Friday, August 5, 2016

The Friday Forum - August 5

Perhaps you've heard. Neiman Marcus reported earnings that exceeded the same period last year. What did they do? They gave all of their employees in Beauty and Fragrance (hereinafter Beauty) a salary cut. I'll explain, but first a few facts.

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


Nemo said...

I am sorry for them, but life is tough these days for everyone. Big stores like NM are on their way out. I have not shopped inside a store, NM & Saks included, in years, nor will I ever again. Why should I? I buy everything online! It's so much easier to do! I get better service, too. I buy all my CHANEL on I get free samples and quick delivery. I buy a lot of Nike clothes for both workout & court! They arrive beautifully wrapped in tissue paper! Better than anything I ever received in person from a store. All you have to do these days is check the NM & Saks websites. Sales galore. I would never, ever, buy from a NM or Saks SA (or whatever their title may be) simply to keep them going financially. That is outrageous. Malls themselves, no matter how fancy, are dying out. Many are gang-ridden crime spots. People are afraid to even go to one, let alone shop there. In fact, sales assistants are fast becoming a dinosaur.

Charlestongirl said...

Wow, Nemo. You must have some horrible stores up there. Ours are gorgeous, in top-notch areas, and the good product specialists wrap my purchases carefully and ask me what samples I'd like to try.

I do feel that people who go out of their way to make your shopping experience pleasant should be rewarded. Those online stores won't give you complimentary makeup applications either.

Sure there are some duds in department stores. NM let 300 of them go last fall.

I'm sorry you seem to have poorly managed luxury stores in your area.

Unknown said...

CG, this is terribly discouraging to learn of these salary cuts and how these people are now required to double their work load only to "try" and earn enough money to live. This brings to mind that NM will find these SA's or no longer focusing on cosmetics sales but will be all over the store just trying to make a sale. When in-store sales decline, stores will begin to close. Thereby, a lot of people will lose their jobs and the economy will further be affected. This is a vicious cycle.
There are NO luxury stores in my area, so much of my shopping has to be online or while traveling. I have enjoyed calling in to speak with the Product Specialists with different questions, tips and suggestions and they have each been very pleasant to do business with and always addressed my needs to the fullest. This service will most likely suffer if they are also expected to earn their income by floor sales.

As for skin care or beauty discussions, I am constantly on the lookout for the BEST Anti-Aging, Wrinkle Reducing Serums, moisturizers and Cleansers. Unfortunately, I am not loyal these days as I haven't found the skin care collection that suits my changing skin needs. I have drier, mature skin. My skin is in very good condition, so I am thankful for that blessing. However, being satisfied with a full line of skin care leaves me trying and crying. Wasted know the routine!
I also have been on the foundation, tinted moisturizer search. I find that most foundations for drier, mature skin can be heavy or just unappealing to the skin. Settling in fine lines, revealing areas like dry patches as if a neon sign formed and makes for a terrible look! Concealer has been a life-long issue as well. (I have many issues!) That all comes from not having a quality store to visit and try items before purchasing with high-hopes only to be let down.
Any suggestions of skin care or beauty products that may be a tried and true for you or the other ladies and gents are welcome!

My main focus is to find quality products that are not heavy laden with chemicals and preservatives.

Thank you for allowing me to post this long comment! Have a beautiful weekend, ladies and gents.

AnnieM said...

Hi CharlestonGirl! I think what you outlined is very sad. I have seen my share of 'strategies' to help the bottom line but this is a new one on me. The fact that a single department has 3 separate pay structures seems unusual and as you noted, will likely encourage even more competition among the associates. Years ago in my econ class, a professor discussed the impact of meeting quarterly earnings versus long-range strategic planning and execution and this has stuck with me ever since. Yes, I've heard all about 'maximizing shareholder wealth' but at what cost? A sullied corporate reputation? Poor work environment? Low employee morale? I'm sure none of these folks signed up to be a concierge and in many cases, this tactic is going to be like fitting a square peg in a round hole. My hope for them is that either this will ultimately work out for them or they will find their own niche in a company that values their service and dedication and provides them a measure of personal satisfaction. The older I get, the more important the job satisfaction becomes....

Cheers to you and enjoy your weekend!

Teasmade said...

I have to agree with Nemo -- in fact, that was my first thought, before I even saw her reply. Malls ARE dying -- maybe not the high-end ones so much though. And it is so much easier and more pleasant to shop online. No driving, no parking, no schlepping, and you can do it on your own time. And the pressure with SAs! Ugh. Even to dash in to Sephora, you are asked if you need help maybe 6 times before reaching what you came in for. If they want to make *my* shopping experience pleasant, they can simply not pressure or try to upsell me. I have had maybe two makeup applications in stores in my life, and I can do without this experience. Like you, I'm a Baby Boomer so it's not that I'm a youngster who has only ever known the internet. And it's much more pleasant and anonymous to check off a box for the samples you want - most online sites do this.

There are great stores in my city, and I'm sure they're full of lovely people. We too have topnotch areas and high-end malls. I have shopped at Saks since I was a small child and my mother took me there. Now I prefer Nordstrom.

Relationships with SAs are part of your brand, CG -- I know that -- and I'm a great fan and often "heart" you on your Twitter comments (especially the animal cruelty and pro-police ones). So I'm not just a grumpy naysayer who came here with a bad attitude to disagree with you. I just feel very strongly that times have changed, and I am never looking back.

Nemo said...

Ha ha. I would have to take a weekend off to drive to Troy, Michigan, to the Somerset Collection to shop at a NM or Saks. Or drive even farther away to Chicago. And Why? That's ridiculous! That kind of shopping is a dodo. Young people don't do that anymore unless they are a gang member. My close friends all shop the way I do: Online. Big stores like NM are akin to the country clubs of yesterday. I wouldn't go to them if they were next door! Today presents an entirely different life style. As for samples, I get plenty--enough to give away--from CHANEL! As for free makeup applications, are you kidding? I wouldn't let anyone touch my puss but me! I know more than they do! I do not agree that those who make a shopping experience pleasant should be rewarded beyond my purchasing from them. Most people today who do their jobs with diligence and acumen are not rewarded beyond their paycheck. To do otherwise is not reasonable. We do not have an obligation to bolster their livelihood so that they can maintain a former lifestyle level. That is beyond ridiculous!

Jill said...

Hi friends-

I just took this vacation day to catch up on almost everything I've missed on BTIB over the last few months. Fortunately for whatever reason my computer is now connecting to the page again and I won't have to try and stay on top of things with my phone, which was not working well and the reason for my absence. Not that I assume it was noted or I was missed, but I really value you ladies and your fantastic advice, most especially you CB, and wanted to explain myself.

My deepest sympathies to you CB on the loss of your mother.

xoxo Jill

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you, Jill.

Eileen said...

Before retirement, there was a year when all of the teachers and councilors in our school district (LA Unified) had to take a 10% pay cut. Ouch! Consequently, I know what a challenge it will be for many of those employees to readjust their finances. I also know that it can take years to make up for the lost pay--if ever--and in the meantime many people simply give up and move on to other jobs. But, as we all know, times are tough for many people nowadays and retailers across the board are hurting as the shift to online shopping continues to pick up speed. Both of my thirty-something sons do almost all of their shopping online and I find that I do more and more of mine online as well although I also love going to the stores. Because I'm retired, I have time to visit specialty stores, malls, and quaint neighborhood shops, but the younger generations are so very busy juggling work, family, and friends. Why would they want to spend a precious day off driving around or fighting the crowds when they could be at a soccer game, playing in a park with the kids, taking in a movie, picnicking on the beach? I can easily understand the allure of online shopping. Time is a precious commodity.

I live in an area with some wonderful malls. But those malls go out of their way to have activities and attractions that will bring people of all ages in. They know that shopping can not be the only reason to come to the mall; that the experience has to be a fun outing. They know that if they can get people to come, they'll be likely to spend some money there. Stores do the same with their beauty events. If they can get women to come in and spend some time with a pro, they'll be likely to spend.

As for NM's different pay schedules and their "concierge" concept, what a crock! Does NM even know what a concierge actually is? It's definitely not some poor SA shlepping around a store with you while trying to be an expert on everything the store sells. Have they never heard of the saying "Jack of all trades; master of none"?

Eileen said...

Now for a beauty related comment :-) Tom Ford is repromoting Pink Haze and Platinum (again!) cream eyeshadows. I adored Pink Haze the summer it was first released and I don't think I ever want to be without Platinum. Tom Ford also has some new lip duos. They's a lip shaper (liner) on one end and a lipstick on the other. The colors in the promo pictures look very pretty so I'm looking forward to actually seeing the product. I'm also interested in Bobbi Browns City Collection for Fall 2016. The three cities that are being featured are London, NY, and Paris. The palettes have four eyeshadows and a blusher. Then there are three eyeliners and three Luxe lipstick shades. It looks well coordinated and quite pretty. I can hardly wait to see some actual swatches. In the meantime, you can see some promo pics on Chic Profile. Chanel has been the standout fall collection for me so far, but there are also so many other beauties due to arrive on counters this month. Fall is shaping up to be a gorgeous season! And, yes, I'll make a point of going to the stores and supporting my favorite SAs ;-)

JudithDM said...

The Nordstrom in West Los Angeles will be moving to the new, huge and beautiful Century City Shopping Center. I am not sure about elsewhere, but the malls closest to me are doing very well, or appear to. However, I agree with a poster above, I order most of my clothing online, there is a far larger selection, I shop mostly NM and Nordstrom. I order cosmetics as well, Nordstrom does take returns. However I have my eye on a few beauty items that I really should see in person, which means Barney's in Beverly Hills or Hourglass shop in Venice, CA. Happy your computer issues are over, wow, I hate being without my laptop and know how frustrating this must have been for you, especially as you have your wonderful blog! Long time reader here, rarely post...JudithDM

Charlestongirl said...

Interesting factoid: online beauty sales are tanking along with in-store sales. No one knows whether it's because it's an election year or some other factor.

I purchase both ways, but if I can help a good person pay his or her rent, I will. I'm a strong believer in helping those who deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Wow Nemo. The "gang member" comment. Nice.

Nina said...

I was unaware that NM had a 3-tier system in the Beauty Department - I thought is was just 2, "regular" SAs employed by NM, and those who worked directly for each line. The ones that are the cosmetic company employees do not compete for sales/commission with the NM employees (they don't even ring up sales), and as a matter of fact have a symbiotic relationship as far as depending upon each other to generate sales and customer loyalty, so I don't think the new pay scale will increase any competition or tension among those employees.
It is a shame that the burden of profit-making has fallen upon the beauty department employees. As far as the SAs becoming "concierges" - I find this curious as for years the SAs at NM and Nordstrom have reminded me that they can help me shop in any and all departments. Everyone is entitled to make a living, and companies are entitled to make a profit. Unfortunately, this ideals are often at odds with each other.
I have a very different take on the shopping situation than Nemo, but I live near a "destination mall" and close to a major city with many unique boutiques/shops as well, so I enjoy shopping in-person and online. An issue that is personally quite bothersome with online shopping, especially for clothes, is the fit factor. I find I have to order many more items than I ever keep in order to outfit myself and my family. Am I the only one with this problem? I really do not like putting those amounts on a credit card and then keeping track of the returns. We are blessed to have such "first-world" problems.
Have a lovely weekend CG. Thank you for your thoughtful posts.

Charlestongirl said...

Nemo and anyone living in an area with crime and gangs, you have a far bigger problem than where you shop. I think, though, that you missed the point of this feature.

I am distressed that people who put their hearts and souls into retail beauty sales, those with 20+ years experience, those who go out of their way to help us, are getting a raw deal. None of your sad stories of gangs, decaying malls, and other dangers are relevant to the main principle that someone who is already underpaid is involuntarily taking a pay cut. What would a monthly trim of 15% do to your life? I can tell you that it would put an end to my cosmetics purchases.

Charlestongirl said...

Eileen, the concierges, formerly SAs who often did nothing but ring, is a hoot. I predict they will be history in six months. I can't think of one in my favorite NM to whom I would go for any advice.

The big brain who conceived that title should go with them.

Anonymous said...

In Australia working at the cosmetics counter has always been poorly paid but for a long time it seemed to me to be pleasant stress free type of work. A few years ago I had an experience at an EL counter which made me think wow this must be a commission thing at play.
The one good thing that may come of this is that it will force the major brands to accurately showcase the color of their products online, something that Lime Crime does really well. Bloggers such as yourself could concentrate instead on texture and feel but then I envisage that a lot more samples would be sent out.

Anonymous said...

Hello CG-thanks for sharing although I hate to hear this. I don't live near a luxury retailer so most of my cosmetic purchases are made online. However, when I'm traveling and I run across a fantastic SA in a Neiman Marcus, that's a real treat! Over the years I've had the chance to learn a lot about different products and techniques because of them. All while they've loaded me up with samples! I think NM is making a mistake on this one. Liz McB was asking about a tinted moisturizer or nice foundation....try Omorovicza Complexion Perfector. I have skin that is beginning to mature and I dearly love this for light/medium coverage and hydration. My face feels better after wearing this. Good luck!

Dev said...

Since NM had bigger profits than last year and you stated that beauty sales are thanking then it makes sense that they got a pay cut. It has nothing to do with what kind of people the SAs are or anything like that. That is just how companies are doing things now. My boyfriend works in a field that has taken a hit and guess what, he got a significant pay cut. Much more than 15% and we made it work because we had to. I do my shopping online since I live over an hour from the nicest department store in the area and there are a lot of lines they don't carry. I think of it this way, I am supporting the struggling postal service, especially my tiny local post office, with all of my returns and deliveries. I hope your SAs can make it work or find better employment soon.

jeri said...

I like shopping in a beautiful store like Neiman's. I enjoy knowing the sales staff on a first name basis and passing the time whilst being shown new collections, or testing a fragrance. I'm glad to be part of the economy when I hand them my hard earned. It is all a very human experience, and I should very much hate to loose it.
That is not to say that I don't shop on line. I do, plenty, as I have to drive an hour and a half to that beautiful mall. Still, I prefer a nice exchange with another human being above hitting the button on my laptop to complete the purchase. I am sorry that Neiman's is undervaluing their staff, as they are some of the best around.

Unknown said...

Online shopper here.... I only dream of living somewhere that the SAs have a clue.

As an IT Professional, working for a very large 'big blue' IT services company, I can totally relate to the pain of a pay cut. Your company isn't making it's numbers.. your pay is slashed. You adjust or go elsewhere.

I live in an affluent Chicago suburb and the malls are not making it. Same as Nemo, there is a significant amount of crime even at the most affluent.. the gangs are active and the media covers it up. But it's increasing and driving away customers. Even without the threat of crime, I have never experienced the phenomenal SA. They are always so busy chatting with each other I have repeatedly been treated as I am simply in their way. Too bad for them as I have $$ to spend, even with my pay cut. So I spend it online.

CG, I even attempted to give your Chanel SA some busy over the phone a couple of months ago when I was purchasing the Chanel summer quad and related pieces. I phoned in my $200+ order and was told that since I didn't have a NM credit card I would have to purchase a gift card online to complete the transaction. Frustrated, I did it but 24 hours later I still had not received the email with the gift card codes. Called the SA... total attitude that there was nothing that could be done I would have to wait. He gave me his cell number to text. 12 hours later I texted as the email STILL had not arrived with my gift card purchase. No response. I called Customer Service, cancelled the gift card order and bought online from Nordstrom.

I want excellent Customer Service and when I experience a lack... I buy elsewhere.

So in summary, any business not caring for the customers is never going to make it. The "Concierges" will not make it either and I echo Eileen's comment "master of none". The economy is NOT improving as the media pitches. That is the simple reason that sales are down. Pay cuts abound, most are nervous about spending.

Charlestongirl said...

Nicely put, Jeri!

Wendy said...

.....sigh.....I don't know what to say about pay's awful and, I can see why many of the sales associates that I know seem very aggressive and "pushy" to make a sale. That is their livelihood. I'm a teacher, held 3 jobs down to get my master' school cut all janitorial services. I have to clean, sanitize and mop my classroom floor everyday. I rotate with my fellow teachers to do all the kitchen duties and clean both boys and girl's's hard.... I remember to be thankful I have a job ......sigh......raises????? I ordered Cle de peau' s new radiant liquid rouge. I have to say that they're wonderful in every way!! I usually wear lip liner and a gloss and, I find I just need this product and nothing else. I've never tried this brand before. Their Fall Collection appears somewhat similar to Chanel's ( to me). Does anyone know if Shiseido owns this company? Or vice versa? I'd like to look at Shiseido's new collection of red lipsticks. It looks like they come in a variety of shades of red. I saw on Instagram that both Lancome and Dior have new reformulated lipsticks coming out. I will always look for a comfortable formula that requires very little touching up! I'm anxiously awaiting Tom Ford like Eileen mentioned. Still waiting for Chantecaille Fall as well. Happy weekend to you!!! Xo. 💋💄❤️

LilJeJa said...

People working in the beauty industry who work for the large stores (sephora, ulta, NM, nordies etc...) are already MISERABLY paid (minimum and up). I overheard a comment from a general manager when she had to hire specialist for lancome (it was woman with 10+ years of beauty experience) "12$?? she is asking way too much". I have worked in the beauty industry for the past 7 years. It is tough job - you have to be on your feet, always looking beautiful, dressed nicely, and have to take all the bs from the customers. It is draining.
Even though I do most of my shopping online I am sad to hear about pay cuts. And I do not agree malls are dying maybe in certain areas only? Because where I live (Chicago) malls are ALWAYS packed even it is Wednesday 11am.

Eileen said...

Hi Jeri,

I think you're right in that the human experience will always be of great importance to many people and that is why it behooves malls to schedule activities that bring people together. Grandma bringing the kids for face-painting will probably also spring for some other treats while there. The teenagers who come for the latest movie will probably also check out the shops and food court. The families who come to watch their kids perform will probably also do a bit of shopping or, at the very least, grab a cookie or ice cream. The list of possibilities goes on and on and it all leads to the same thing--a fun outing for people that translates into sales for the mall.

As for getting to know SAs, that's one of the delights. There are some wonderfully nice men and women working those counters. I always get excellent service, sneak peeks at coming collections, heads-up emails or phone calls, and plenty of samples. Also, it's kind of fun to walk through a store and be greeted by name and have a quick exchange of pleasantries--it's that human connection you talked about. I even know some SA's who either blow me a kiss or actually come over to give me a hug when I'm in the department--whether I'm shopping or just passing through. True those are very superficial relationships but they are more real than many of the so-called "friends" on Facebook. LOL

Anahita said...

I have to say I enjoy both online shopping and buying from an actual SA. If it's something my SA can get for me I will absolutely purchase it from her. I've created an awesome relationship with her and as a result, I receive generous full size gifts with my purchase. In fact, I ordered the Chanel fall colors and she gave me now testers of the v flash serum and hydra flash beauty balm. Neimans isn't as generous but I do get deluxe sized samples from my girls at the Tom Ford and Cle de Peau counters. If I'm only interested in one item I'll probably just order online or if they're having a really good promo.

Anonymous said...

I have THOROUGHLY enjoyed reading this Friday Forum today. My name is Lydia and I simply wanted to add my two cents worth!! I'm like CG!! I enjoy going to the department stores and having the one on one connection with the SAs. Online shopping is okay but I hate doing returns, trying to get the correct color match, etc. I read where someone above stated they've never experienced the PHENOMENAL SA so I had to give the name of my favorite from Barneys New York (Cindy Csontos-Secula, Manager of Kiehls)...The flagship store. She is the EPITOME of what customer service is!! Tell her what you need and she will send it to you with no hassles!! Thanks for your time.

Eileen said...

Hi Wendy,

Yes, Shiseido is the parent company of Clé de Peau although they are substantially different. In other words, Clé de Peau isn't just a more expensive version of Shiseido :-). I love Clé de Peau's esthetic and have several of CdP's products. I find the overall quality--from color, to formula, to longevity--to be superb. Some of my all time favorite foundations, lipsticks, eyeshadows, and luminizers have come from CdP. From the fall collection, so far I've just picked up the liquid lipstick in #11 Langerie and the new luminizer in #16 Almond. By the way, when it comes to the eyeshadow quads and the luminizers, I just buy the refills since I don't carry them around with me. I also want to try the new foundation. I frequently wear the Radiant Fluid Fiundation and am looking forward to trying the new Radiant Cream Foundation. I'll wait, though, until I've lost the little bit of summer color I picked up while on vacation before I go in for a color match and sample.

Which liquid lipstick did you order?

Gigi48 said...

I like to see what I'm buying unless it's a rebuy. I love my Dior SA at Nordstroms. i love the makeup floor at NM in Beverly Hills. I think it's rotten what they are doing at Neimans. No one can afford a 15% pay cut especially in BH/LA. Here on The Westside of LA we love our shopping. We have outdoor malls. The malls have everything you need for one stop shopping and you are outside. In Beverly Hills and Santa Monica all shopping is outside. We cherish and pay for our wonderful weather.

Wendy said...

Hi Charleston Girl and Eileen!! The liquid lips go by number on Cle de peau's website. On Nordstrom's they go by color and, apparently not in order from 11-18. I wanted 11 but ordered 14 instead. The concierge service on Cle de peau's website is very nice because she emailed me what exactly the model is wearing in the Fall campaign and gave me the names to match the numbers. Anyhoo, then I ordered # 11. I think both are beautiful. you know, I want almost all of them. Will keep you posted if I get more and, you want to know my thoughts. The concierge swatched all the shades. I'm thinking about getting their golden age quad and, yes I want the almond luminizer. The model's look is just so pretty and looks very wearable to me. Thank you so much for responding back to me!! Xoxo

AnneD said...

Neiman Marcus Northpark Dallas is a lovely place to shop. I live an hour away, but the traffic and construction has pushed it to a difficult hour and a half, sometimes two. I simply have started shopping closer to home (Belks) and ordering online. There is nothing nicer than spending a day browsing and playing, but it has become too difficult for this retired lady. I depend on blogs and YouTube to find out about new things. You could not have told me I would shop like this twenty years ago!

Wendy said...

.....I'm so sorry to be so wordy and posting again.....dear Charleston Girl and Eileen, not sure if I should be upset or not, honestly I don't have the time. Talking about the Cle de peau radiant liquid rouge you know if this is the same as YSL's Glossy Stains? One of the reasons, I chose this product instead of YSL is I read there's alcohol in their formula. I hope it's not in Cle de peau's, didn't see it listed. Someone just told me that these are identical.?! Which kinda upsets me. I chose the Cle de peau for the claim of longer glossy wear. The YSL new "vinyls" that just came out has alcohol in the formula ( maybe they all do, maybe that's ok) my lips are very sensitive, reactive. I also found even though they're called "vinyls" the glossiness disappears fast which justifies why I chose Cdp's. I wanted your expert thoughts.....xoxoxo

Evelyn said...

That is horrible...and I have to ask, how is someone who is selling me Chanel makeup for instance, also exceptionally knowledgeable about measuring me for a bra, selecting clothes in my size, pulling shoes, a matching handbag, helping me select towels...? Actually they should be paying them more for having to up their knowledge and sell items beyond their scope.

I like shopping both in store and online, it depends whether I want to see something in person or just want to shop and be done. Shopping in person would be encouraged if the staff was better trained, particularly with their people skills. Snobbish sales staff is definitely a deterrent and tends to be plentiful in the higher end stores unfortunately.

I didn't realize malls were having issues, the ones around NYC seem to be booming (although I tend to shop at the department stores here because they're easier for me to get to than a mall - no car). The one thing is that they need to assess the area before putting a store in a mall. If you're putting a very high end brand in a mall in an area where the average income (and lack of knowledge about the brand) would not allow for sales, then the store will fail. Of course if people had more well earning jobs, that would solve a lot of problems.

Eileen said...

Hi Wendy,

No, I don't think the CdP is like the YSL. The CdP color has a lot of depth to it. I purchased #11 Langerie which is a peachy-pink nude shade. It does not look like lipstick with a gloss on top; rather it looks like a luscious, integrated lip product and it is not overly shiny. The velvety finish has more glow than gloss if that makes sense. I've worn it a few times now and find that it is longer lasting than the typical glossy lipstick and that it wears off evenly. The YSL is a stain with a glossy finish. I find the finish wears off quite quickly and just leaves me with a stain which needs to be refreshed in order to look nice. If you bought the CdP, in my humble opinion, you got the better product since you're a working gal and you don't want to have to be fussing with your lip product throughout the day. Since I've been happy with the CdP formula and it agrees with my sensitive lips, I'm planning on picking up #14 and then one of the deeper more vibrant shades.

Anonymous said...

I am late to this, but I have to say if you are only shopping online then you are missing a great deal. Often when products are sold out online it can be found in store and a back order date online is usually inaccurate as well.
For instance, the Tom Ford Honeymoon palette had a back order date of August 6th for months and months on the NM website but even with that back order date in effect the SA at Neiman's called me in April to tell me a shipment had come in. Yet that August date on the website never changed.
In my opinion there is nothing more satisfying to walk into a store, try a product on and take it home that instant. I might be old fashioned, but that's just me. And there are two SA's in particular that I love to support and are the nicest people. One at Nordstrom and one at Neiman's.
And another tidbit is that the CCO's are now loaded with Tom Ford, more than ever. You can't buy online with them. I purchased the 10 piece Lips and Boys set, Moodlight, 2 eye shadow palettes', SS16 highlight and blush(many of these are backups I have already) Lipsticks, moisture soufflé, all at 30% off.
I will never lose my interest in brick and mortar because that is where the gems are! Theresa

TravelingBlush said...

And interesting situation that you describe, CG. Like most everyone, I do buy mostly online, especially for items I have regular use of, and also makeup. But J dofi d a good, knowledgable SA makes a shopping experience much more pleasant. When in Singapore, I take the time to chat with SAs at high end stores as thet do have the product knowledge I find missing in Jakarta. Often, I do not leave empty-handed.

I think NM could have made the incentive structure better, i.e. higher commission on beauty products, and higher on repeat buys, etc. They should think of the long term effects of their pay strategy (and no, I do not agree that brick-and-mortar stores are going to comoletely disappear, just as books were predicted to disappear). I think, what beauty brands will do in this case is hire empolyees on their own, so they can control the time spent and knowledge level of their employees. Or perhaps, a few brands band together to hire a team dedicated to their products.

Anyway, an interesting conundrum, and that is why I love your blog, CG.

Eileen said...

Hi Wendy,

This is very late and I don't know if you'll see it, but Candace at Make-up Box has some arm and lip swatches of the CdP liquid rouge. The velvety texture is so rich in pigment and looks ultra smooth. The shine is integrated throughout the product and doesn't quickly wear off and the lips look glossy without that super slick vinyl look. Yes, IMHO these are much better than the YSL's.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100 %