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Selling Boy's Clothing: It's More Than Just Retail

Posted on 01 June 2017

Sales people in a retail boys’ wear environment face challenges very different from those in men’s clothing retail. Selling men’s clothing is easier, more straight forward and far less time consuming.

So why is this easier than selling boys’ clothing?

Because in men’s wear the sales person is usually dealing with only one person -the man who will wear the suit. He’s a mature individual used to buying clothing, and has a well-defined sense of what he does and doesn’t like. This makes the process simpler and more efficient. If he’s accompanied by his significant other, some negotiation may be required, but the situation remains much the same. With boys’ clothing the dynamics change dramatically.

The end user is never alone. He’s accompanied by any combination of: his mother, father, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings and friends. Each of these individuals has their own personal taste and picture of what he should wear, how it should fit and how it should be coordinated with shirts and ties. These opinions are often at odds with what he himself likes or wants, and as a young boy he may not be confident in his taste and in need of guidance. While getting it from all sides! Then add to this any combination of family dynamics imaginable, along with the emotions involved. All this amounts to a very complicated brew that must be handled accordingly in order to reach a happy resolution.

Aside from the usual talents that we as sales people must bring into play, those of us working with boys clothing must wear the hats of several other professions:

  • diplomat
  • psychologist
  • family counselor
  • mediator

We must be a source of good humor, tact, patience, calm, and reason. We must intuit when to present an option of our own as a solution, and how to encourage sometimes reluctant boys or parents to accept a compromise decision. And the process -even when there are no bumps in the road- can be time consuming. It’s not unusual to take well over an hour to arrive at a decision that everyone is happy with.

Although as challenging as it may seem at times, the end result is always rewarding; well-dressed young men and satisfied customers are what we aim for. The challenge of wearing many hats is one we enjoy, and working with the boys and their families is a great deal of fun. 

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