Fashion Sales Assistant Job Description - Skills, Duties, Career
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What Does a Fashion Sales Assistant Do?
A fashion sales assistant (or clothing sales assistant) is somebody whose job is to sell clothes, shoes and fashion accessories in a retail outlet and help customers with their buying decisions. Fashion sales assistants work in all kinds of clothing retail outlets, including clothing and accessories stores, fashion boutiques, factory outlets and shopping centres.
Fashion Sales Assistants are involved in every aspect of the day-to-day operations of a clothing store. They organize and maintain window displays, set up and maintain display areas and units, welcome customers and engage with them in order to to understand their needs and assist them with their purchases and, finally, conclude sales, handling customer payments at the checkout. Additional duties of a fashion sales assistant include handling returns, carrying out stocktaking, labelling and pricing items, processing incoming and outgoing merchandise, and keeping the shop floor and fitting rooms clean, tidy and well presented at all times.
Sales assistants may work alone or as part of a team. In some cases they may be assigned to work in a specific area, such as menswear, womenswear, childrenswear, knitwear, underwear, swimwear or sportswear, as well as in related areas such as leather goods, bags and luggage, footwear and fashion accessories.
Sales assistants play a key role in the retail industry by helping companies reach their sales targets and build customer loyalty.
Depending on the opening hours of the store they work in, sales assistants may also be required to work on weekends and public holidays. Stores typically operate rotating work shifts and offer both part time and full time contracts. During busy times, such as sales and the Christmas period, which - in common with most other sectors - are the parts of the year in which the retail clothing industry records a significant portion of its annual sales - stores often hire seasonal fashion sales assistants to help the permanent staff cope with the increased workload.
The majority of vacancies for fashion sales assistants are in medium and large size clothes shops and fashion stores and particularly in those that belong to national or international clothing chains, where the work of a fashion sales assistant tends to be governed by specific corporate procedures. New recruits may be hired through an internship or trainee scheme or else directly offered fixed-term or permanent employment contracts.
A good time to apply for a position as a fashion sales assistant is during a recruitment drive for the opening of a new clothing store.
Other common names for this position: Fashion Sales Associate
Fashion Sales Assistant Duties and Responsibilities
A fashion sales assistant typically has the following duties:
- Organizing merchandise on shop floor
- Assisting customers and advising them on fashion choices
- Selling clothing and processing payments at checkout
- Maintaining store in clean and tidy condition
- Attaching and updating pricing tags on merchandise
- Carrying out stocktaking duties
- Handling returns and exchanges
- Dealing with customer complaints and suggesting solutions
- Performing store opening and closing operations
How to Become a Fashion Sales Assistant: Education and Requirements
There are no specific education requirements to become a fashion sales assistant, although job advertisements may ask for some form of school-leaving qualification. What is important is some prior experience of retail sales, either in the fashion sector or in a related sector, such as jewellery, footwear, bags and luggage, or gifts and accessories. IT requirements will often include the ability to use a computer, cash register, POS terminal and order/warehouse management software.
Fashion sales assistants with a knowledge of foreign languages (e.g. Russian, Arabic or Chinese) are particularly in demand, especially in luxury and high-end fashion stores with an international clientele.
Fashion Sales Assistant Skills
Fashion sales assistants require the following skills:
- Sales skills and business-focused approach
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills
- Ability to cooperate and work as part of a team
- Ability to work with minimum or no supervision
- Confident and outgoing manner
- Punctuality and professionalism
- Physical stamina
- Ability to cope well under pressure
Fashion Sales Assistant Career Path
A standard career path in a large retail outlet might typically involve progressing from a purely sales position on to more senior roles coordinating personnel and overseeing the day-to-day running of the store. For example, a fashion sales assistant might first be promoted to section manager (e.g. looking after an area such as womenswear, childrenswear or underwear) and then later become store manager.
Top Reasons to Work as a Fashion Sales Assistant
Working as a clothing sales assistant may be an attractive option for anyone with a passion for the world of fashion and an interest in the latest sartorial trends. It is also an excellent way of gaining experience in the field of retail sales and acquiring transversal skills that could prove useful in a whole range of sectors. For example, while the obvious choice may be to pursue a career in retail sales, a job in fashion sales could just as easily lead to a career in customer service.
Additional advantages include the availability of part-time work and the fact that finding a job close to home can be relatively simple.