A Career Of Shopping Assistant/Personal Shopper

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You may remember the scene from the sitcom Friends, where Rachel gets her new job at Bloomingdale’s as a personal shopper and dresses her first customer, Joshua, from head to toe. The position of shopping assistant or personal shopper is a common job in high end stores, but that is not  necessarily the alpha and omega of it. Also, while often it does relate to the fashion industry, that does not mean it cannot be otherwise. It is a profession that helps and advises people with their purchases. Let’s get a little bit closer to find out more. This article contains a video interview with the world‘s most famous personal shopper, Betty Halbreich.

Shopping Assistant/Personal Shopper

This job does not involve any specific training that would automatically entitle someone to do it. Nevertheless, a potential employer may give a degree of preference to some candidates versus others due to the more relevant education in their CVs.

Areas of education that are linked to this profession might be:

Service, Extended Certificate in Making  It in Fashion

Extended Award in the Principles of Customer Service in the Retail Sector, Certificate/Diploma in Fashion Retail

Requirements for the job of Shopping Assistant

  • High level of customer service
  • Ability to make decisions under pressure
  • Passion for fashion and styling – great imagination
  • Perfect communication skills
  • Flexibility to adapt to the current situation and of course be able to organize tasks in order of importance
  • Very good sales ability
  • The ability to create a personal and friendly relationship with the customer
  • The ability to find out the client’s budget  tactfully
  • The social skill to give professional advice – truthfully but tactfully
  • The ability to  learn about the customer – both likes and dislikes
  • A commitment to being professional, and also to dressing professionally
  • A willingness to be a good listener and observer
  • A commitment to keeping the client’s personal information private

Salary

It is nothing new that, as in every field, also here the difference between two salaries within the same profession can be large, but the median in the USA is $38,000. It can be less, while it can reach even triple this amount. More years of experience does not necessary mean a more interesting paycheck. While the median salary is not a bad income, most people working in this field, furthermore, say that they are satisfied with their jobs.

As the icon in the field – Bergdorf Goodman’s personal shopper and the author of her own memoir: I’ll Drink to That: a Life in Style with a Twist – Betty Halbreich said  to the WSJ: “I can get into a person’s head just as quickly as I can size up their body“.

There is nothing to add to it. A great personal shopper is like a  style consultant and a sales person at the same time A great personal shopper  creates a bond with the  customers and learns about them – their likes, their dislikes, what suits them and what doesn’t, their colors and style, their needs,…and of course their budget, if there is any, that is…and as Betty says in her video, she also sometimes replaces the therapist for her clients.

Photo: Shutterstock

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