Recently I gave in and decided that I needed to purchase some new work trousers. Just wanting a pair of basic black trousers and not wanting to spend a fortune I decided to head to New Look in Nottingham.
The New Look store in Nottingham is very large with 3 floors of clothing it also has ranges for petite, tall, maternity, men’s clothing and a large shoe, accessory and lingerie section. The store itself is bright and airy and all clothes are laid out neatly.
There appeared to be a good amount of staff in the store although they were fairly difficult to identify on first glance as they were wearing clothing sold in the store. I did head to the fitting rooms to try on the 3 pairs of trousers I had selected and although there was a queue it did go down quickly and I was given a tag and pointed into the direction of a large fitting room which had a solid door with a lock, hooks to hang items on and a full length mirror. Although one pair of trousers was suitable I did encounter a lady asking for an item in another size and the attendant radioed another member of staff to fetch the item preventing the customer from having to leave the fitting rooms and return again.
My experience at the till was not as good as the rest of the store as I was only in a short queue and there were 4 members of staff serving so I was not expecting the wait to be as lengthy as it was. I soon realised that 3 out of the 4 staff members were all completing store card applications and by the time I had come to getting served the queue behind me had doubled in size. During my transaction for my one pair of trousers I was asked if I would like a free catalogue, if I would like to open a store card and informed that I could fill in an online survey to win a prize. I can fully understand a stores need to increase sales but I would be much more likely to return if I was served promptly.
The trousers I purchased were great value at just £12.99, fit well and have washed well. I have purchased items in the past from New Look and have always been happy with them.
Overall I think I have mixed opinions about this store, although it sells a large variety of reasonably priced fashionable clothing I think a little more attention could be given to the levels of customer service with more emphasis placed on efficiency rather than increased profits. I would recommend this store for anyone wanting to purchase fashionable clothing or basic clothing items at more reasonable prices than other high street stores and I will return in the future but I will admit that I was a little put off by the ‘hard sell’ techniques at the till.
New look is one of my favourite shops to buy clothes for holidays or just average days. There is something for everyone there. There are many different clothes for adults for different shapes and sizes. They also have a wide selection of kids clothes. I recently managed to get lots oh holiday clothes for my young daughter and I also managed to get her a lovely prom dress . The clothes come in many different sizes. The prices of the clothes are very affordable. They also sell shoes at a very cheap price. The changing rooms are very spacious so trying stuff on is nice. The lighting in the changing rooms is amazing. Also , the staff there are incredibly friendly and helpful. Overall I think new look is a great shop for people any age or any size. I would dfinitely have a nip in there next time xxx Imogen
I have worked for new look for 3 years and worked my way up the ranks pretty fast. This have clearly changed drastically in 5 years. As an STL (store team leader) my basic rate of pay is 7.80 plus a monthly basic salary on top of that.
If you join the new look team as a sales advisor and want to move up the company are very good a promoting in house if you show you're interested.
As for buying new uniform every month and not being aloud to wear sale this is totally false. Trends rarely change so drastically that you would have to do this trends are gradually phased out and phased in so staff and customers do not feel the need to buy 200 pounds on clothing each month to feel "on trend". Sale can be worn by staff for upto three months after the item as went in to sale. This has ALWAYS been the case.
Staff discount is a massive 50% off all new look clothing and concessions brands such as AX Paris it's 25%. We also have 25% friends and family discount vouchers all year round. And every month all staff are give six vouchers for that month to give them to whom they please and this happens every month. The 50% staff discount is also available online.
Yes a lot of hard work is expected from the staff but isn't hard work expected in every job?
I am currently working for this company as a visual merchandising team leader. Having worked for various retail stores including high end department stores I have grown accustomed to the ins and outs of how these businesses are run, staff morale, staff turnover etc so I came into this store with an open mind. Honestly it is simply ran just like every other company, trying (sometimes ever so desperately) to be on par with its competitors (Topshop, h&m, river island) which makes for the most boring unconventional team briefings in the morning when our deputy manager or store manager will start to give us information on some 'innovative' campaign that our competitors have already done. The store lacks sufficient training for its staff, I came into the store and have pretty much had to wing my job. Saying that however I imagine I wouldnt have learnt much as visually New looks senior management are extremely outdated. If you are a timid individual or lack initiative in the kindest way I will say, this company is not for you. You cant expect to learn or develop within a company thats still growing. HR and payroll is something different ive had to chase them up to correct my tax and pay as the management in my store are simply lost when it comes to ensuring their staff are paid correctly, all wage slips are accesible via the Internet through New looks hr portal, this is good if your are looking to reduce your carbon footprint but this serves as an annoyance as I much prefer my payslips to be paper I recieve monthly. Speaking of pay, I wont complain, my wages are okay. The day to day dynamics in the store vary and depending on how the morning or previous day goes for management above me this will to determine how smoothly or rough my day will go. Nevertheless most days there is a level of pressure, whether your a sales advisor, Visual merchandiser or supervisior you have to have perfected your multi tasking you will literally be all over the workshop doing different jobs (sometimes all at once). I for the most part am replenishing, putting new lines out, on the till, merchandising different trends, clearing stock and maintaining store standards. Admittedly, the store I work in like to work to 'high standards' which jars me as the store physically is not at that stage yet to set that sort of precedent, not by a mile.
The staff are a good lot. There are some rotten apples, as per normal in retail but they are a real diverse group of people which Is something New Look are great for. Staff morale could do with a boost however, members of management need to be less detached and be more supportive of their employees im sure this would help staff turnover and increase staff retention. Instead of bothering with the development of staff, store cards seem to be a major priority and in turn seem to be the main focus at work.At the end of it all New look is pretty standard in terms of a working environment not many pros not many cons. Ive had good times and bad times. But so far nothings really made me go running for the hills just yet and believe me, if im not comfortable at work I would leave. The staff discount is at 50% which is lovely if you enjoy buying clothes....from New look of course. But this is just for YOU and another person of the opposite sex, unless you bro/sisters/mum/friends the same Size shoe or clothing as you, you have no choice but to buy items full priced for them.
With regards to performance, im not sure as to the company as a whole but our store on general sporadically hits target which ultimately effects payroll, if we dont take any money part timers at work can see a big reduction in hours, so stability may be an issue with this company. I work full time & even I see inconsistent hours on my payslips. My managers personalities are all very similar they dont have one personality, they seem either very professional or very not, very well informed or very not. Again alot of inconsistency, its rather annoying but something we live with.
It seems that a lot has changed in three years.
I started at New Look at the end of June, and so far it's been incredible. The pay for all of the people starting when I was was £6.29/hour, which is really not bad at all, and if you ask for more hours, you'll probably get them. The interview may be the thing that throws prospective employees- besides from the generic one to one interview (what skills will you bring to the store, what experience do you have etc), there was a task whereby everyone was given a sheet of paper with a celebrity and specification on, and we had about 10 minutes to pull together an outfit downstairs. Although that may seem more like a test of how up to date you are with celebrities and fashion, it's much more about style and initiative. My specification was Fearne Cotton going to a festival, and in the photo she was wearing a hat. So I chose a straw hat and took it from there, using the beigey colour to choose a floral top with beige, orange, and blue in it, chose some wooden bangles, denim shorts and basic brogues. It seems simple but you do have to be creative- one girl had Leona Lewis going to an awards night and came back with a very basic and uninspired outfit consisting of a shimmery dress, a sparkly necklace and some silvery shoes. She didn't get the job. You do have to talk you outfit through to the group (obviously focusing on the manager), and although I'm fairly shy it wasn't too nerve wracking, from the interview to the chosen employees everyone's been very friendly- even though you might expect some character clashes from a female dominated environment, it ends up very professionally.
Newbies tend to get late hours- I currently work 4-8pm on Saturdays and 1-5 on Sundays. You can tell them when you want to work and they'll try their best to accommodate that. You can go for longer hours too, but with the change in policy (inspired by new government rules) meaning that breaks are no longer paid (although this may be different for under 17s), 4 hours without a break is probably better value (depending on travel) than 8 hours with one unpaid.
But one of the best parts of the job has to be the discount, applicable to you and a nominated person of the opposite sex (although there aren't many male sections around and I don't think the discount works online). It's 50% off the original price on everything except concessions (AX Paris, Pussycat etc), which makes buying current season uniform easy. Being strapped for cash isn't really an issue either. You can easily get away with past season jeans and a current season t shirt (often about £5 with the discount- less then an hour of wage). So if you only work one day a week then you could technically go the whole month on £5 of uniform.
As with any shop floor job, a decent conversation with a customer that leaves you both smiling really keeps you motivated. Simply making a positive comment on the colour of their items can open up something much less dull than "would you like your receipt in the bag?"- and this is where the discount can come in; only last weekend did I settle a woman's mind on a party dress because I'd bought the same one and genuinely adored it; and one top that I've only worn twice has already had three compliments and two women asking me to get them one in their size- it's such a confidence boost and it's all of these points put together that make me realise that New Look feels like another home.
I worked for New Look for 5 years, starting there as a Saturday part timer and working my way up the ranks. It's a young, lively company to work for but they expect a lot of hard work for little wages and perks.
For my first position in the company, the interview process was fairly painless, more of an informal chat. Bearing in mind it was only for a Saturday job as I was still at school I guess there couldn't have been much more too it, could there? The longer I was there, I saw the interview process change a lot. Now even people applying for a few hours a week the basic interview plus varioius tasks to complete based on current fashion and what the celebs are wearing. I guess now they get a lot more applicants so they have to make the interviews harder.
My wages to start with were shockingly low, I was under 18 and they had a junior rate of something like £3.60 per hour. When I turned 18 it went up to around £3.90. Even now the minimum wages has risen, the still pay just above the minimum for sales advisors. For the amount of work expected I think it is unacceptable.
New Look are the 3rd biggest women's retailer in the country and even through they are considered a budget chain they make millions every year and don't pass any more than they have to onto their staff, who of course do all the work. I've worked for a number of retails chains and unfortuneatley, with the exception of supermarkets, the bigger the high street chain, the stingier they seem to be.
So what is expected of a New Look Sales Advisor? The answer is lots. You are on your feet and rushing around all days completing tasks such as processing the deliveries, serving customers on the till and shop floor, manning fitting rooms and reducing stock loss, tidying the store, cleaning and worst of all... selling account cards to customers.
The account card selling is really forced on staff. The store has a target to achieve every week and so much pressure is put on staff to open them. For a time an incentive of a £1 voucher per account opened was offered to staff, but this was removed when stores still failed to achieve their targets. In my store, even forefits were introduced for staff who didn't open thier quota. Staff have no financial training and so they can't really give advice to customers about the product they are selling. This is cold selling a credit card (with a very high interest rate) to people and I think it should be stopped. Staff hate selling them and in my experience, customers hate being asked to open them. This issue is a real hassle for anyone who works for this company.
For this reason. amoungst others, staff turnover is high. In the first 6 months I worked there I had no less than 4 different managers. At one point I knew how the store ran better than anyone above me. the last one who joined, stayed and is still there now. She encouraged me to move up the ranks to supervisor.
New Look put their management team under a lot of pressure and although it's nice to have the experience under my belt, I sometimes wish I'd never taken that promotion. Especailly considering the insult of a pay rate I was given for my hard work and extra hours put in (not to mention the working late Christmas Eve and New Year, again the norm in a lot of retail stores). For managing 20 staff, keeping paperwork up to date, keeping records of those dreaded account openings, merchandising the store and dealing with those angry customers, in addition to the sales advisor responsibilites I already had, I was paid £6 per hour. This was just 2 years ago, and I'm still baffled as to how the retail above all other industries can get away with it.
Enough of a downer on the company.. the perks? The only real perk with New Look is their huge Staff discount. They give you 50% off most of their products for yourself and at christmas 20% off presents for friends and family. This is the highest amount of discount I've known for any company. However even this has a catch. Staff have to wear current stock at all times, so you have to buy a lot of clothes, even if you don;t like the current trend. As you as your items are in the sale, you can no longer wear them to work. When times are tight, have to buy new uniform every month or so can be a struggle.
Overall, New Look expect a lot from their staff for little in return. In their favour they do encourage progression in the company. My advice is move up and then move on.. to a company which values their staff. Surely it's in a company's interest to look after their workers, because then they'll stay.