Though I am a journalist by schooling I am also somewhat of a merchandising enthusiast.
I have been at The Limited for four years and really don’t consider it a second job because I don’t really feel like I am working while I am there- I enjoy it. Also, there is no better place to learn about trends than from within a fashion-forward retail environment.
Some of the aspects of retail are certainly not great. There are always crazy customers, people trying to steal things, and other employees’ inconsistencies. But what I love about working in retail is creating a presentation with the product that is eye catching and tells a story.
Merchandising should be considered an art-form. When given a list of items and a certain square-footage of space some people can tell and story and some people can make a mess. I like to think I tell a pretty good story.
After college I worked at an Old Navy as a merchandising specialist, constantly mapping the floor plan of the store and trying to keep product in shops consistent with the story of the season. On that scale merchandising was not so much about attention to detail but more about trying to get 20 hours worth of work done in five.
At The Limited attention to detail is important, which is why I still love working there. Creating shops is one of my favorite things to do. In many cases our floor plan is smaller than the generic store so accommodations have to be made to fit all the product in while keeping within the given theme. Right now the store is full of burgundy and navy, the first of the fall colors to debut. I am certain that a burt orange will be following soon along with chunky sweaters, tweed mini-skirts, and cozy leggings.
Walking into a store that is well merchandised makes the entire experience of shopping easier and better. When you walk into The Limited right now you are not bombarded by a million different colors and prints, you walk into a store with a clean, consistent presentation. Even as a shopper you can identify shops within the store and figure out what the theme (or story) of that shop is.
Stores that are regularly updated in regards to trend and season always seem new and fresh, and keep people coming back.