Message Board

The New Retail Sales Associate Job

“The role [now] is less about folding sweaters than it is about selling them, and retailers are looking more and more for people to come into the role with the skills to sell…In turn, higher-caliber workers are looking for more than a paycheck—they want to advance their education. They are seeking out opportunities to help grow the business, learn and grow into other roles.” —Allison Zeller, director of research, National Retail Federation

What specific skills and know-how do you look for when hiring a sales associate for your store? We’ll be covering this topic in a future article and would love to hear from you! E-mail us at

New Year’s Resolution: Invest in Your Employees

Why? Enthusiasm and pride are contagious.

What do you do to keep staff engaged and sharp? What growth opportunities do you offer them? Ongoing training reinforces good practices and promotes professional development for top performances. You may not have the resources to host off-site retreats or programs, but you can create your own training plan, one that is not just spoken but recorded as a document available to your staff online. You can also work with a third-party educator such as the National Retail Federation, whose RISE Up program (; offers $45–$55 courses on retail fundamentals and customer service and sales.

A structured approach will get you and your employees aligned on the same expectations and goals. When your staff understand that you’re invested in their work and professional growth, the results often translate into better performance on the job, including lower turnover and absences. Successful dance retailers know how the enthusiasm and pride their employees take in working for them is transmitted to customers. A happy staff is at the very heart of an excellent customer experience. —Charlotte Barnard


Don’t Miss…the Dancewear Trend Forecast and 2018 Ordering Guide. We’ve gathered deadlines and incentives for almost 50 companies to help you plan and organize your buying. Looking for midwinter inspiration? Check out the fresh spring looks. Plus the in-store events held by four fellow retailers. Happy New Year to all!


Photo by Nathan Sayers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *