Friday, August 5, 2016
There's a reason the Beauty department is the first one you see when you enter a store through the main entrance. It's true at all department stores. Beauty makes up a huge percentage of the store's profits. Depending on the store, employees are paid in various ways: 1) entirely by the store, 2) partially by the store and partially by the vendor, e.g., Le Métier de Beauté, or 3) entirely by the vendor. Neiman Marcus gave everyone who is paid in categories 1 and 2 a salary cut of about 15% starting August 1 and told the employees they should make up the difference by selling anything in the store, not just at their counter, for a 3% commission. One friend told me he would have to sell about $500,000/year to make up the salary he would be missing. Was this done in all departments? Nope. Just Beauty. Figure that out.
Suddenly, former sales associates (not product specialists) are now called concierges. Don't make me laugh.
These employees are all being encouraged to become personal shoppers. Don't be surprised if your favorite cosmetics product specialist offers to shop the store with you, selling you your wardrobe, gifts, accessories, and whatever you want. Don't be surprised if he or she offers to place your online order for you. Don't be surprised if suddenly employees become more aggressive. They need the money they made just a month ago! Many of them need the money to survive.
I do not think it's fair to increase your business profits by punishing your best people (along with a few duffers) - taking money out of their pockets and transferring it to shareholders. I am wondering how this will work. It will certainly pit employees in categories 1 and 2 against those who are entirely vendor-paid. As I understand it, Neiman Marcus does not have the power to tell vendors what to pay their employees.
If you were reading the comments this week, this is the reason I asked you to shop for all of your Neiman Marcus needs with your favorite Beauty associates. They just got screwed. I'd love to know your reactions.
It's time for the Friday Forum. The Friday Forum has always been an opportunity to share information. Are you using a fabulous product and want to sing its praises? Tell us about it! Did you find a beauty product disappointing? Tell us why! Do you have questions others might be able to answer? We can help! Want to talk about skin care? I'm game. Just use the comments. We have busy weekends and slow ones on the forum. I hope to see you in the comments.
I received a lot of new products this week, and I'm looking forward to a sunny day so that I can take photos. This morning, I spent hours driving 40 minutes each way to get my new computer set up correctly. I'm not happy. Nevertheless, I think the problems are solved for good.
Photo of the Grinch courtesy of theguardian.com