Behind the scenes of working in retail from EHS students

November 12, 2019

Zephyrus: What store do you work at? 

Joe Wohlford: I work at Eddie Bauer. 

Z: What is it like to work in retail? 

JW: Working in retail is a lot of interacting with customers and the actual clothing. Most of my day is either folding clothes or organizing stuff and restocking. 

Z: Why did you choose to work in retail? 

JW: I really like Eddie Bauer as a brand and outdoor clothing in general. I thought that it would be a good opportunity to get a discount and experiences in working for retail. 

Z: What are some employee benefits? 

JW: We get 50% off year round Eddie Bauer and 60% in the first month of the season. Winter is coming up, so we’re going to get 60% off then. 

Z: How long have you worked at Eddie Bauer? 

JW: I’ve only worked there for about a month and a half, but I’ve been in contact with them for four or five months. 

Z: What are some trends among customers?

JW: A lot of people head straight towards the clearance section because the gear is very expensive. Flannels are also very popular. 

Z: What is the demographic of Eddie Bauer? 

JW: Everyone goes there. You have small kids and their parents coming in, and even some teenagers come in as well. Adults, grandparents, literally everyone [shops here]. 


Zephyrus: What store do you work at? 

Avery Barrett: I work at American Eagle at Southdale. 

Z: How long have you worked there? 

AB: Probably nearing seven months by now.

Z: Why did you start working there? 

AB: I wanted to get retail experience, especially with American Eagle since they really teach you how the store runs, and what you need to turn a profit. 

Z: Why did you choose American Eagle?

AB: At American Eagle, I work as a sales associate, and how they train you is that you have to be very on top of it and be able to work with people. They also offer so many different kinds of clothes. Recently we just put in for jeans 00 to 24 [in sizing], so there are a lot of different people who come in and being able to interact with customers and being able to make a connection is something that I wanted to learn. 

Z:  Are there any employee benefits? 

AB: I get 40% off the whole store, and every month I get up to 10 items 60% off. 

Z:  What do you do as a sales associate? 

AB: I am mainly putting together outfits, making sure that customers are walking out with what they came in with, and just making sure that they feel really comfortable with what they have because clothes shopping can be very difficult for a lot of people.

Z: What are some trends that you see among customers?  

AB: Mom jeans are definitely a trend right now. We’re moving into fall, so flannels, sweaters, long sleeved faux turtlenecks.

Z: Is there anything that you think many kids don’t know about retail? 

AB:  It’s very cool to be nice to the retail workers because not all experiences are good experiences. But when you have a good interaction with a customer, it just makes the shift ten times better. We’re really here to make sure that what you’re walking in with is what you’re walking out with and are having a good experience. 

Z: What is your opinion on clothing? 

AB: I believe a lot in reusable retail, things that will last for a long time. I know the impact that walking out with something you like can have on someone. It can change someone’s life.

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