Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Sneak Peak into the World of Personal Shopping

Last week I began an internship at the Selfridges store in London, my internship is based in the Personal Shopping sector of the store. The styling avenue has always been one I have been intrested in and having being able to delve into a unit at uni called Fashion and Styling it only developed my intrigue more.

So having secured the internship I arrived on Thursday morning in some high waisted grey trousers with lace detail around the waistband, a simple white vest top and a tailored black blazer. Oh and my biggest regret to date a pair of heels, I wasn't sure how much walking would be involved so I stupidly wore heels only to end up walking like a cripple with a fire happening on the soles of both my feet.

Making my way up the escaltors to the second floor I walked under the archway entitled 'PERSONAL SHOPPING' in pink lettering. At the desk I was greeted by a young women who was the person who was showing me around. It was very Devil Wears Prada with someone manning the reception desk at all times. Entering the back courters I was greeted by a throng of immacutalety dressed women, all of whom greeted me by shaking my hand and introducing themselves.

Name after name was reeled off to me, desperately trying to remembering each name I was excited for what the day entailed. A briefing for the days events and appointments commenced, followed by three songs that I was told are blasted every morning before the shoppers are allowed in the store. It is suppose to motivate the staff, the feeling was that the music just became annoying as it was so loud and the final song 'Get this party started', was considered a debatable 9am music choice.

I was informed that as an intern my role was to just help where needed, my tasks included serving clients drinks ranging from tea and coffee to coke and champagne depending on their request. I also had the job of replenshing the shop floor with the clothes that were either deemed unsuitable or weren't needed by consultants (personal shoppers).

I was paired with a consultant for her 10am appointment, the brief sheet informed her this lady was looking for smart clothing for work, and she was keen to buy staple pieces that would be versatile. After scouring the shop floor with the client and consultant we were clear on the look she was going on. After collecting around 30 pieces of clothing it was back to one of the suites (as pictured right) to try on the clothing. Over three hours later and countless changes in sizes the client was happy with her purchases, £4000 later it's fair to say she had a new work wardrobe.

I have not had much experience at working in retail so I was surprised at the at the ease clients seemed to part with there money. Initially when you book an appointment you are informed of the £1000 minimum spend, however this is something Selfridges are trying to change, to make it accessible for more people.

After assisting the consultant with her appointment I was taken to Alterations in the Fashion Workshop department to collect clients garments. This is an additional service Selfridges provide, anything from removing pockets to hemming trousers and changing buttons. Each adjustment on individual garments is individually priced. I also took a wonder around the store to familiarise myself with the layout and the brands that are stocked, starting with Super Brands such as: Stella, Pucci and Givenchy all the way through to the high-street brands.

After finishing my first day I was excited to return back for another jam-packed day, highlights of the internship so far include Kelly Rowland's stylists coming in last minute on Sunday afternoon. They were in a major rush to find some black cigarette style trousers/leggings to be worn in the evening. The stylist informed me that she was filming the X-Factor that evening so needed the outfit for then, the two men selected 4 different styles of trouser and purchased them on Kelly's credit card, what wasn't needed would be brought back.

I hope you have enjoyed the snippet of life as a personal shopper, before I was weary to the expensive clothing and now I get to be in the presence of it all day every day. I have eyed a few items I would love,  but a girl can dream!!

Stay tuned for my instalments in the life of a personal shopper...


  1. That internship sounds awesome! You're so lucky! Hope you have a great time xxo

  2. Or had, I just looked at the date. aha. xxo