Saturday, June 10, 2006

ASK MARLEN: Takin it to the Maxx or the Marcus?

Hey Marlen,

I am considering applying for a job at TJ Maxx, and I'd like to know how your experience is working out. I can apply for several openings at my local store, including processor, merchandise retail, and cashier. I was hoping you could give me some advice as to what your position has been like, and what positions (if any) are better or worse to apply for.

Thank you!


Hi J,

I worked for the fragrance companies themselves at Nieman Marcus and Nordstrom, and then later actually for Nordstrom, a very different setting from TJ Maxx. There are definitely advantages to both - think of all the great discounts on fragrance as a Maxx employee vs all the free stuff you could get working in a larger dept store.

I'll elaborate a bit: Usually in a department store there are two types of salespeople - the ones who work for the dpeartment stores, "Sales Associates" (or SA's as we commonly refer to them); and then there are those folks who work for the fragrance companies and promote the fragrances in the stores, "Models". SA's usually work a schedule determined by the department store, make a lower hourly wage than models, but also have reliable work and, usually, benefits (medical, etc). Models' hours are generally more flexible (they create their own schedule), work can sometimes be sporadic (off-season or non-holiday times can be difficult if the fragrance companies decide they don't want to pay for models), and you might encounter some territorial SA's. I could go on...But I hope this gives you a basic idea of the types of fragrance positions you could look for in department stores. While SA's are employed directly through the department store, models are generally employed through the fragrance distributor - finding these jobs is no simple to ask around the fragrance counters at your local dept stores!

Hope this helps!


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