Don’t hire attractive sales staff!

Here’s a release from the Press Association:-

Shops that hire attractive staff can put off female shoppers, according to an academic study.

Researchers found that women were less likely to buy a product if they thought the shop assistant was better looking than them.

Bianca Price, of the University of South Australia, said that many women viewed attractive assistants as “a direct social threat”.

She said: “Women are biologically competitive – if they consider that a female is a direct social threat, it may affect their behaviour in that context.

“Retailers often think that beautiful is better. In the same way they use a celebrity to endorse a product, they hire a beautiful girl thinking that it reflects the brand and that other women will want to be like her. It doesn’t always work like that – women may not consider celebrities a direct social threat, but they might consider the girl at their local shopping centre to be one.”

Ms Price studied the behaviour of a group of women aged 18 to 26 when confronted with an attractive or unattractive staff member.

She found they were less likely to buy a product if they felt the staff member was better looking than them.

Ms Price said: “Retailers need to understand that beauty can affect their bottom line. The solution lies in hiring women of all shapes and sizes, someone for each of your potential customers to relate to.”

The research was released in the week it was revealed that a student with a prosthetic arm won her case for wrongful dismissal by Abercrombie & Fitch.

Riam Dean, who was born with her left forearm missing, claimed she was forced to work in the stockroom of the US firm’s London store because she did not fit its strict “look” policy.

End of press release

OK, so there’s always some study or reseach being released which contradicts previous research/studies but I guess that if you think about it logically there may be some truth in it. Maybe you think that attractive staff boost your shop/product image? Maybe attactive females will sell better to men? Perhaps the opposite is true???

I can’t advise you which is correct but I would recommend that the best course of action is to just hire the most competant personal irrespective of their physical attributes.  After all, that’s what employment law tells us to do.

Tony Heywood – Gilcrest Services Ltd
Retail Troubleshooter
Business Turnaround and Recovery
07905 848 111

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