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Why the Boss wants to go undercover: Loehmann’s department stores are one of the oldest retail clothing and merchandising operations in the country. Founded 92 years ago by Frieda Loehmann, Loehmann’s recently lost its way, going into bankruptcy. Steven Newman stepped in as CEO of Loehmann’s, and is excited about taking this iconic brand and making it relevant in today’s society. Steven jumped in immediately to reinvigorate the brand by modernizing the stores and creating online shopping. Steven wants to see firsthand if the new culture that he has implemented has followed through to the frontlines of the company.
Jobs he will do undercover:
Lingerie Specialist – The lingerie department can be a private and sensitive issue for a man or woman to shop in. It takes a warm, friendly employee to make a customer feel at ease while shopping for intimate apparel. It is rare to find an employee who has the knowledge of the products and has the sensitivity to the customer’s needs. After learning the struggles that an employee has gone through in their personal life, how will the boss react to the hardships?
Assistant Manager E-Commerce – When Steven first joined Loehmann’s, there was no e-commerce business. That was a priority for Steven to get it up and running in five to six months and it quickly became his “baby”. Steven will be working with the assistant manager, to see how this newer side of the business is running. Since this side of the business is newer, the assistant manager is forced to work longer hours taking time away spent with his family. Will this CEO be driven to make changes in the company so employees can spend more time with their families?
Visual Merchandiser – This is an important role in retail stores, because it’s how the store presents itself to the customer. The purpose of visual merchandising is to attract, engage and motivate the customer towards making a purchase or bringing them into the store. When faced with an employee who believes that there is no corporate structure, how will the CEO handle that employee?
Personal Shopper – Personal shoppers are essentially the face of the company for the Loehmann’s shopper; they play a vital role in the returning customer. A personal shopper’s role is to work with shoppers to build their wardrobe and create that special personal bond. How will the boss react when he learns that this part of the company doesn’t have all the necessary tools?
Catherine, Lingerie Specialist: The lingerie department can be a sensitive section of the store to work in. Knowing how to measure and make the customer relaxed is the key to being a great lingerie specialist. They also help in organizing women’s apparel and ringing customers up when they make their purchase. Catherine has a true passion for fashion, and makes sure that shows everyday while on the sales floor. Her comfortable and spunky, motherly nature makes the customers feel at ease while shopping for lingerie.
Robert, Assistant Manager E-Commerce: Online shopping can double the amount of inventory sold for a company, so it’s essential for a company to have a well-oiled e-commerce business. Robert has to make sure all systems run smoothly… from whether orders are placed and shipped out on time, to how returns get handled and put back in inventory. He has to physically “shop” around the center, fulfilling all the orders placed online before sitting down and crediting customers for their returns. He has a positive attitude throughout the day, but feels there is a lot left on his plate at the end of each day, which causes him to work countless overtime hours.
Keisha, Visual Merchandiser: It is the visual merchandiser’s job to create a look and feel of the store which will draw in customers. They create the impression of the store through the window and wall displays to showcase what Loehmann’s has to offer. This boisterous visual merchandising supervisor is in charge of dressing the mannequins and creating stylish outfits for customers to replicate. She has the desire and drive to do that best she can at her job, but feels shorthanded due to budget cuts and management styles.
Alesandra, Personal Shopper: Loehmann’s is the only off-price retailer to offer the personal shopping service and experience. As a personal shopper, Alesandra is essentially the face of the company. She gains the customer’s trust and builds on-going relationships with her clients. She makes sure she stays on top of inventory to pull the very best for her clients. To guarantee her clients are keep coming back, she uses her own phone to text them pictures of new inventory. She takes her job seriously and has a true passion for her job; she hopes that she represents and upholds the prestigious Loehmann’s brand.