For most of us, retail therapy is not just therapy—it is bliss. We just ogle the things we want in the store, buy them and we’re happy.
Behind the scenes, however, is something else. It is where back-breaking work happens— a series of complex reports, monitoring inventory, sales analysis, trend forecasting, etc. This is definitely no easy job, but someone has to do it, and once you get the hang of it, it can get quite interesting.
Anjo de la Cruz works in the merchandising arm of British street brand, Topman, under Robinsons Specialty Stores, Inc. Receiving sales reports on a daily basis helps him analyze the customers’ buying behavior.
“I go on store visits and talk with store personnel and ask them about customer feedback,” he says of a typical day at work.
“This helps us know what type of merchandise a specific market is looking for. One has to be aware of what the customer wants; we try our best to give it to them,” he says.
According to De la Cruz, learning the trends even before the public does, and being surrounded by fashion-minded individuals, make the job more fun.
“Being in the retail industry isn’t exactly an easy job; you always have to be prepared, without knowing what to expect. You must be able to educate customers about the seasonal trends in the easiest and most attractive ways possible.”
De la Cruz describes young Pinoy shoppers as “safe.” They go for basic tops in varied colors and chinos, which they can wear in many ways. Since Topman’s collection gets its inspiration from the British high street, there are pieces
with odd cuts and shapes, which some customers find too intimidating to wear.
“All it takes is to make them feel comfortable about the new trend and assure them it’s cool,” he says. “A growing number of young Filipinos are becoming more experimental and are willing to try on different styles.”
For those who are interested to go into this career, De la Cruz describes fashion retail as something that will keep one on his or her toes. “Expect fast-changing trends, so it pays to be informed.” he says.
Discipline is also key to any job. Stay focused, be able to adapt to different situations. Keep an open mind and don’t restrict yourself. Learn to explore other ideas because you can learn a lot from people around you.
“It matters to know what the customers want,” says dela Cruz. It always pays to listen to customers and learn insights from them.
De la Cruz has long ago realized that clothing has a powerful ability to affect a person’s mood and motivations. There are those who really go out of their way to dress up not only to look good, but because they really enjoy dressing up. And that’s why De la Cruz takes his fashion job seriously.