Working At A Shoe Store, Passion Or Experience?

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Joined Sep 18, 2007
I had an interview at Champs a while ago. Did not get the job, saw the manager today and asked why. She said she found someone with experience. Not that this has any weight, but I was the very first customer at this Champs years ago. Deion was with the Falcons,to give a clue of how long ago this was. I applied at every shoe store in my small town, but to no avail. When I go into these spots I drop knowledge to the staff not vice versa, about the product on the shelves. Was  doing this way before the net. To cut this short as a manager would you prefer experience or knowledge and passion?
 
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Joined Jul 15, 2007
Honestly it depends on the manager. Some are sneaker heads and appreciate knowledge, some dont care about the products and just want to make numbers, thus they go with experience. A small town, i would expect there arent any sneaker heads. Keep your head up though you will find something
 
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Joined Jul 23, 2009
i work at a shoe store and honestly i got hooked up from my friend. but i know what you mean, we hire people that have no knowledge of any products and no job experience.
 
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Joined Mar 20, 2005
Originally Posted by no vert

I had an interview at Champs a while ago. Did not get the job, saw the manager today and asked why. She said she found someone with experience. Not that this has any weight, but I was the very first customer at this Champs years ago. Deion was with the Falcons,to give a clue of how long ago this was. I applied at every shoe store in my small town, but to no avail. When I go into these spots I drop knowledge to the staff not vice versa, about the product on the shelves. Was  doing this way before the net. To cut this short as a manager would you prefer experience or knowledge and passion?
Its kinda like any job, like when you graduate college & they tell you they want someone with experience....how are you supposed to get experience if no one is hiring you?  Catch 22.  Keep at it - you will find something.
 
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Originally Posted by jhobson5

Honestly it depends on the manager. Some are sneaker heads and appreciate knowledge, some dont care about the products and just want to make numbers, thus they go with experience. A small town, i would expect there arent any sneaker heads. Keep your head up though you will find something
co-sign to this...

Originally Posted by FLINTGREY

Originally Posted by no vert

I had an interview at Champs a while ago. Did not get the job, saw the manager today and asked why. She said she found someone with experience. Not that this has any weight, but I was the very first customer at this Champs years ago. Deion was with the Falcons,to give a clue of how long ago this was. I applied at every shoe store in my small town, but to no avail. When I go into these spots I drop knowledge to the staff not vice versa, about the product on the shelves. Was  doing this way before the net. To cut this short as a manager would you prefer experience or knowledge and passion?
Its kinda like any job, like when you graduate college & they tell you they want someone with experience....how are you supposed to get experience if no one is hiring you?  Catch 22.  Keep at it - you will find something.
And spot on Ron, I know about that first hand cuz it took so long before I finally started the gig that I got last week and it's a really difficult thing to wrap your mind around when in that position.

But in relation to the experience vs. passion bit, I used to be at a the UK retailer JJB Sports whilst at uni and at the interview when I started talking about the products they had on shelf and all that, I think the manager at the time didn't even really care about that and was more concerned about what I knew about the company's history, achievements etc...ironically  they aren't "achieving" much now...it really does depend on the manager but should be a combination of both....you'd ultimately want to know that ur staff have got a healthy balance of both so you have wholesome team memebers who don't just embody team pride for ultimate corporate successs but ones who are confident in knowing about the products they sell...doesn't work like that all the time....In the business world experience trumps all; it's all about units, targets, sales, projections and the experience of your human resources to get you there...it ain't like ball or any sport where talent and passion will drive you over GPA, SATs, Honours degrees etc...

Nice thought provoking topic once again no vert 
 
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experience to work at shoe store? c'mon now, i would have laughed in her face.
 
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Experience working in retail, period.

You can know everything there is to know about shoes, but if you have no job experience, chances are, they are going to hire the next person who has.

It's like that almost everywhere.
 
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Some managers also like to hear that you're a team member and won't have an ego when you first start as well as being able to mesh with the different personalities already on staff.
 
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What you have to remember is 99% of people that come into a shoe store dont need sneakerhead knowledge. THey want "this shoe" in a 9, thats it nothing more, nothing less. So you going in and "dropping knowledge" to these employees dosent really mean anything, in fact it could hurt. You could leave an interview and some employees could say, "You arent going to hire HIM are you?" A manager makes the final decision but if its a small staff you want to keep it as harmonious as you can.
 
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They pay you $8 dollars an hour and didn't even hire you. That already a slap to the face. I'd say you go look for a better job dude.
 
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Originally Posted by H TOWN HUSTLER

It's all about sales at the end of the day.

I would co-sign this 100%.....when the manager says more experience he/she is not talking about sneaker knowledge but rather sales selling experience...When working in a sneaker store being the smartest guy on the floor has nothing to do with knowing the most about when sneakers drop, colorways, comfort, etc...Its really about being able to cross-sell those sneakers into "other" products and services....FTL and its divisions, while making a decent amount of money on Nikes and other sneaker brands, actually make WAY more on its accessories lines and apparel (which in alot of cases are company branded)....What people sometimes fail to see is that your average consumer is NOT a sneakerhead....We the "sneakerheads" (hate that word) make up a very small percentage of the population...we go crazy for certain releases..and buy out stock instantly (well not as frequent since the economy downturn)...thats the reason for "limited" drops...its a targeted audience....The rest of the 75 to 90% of the population purchases sneakers for a variety of needs...It's these consumers that store target for not just foot wear but also t-shirts...socks...cleaning supplies...alll that other crap that make up the large majority of the store.....

You want that job, walk in there and talk about cross-selling products...deepening the wallet share of each indiviudal buyer not just pushing the hottest releases....Sneaker knowledge is only cool in Boutiques....and even then who cares...especially when you know what your coming in there for anyway.....

Keep fighting homie...remember retail and business in general is all about sales...not about who has on the freshest kicks....With the exception of a company like APPLE..most employees, owners, CEO's, etc..dont really endorse or use there own products...but they can sell the hell outta them...
 
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Because of the amount or resources customers have to educate themselves on products, many companies save money by skipping product knowledge training altogether and look for those who have experience in the field. No matter how rudimentary a job seems, experience always trumps all. Sports-centric stores do appreciate product knowledge; in college I interviewed with D***'s Sporting Goods (then known as Galyan's) and during the group interview, there was a fairly dedicated education process. There was an exam, asking questions like:

"Name three running shoes with Nike Shox technology (had to know specific names)."

"If a 45-year-old Army Vet needed gym shoes to rehab his knee, which of the three would you suggest? - adidas Rod Laver, New Balance something, Nike something."

I absolutely destroyed that test and as a prize, they gave me a free pair of the Nike Shox TL4 (hideous looking shoe with full-length Shox - resold on eBay and bought Wheat XIII from Champs lol). I did not take the job because I got an assistant managerial job at another store called Street Game - Korean owner (I only got the job bc i'm Korean as well), Athlete's Foot franchise with a quickstrike account, better pay, better hours, serious no brainer.

Sorry for rambling. Good luck with your search; you're bound to find a manager who appreciates your knowledge.
 
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To elaborate more, I have worked at four different athletic shoe retailers over the course of 6 years. What is gone today (minus exclusive running stores) are experienced sales people who actually "fit" you for shoes. Granted, the cost to educate & train for part-time employees is expensive and sometimes not rational given the turnover for such jobs.

But when you go to a mall-based retailer like FootLocker, Champs, FootAction USA or FinishLine, more than likely you are going to get some 16-year old kid who doesn't even know what a Brannock device is....who will try to sell you some Shox "cuz its got like good cushioning".

Add in managers who are more sales driven & would rather have you push what's in stock rather than what's right for someone's foot.

On the flipside, I expect no real "fitting" if I go to a mom/pop urban account shop; I just expect the salesperson to get my size & I'm on my way.

Either way, it sucks, man. But keep it at. Your passion will get you in. Maybe not on the interview part, but showing you are willing to learn
 
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Originally Posted by FLINTGREY

But when you go to a mall-based retailer like FootLocker, Champs, FootAction USA or FinishLine, more than likely you are going to get some 16-year old kid who doesn't even know what a Brannock device is....who will try to sell you some Shox "cuz its got like good cushioning".


I just died laughing at this TRUTH... 
 

steve212

Banned
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Joined Jan 28, 2010
It's not always what you know, it's who you know.

And it's been stated, but the majority of customers who enter these sneaker stores either don't know kicks, nor do they care.  They just want a nice pair of "tennis shoes".
 
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Joined Jan 27, 2006
sometimes being a head hurts.. don't let them know you want a job just for the employee discount, that's an automatic fail.
 
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Well in life the sad thing is " its all about who you know! " You can be the best for a job and not get it because your a " outsider " but someone gets hooked up because they know someone on the inside.
 
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