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27 Things Harvey Nichols Womenswear Employees Won't Tell You


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1. We are not staring at you because we are judging at you. We are staring at you because we have nothing else to do.

Paramount Domestic Television

A place that sells dresses that cost the same as three months' rent, unsurprisingly, doesn't get a huge number of customers. We are waiting for an opening to sell something to you.

2. Yes, we are aware of how ridiculously expensive everything is.

Yes, we know that T-shirt is £200. But did you know that we, the people who work on the shop floor, are not actually responsible for pricing the stock?


4. Our discount is 30%.

Time to get ready! #daytwo #LFW2015 #toomuchmakeup #never ☺️💄💕

Thirty per cent off a dress that costs a grand is still £700 (i.e. NOT AFFORDABLE AT ALL), but hey – 30% off high-end makeup is still pretty sweet.

6. We have to stay with the customer throughout the entire transaction.

New Line Cinema

If you ask us a question or let us take some clothes into the changing rooms for you, that means you're ours. And whatever purchases you make will count toward our individual sales target. That's why we're always watching you from the shadows.

7. We're put on a training scheme called "Style Academy" which teaches us how to inspire our customers to be "fearlessly stylish".

The title is naff but the results are pretty good.


8. We have to walk from behind the counter and hand you your bag, instead of just handing it to you over the desk.

And for Chinese customers, we are told to use both our hands for extra culturally relative politeness.

10. We only have two of every item on the shop floor.

Usually in a size 10 and 12, so if you're a different size we have to run to the stock room to get it. Unless we're in sale, in which case chaos reigns supreme.

11. Don't feel bad asking us to bring you shoes to try on with your clothes or a different size.

Buena Vista Film Distribution Company

We generally only serve one customer at a time, so you're just giving us something to do – unless there's a sale on, in which case it's every man, woman, and child for themselves.


13. The best customers are the ones who try on anything you give them.

Buena Vista Pictures / Via

You may think you know what suits you, but our job is to watch many different-sized people try on the same selection of clothes. Give us the benefit of the doubt: We probably have a better idea of what we have in store that will suit you.

14. In fact, our way of telling you something doesn't look right is by giving you something that will look better to try on.

Paramount Pictures

"That's nice – but have you tried this?" translates to "Honey, no."

15. We have seen many customers drunk. / Via

We regularly have evening events where we serve champagne until people drunk-buy everything. It works like a charm until they return everything the next morning.

16. The quality of clothing can only be so good; after a certain point you are paying purely for a brand.

Is there a word for when you de-bobble a jumper, realise it's dirty, will need washing, only to get bobbly again...?

We've seen £600 jumpers go bobbly. Everything dies, including designer clothes.


18. We are not allowed to tell dawdling customers that the store is closed.

When your store closes at 8 and a customer walks in at 7:59

We have to wait, even well past opening hours and after our shift has finished, for you to realise you're keeping us from going home.

19. Deliveries of new stock are SUPER exciting.

Cartoon Network

It's kind of like seeing a catwalk show except instead of seeing the stuff on models we have to put the pieces on hangers and steam them.

21. Many of us can speak more than one language.

TED / Via

We get a lot of international customers and tourists, so it's helpful to have Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic, and Russian speakers about.


23. Our commission is 0.5% of our total monthly sales.

And if we achieve our individual sales target, we get 1% of whatever we earn above the target. If our whole department reaches its target, we get 1.5%.

26. We rarely get discounts on concessions.

FX Productions / Floyd County Productions / Radical Axis

If we do, it's usually no more than 10% off. But concession staff get the same 30% off Harvey Nichols stock. We're not even slightly bitter. Not at all.


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