Star Sands Plaza’s Aiza Gutierrez believes that fashion retail sales staff play a vital role in making a shopper’s in-store experience worthwhile.
“Besides the merchandise, the sales staff are the ones who influence a shopper’s resolve in making purchases,” said the 24-year old Gutierrez. “They are also the representative of the entire store and its management.”
A native of Cuenca, Batangas, Gutierrez has been with Star Sands Plaza, one of the flourishing clothing retail stores on island, for almost a year. But Gutierrez’s experience isn’t limited to her stint at Star Sands. In fact, she was among the workers absorbed by the store when it took over the former Papaya shop where she worked for four and a half years.
Gutierrez arrived on Saipan in 2006, equipped with two years’ experience in the retail garment industry. At the time, the only person she knew on island was her aunt.
“I’ve always loved clothes and fashion,” says Gutierrez, who took up accountancy at the University of Batangas. “I like to mix and match various pieces of garments to come up with different looks and styles.”
Her inspiration for such looks, Gutierrez said, comes from what she sees in magazines, television, and the Internet.
Gutierrez’s favorite assignment at work is displaying and merchandising. “Here at Star Sands Plaza, all our shipments that come in consist of whatever is hip and trendy and popular nowadays. That’s why it feels great arranging all our merchandise in the racks.”
Socializing with shoppers comes naturally for Gutierrez. “I love to converse and chat, that’s why it’s easy for me to interact with customers,” she said.
“There are different types of shoppers. Some want you to always assist them and follow them around. But there are those who want
and you have to respect that,” explained Gutierrez.
While majority of their patrons are locals, Gutierrez also serves a significant number of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese tourists.
“Even the employees here at Star Sands Plaza are also diverse because we have Filipino, Chamorro, Burmese, and Korean staff,” she added.
Gutierrez said their team is fortunate because the management knows how to value employees. “At the last day of every month, we usually have an appreciation event where all the staff enjoy a nice feast. We’re like family here.”
Gutierrez noted that their busiest time at the store is right after lunch, at night time or after work hours, with shopping season peaking every payday, and during back-to-school and holiday seasons.
She is busy with merchandising at least once a week as new arrivals come in. “A lot of shoppers, particularly students, look forward to our weekly new arrivals.”
Gutierrez said working at a clothing retail store has its advantages. “One of the perks is that you get to be one of the first few to see the clothes. Sometimes, I buy them for myself.”
Gutierrez pointed out that love for one’s work makes all the difference in succeeding in any job, including hers.
“If you enjoy what you do, you don’t feel time pass by at work,” said Gutierrez, who has twice been named as one of the top five employees for the month in her first year alone at Star Sands Plaza.
Any fashion retail sales staff, Gutierrez said, should always wear a smile, be friendly, and aim for customer satisfaction. “Don’t forget to smile, even if you have problems. Leave them at home and don’t let it affect your performance at work.”