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This company's staff perks need a New Look
New Look Retailers Ltd
Member Name: magenta23
New Look Retailers Ltd
Advantages: Progression encouraged. Big Staff discount
Disadvantages: Demanding, low pay. Account selling.
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.
Summary: These big chains need to be passing their profits down