Marshal Cohen, a senior industry analyst with the NPD Group, a market research firm believes retailers that hire applicants based on their appearance is the smart thing to do and they see it as necessary. This method is old. Industries such as cocktail waitresses and strippers have always used it. But, many companies have taken this approach. Especially, retailers. Attractive employees attract customers, therefore they get bigger profits. Attractive people also make better salesmen. Hiring based on looks is really the only way to go because customers won’t bother shopping in a place that doesn’t grab their attention.
Today’s competitive retail environment needs to create a popular appealing walking billboard for their community. Retailers find it very important for them to hire the best looking applicants. Antonio Serrano, a former assistant Abercrombie store manager in Scranton, Pa says “if we (Abercrombie) had the best looking college kids working in our store, everyone will want to shop there. ” This is why Abercrombie has such a great sales force. People will find this look appealing therefore they want to look just as good as them of course they choose to shop there.
However, this is not the only why retailers hire for looks. It’s not only about looking good and calling customers in but most importantly to have to look you work for your company! For example, Abercrombie & Fitch brand representatives have a classic American style. Tom Lennox, Abercrombie’s communications director, says “We want to hire brand representatives that will represent the Abercrombie & Fitch with natural classic American style, look great while exhibiting individuality, and project the brand themselves with energy and enthusiasm”.
Customers need an example of a walking billboard to show them how great the retailers’ style truly is. Employees can’t make a sale to a customer if they wouldn’t where it themselves. Whenever I shop at the retailer, American Apparel. I see all the employees wearing American Apparel clothing and accessories. It’s not just the mannequins trying to model the retailer’s style. If I ask an employee on where she or he bought their top from. That employee would kindly tell me I can find it here at the store and which section. It’s brand Representatives job to present their retailer.
It would not be reasonable for someone working at American Apparel wearing clothes from another retailer store. Because, if I ask where they got it from and they told me a different retailer. Then I would be interested in that other retailer and go shop there instead. It’s also not only about representing the retailer’s style. For example, retailer Big and Tall is a clothing store for customers who are very tall or very big. So, why wouldn’t they want brand representatives to represent the Big/Tall image. They want them so they can be helpful for customers.
I have a cousin who is 6’3 and about 300 pounds. He loves the service from the employees because they understand how difficult it is to find well fitted clothing. He even once made a joke of how ridiculous it would look if an average height and thin person worked there trying to help people who aren’t your average height or weight. So, you also need to physically need to fit the part for your job. If you a man who majored in Health and physical education wanted to work at a gym. Yet, they were overweight. They certainly wouldn’t get the job.
Even though, he may have the knowledge he certainly couldn’t train anyone to work out. I personally, wouldn’t even take a overweight physical trainer seriously. Not only are good looking employee’s great to look at but they also provide customers a positive customers a positive social experience. When I go out to eat at Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ. I’m always very welcomed to the restraint by friendly, hip-looking people. The first time I visited this restaurant, not only did I receive great food but my waiter was very kind and humorous.
His energetic was very enthusiastic. He was also very tall, muscular, and clean-cut. Because, of this experience I always occasionally eat here and recommend it to friends who haven’t been there. Retailers and restaurants need to have good looking employees in order for their benefits. Because, if they didn’t they wouldn’t be as popular. People are just too judgmental. When I go to a local shopping center with friends. I notice they are “turned off” when a “not hot enough” employee is working there.
They don’t even want to be approached by the employee because they are not appealing. So, they are not excited. Unlike, when they are at American Apparel they feel somewhat flattered to get customer service received. Especially, when it comes to trying on clothes. If an attractive employee gives you their opinion saying “you look great in that top”. They are definitely convinced to buy it. But, if it’s coming from an unattractive employee. They can easily ignore the compliment and probably not even buy anything.
Hiring for looks gives retailers a great advantage and benefits. However, not everyone can meet the company’s standards when it comes to be attractive. So, people shouldn’t bother applying to stores like Abercrombie & Fitch if they know they wouldn’t be able to represent the companies look. Because, that’s how these industries make their profit. It’s just how their method works! They need to apply to places where they know they meet the company’s standards. In conclusion, I agree with Cohen’s argument. Retailers need to do what works in their benefit.
If it’s hiring for looks that is helping them make a profit. Then that’s what they should be doing because it’s smart. Then it truly is necessary. It’s what is bringing in customers, actually buying their products, and makes them better salesmen. This would not work if they would hire unattractive applicants. They need the best brand representatives. It’s necessary for the industry to do this; it’s what impacts their business. Overall, it’s not discrimination it’s just today’s industries’ methods of making a profit.