fun and hanging out in a freezer putting stuff up! HA!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Thanks for sharing!

I used to work in retail as a sales associate, but I was only 16 and to be honest, didn't really like it - I obviously had NO idea about all the work that is behind it!

I think it's great that you're so passionate and excited about your job!

Crazy Shenanigans said...

That's great that you love your job!!!! That's such an important thing.

Shoshanah said...

Having never worked in any type of retail atmosphere I think its really interesting to hear a little bit about what goes on behind the scenes.

Lesli said...

I have worked retail in my past (Vanity, Yankee Candle and Flowers By Bachmans). I liked getting a peek inside your store's back room. I am especially interested in what goes on with merchandising and displays. I took a class in design school called Retail Store Layout. It was all very interesting about what psychology goes into where they put what--such as new things are always right when you walk in to a boutique to catch your eye.

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