Retail Insider and Luxury Careers Canada
French luxury brand Cartier has operated on Toronto’s prestigious ‘Mink Mile’ for decades, and currently operates a beautiful storefront in The Colonnade at 131 Bloor Street West. Store manager Ryan Kenny spoke to Retail Insider and answered a few questions below.
Cartier is currently hiring for a Seasonal Sales Associate position and for more information, contact Suzanne Sears at Luxury Careers Canada. Luxury Careers Canada recently launched as part of Best Retail Careers International Inc. Employers can submit their jobs here.
RI: How did you get attracted to retail as a career?
RK: I began my retail career in a small rural Ontario farming town at the age of 15. At the time I did not expect retail to guide my college experience and to offer so many incredible life experiences. The people I met stimulated my personal growth and eventually I decided I wanted to be that person for others. I really enjoy the human aspect of retail, the getting to know people and sharing in celebrations. It has always been a passion of mine.
RI: You have been with Cartier over eight years. What is it about this brand that inspired you to spend so much of your career with them?
RK: Great question! I will credit Cartier for taking a chance on me however, I own my personal development. This is a company that has encouraged me to follow the path I wanted to take within the brand and respected that I had many interests (and many more to come). The inspiration is within, you have to make your own path. Cartier has encouraged me and pushed me to challenge myself and for this I am grateful. You’ve heard the quote “people leave leaders, not companies”, this is very true in my experience. I have had the incredible opportunity to have multiple mentors and have felt supported through my journey.
RI: When did you arrive at Cartier on Bloor Street? What are the unique challenges of working on Bloor Street vs a mall setting?
RK: I actually began my career with Cartier on Bloor Street close to 9 years ago. I trained with some amazing people before opening the Yorkdale boutique shortly after. From Yorkdale my career as a Retail Coach began and I supported multiple US and Canadian boutique leaders. My career eventually landed me in NYC as the Cartier Learning & Development Manager.
I believe that all challenges are great opportunities. In retail it’s a constant dance regardless of a mall or street setting. We all have unique challenges.
RI: What do you think Bloor Street retailers need to do to best recover from their COVID losses of foot traffic?
RK: The appointment setting that we are now offering has been very well received by our clients. It’s allowing us to support them in the best way possible while we navigate through these new times. I want to work in a happy and fun environment and that’s the experience I want for my guests. It’s not easy right now, we all have to be flexible when we can and keep the client and cleanliness top of mind at all times.
RI: You have a strong background in Learning and Development with Cartier, a sector many retailers dropped in the last few years. What advice do you have for retailers who are faced with retraining staff post COVID?
RK: I was fortunate to move to New York City and support so many incredible initiatives with Cartier, from The Mansion opening to press tours, to building High Jewelry trainings. I believe the L&D roles are even more vital now than in the past. Retail has changed, shopping trends are changing dramatically, this category is essential to help guide brands through change because change is hard. My advice would be to listen to your people, one person can do anything just not everything. The people you employ have ideas, they come from different backgrounds, and as active citizens in your boutique they should have a voice. We really are all in this together.
RI: What makes you successful with one of the world's foremost brands? What advice do you have for younger retailers who aspire to work with Cartier? Why should candidates consider a career with Cartier?
Genuine curiosity and a desire to learn has been the key to my success. I have a keen interest in Cartier, I am curious about the brand history and how to make every day processes and experiences better and I’m not shy to voice my opinion. In this arena you have to be intrigued by people, Cartier is for me, is a people first environment both internally and externally, I am very much aligned with this philosophy.
My advice for those aspiring to work with Cartier, you have to have passion – people FEEL your passion, it resonates with those around you, but it has to start with you.
Cartier has growth opportunities, and a commitment to training and education. It is a brand with deeply-rooted history and is constantly evolving.
Position Title: Seasonal Sales Associate, Cartier
The story of Cartier is founded on audacity and passion. For more than 170 years we have embraced a bold, pioneering spirit that continues to inspire our teams across all Métiers from our boutiques to our workshops and corporate offices. Our 7,500+ colleagues of 90 nationalities are united by a shared independent spirit and commitment to excellence, striving to continuously enrich our Maisons heritage by pushing the boundaries of creativity.
As an Ambassador of the Maison, the Seasonal Sales Associate assists with sales during the holiday season and achieves and exceeds sales targets as directed by management. He/she ensures a unique client experience throughout all touch points. He/she is also an active participant in the daily operations of the boutique.
· Provide sales support to the boutique during the holiday season
· Achieve and/or exceed the monthly sales target, as directed by management.
· Ensure that each client receives outstanding and exceptional customer service by providing a friendly environment which includes greeting and acknowledging every customer, maintaining outstanding standards, solid product knowledge and all other components of Customer Service before, during and after sales client
· This includes after sales clients if a Cartier after-sales dedicated area/staff is not available
· Adapt approach according to the client needs and motivations
· Negotiate and handle objections with ease
· Assist and support after sales clients in accordance with Maison values. Act as a referent and provide recommendations that will provide an exceptional client experience
Client Relationship Management:
· Consistently and accurately capture client data for follow-up and relationship building, effectively utilizing the tools that are available
· Appropriately resolve client issues/concerns and escalate as needed to Management
· Partner with Management to develop a plan to support, and participate in in-store and offsite events and networking
Daily Boutique Operations:
· Understand and comply with all security and operational policies and procedures for the Group, Maison and boutique
· Assist with daily set-up and breakdown of the boutique, and communicate on any maintenance issues
· Assist in the merchandising and daily maintenance of displays and back-stock
· Actively participate in daily and annual inventories and cycle counts to prepare and ensure a successful audit
· Assist with special projects, as needed (i.e. price changes, supporting back office responsibilities, etc.)
· College degree preferred
· 2 to 5 years of previous experience in luxury retail, service or hospitality environment
· Ability to work in a fast-paced retail store environment
· Computer and internet Savvy
· MS Office experience required, SAP knowledge preferred
· Additional language skills are a plus
· Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are required
· Strong understanding of Customer Service needs and Customer (internal and external) priorities
· Strong attention to detail with the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously and with precision
· Being a genuine Maison Ambassador
· Uphold Cartier image by maintaining professional demeanor at all times and be an Ambassador for the Brand
· Self-Starter with Team-Player approach
· Must be available to work retail hours including weekends