With more than 900 stores across Canada and counting, you’re probably already familiar with Reitmans Canada Ltd.’s six brands: Reitmans, Smart Set, RW&CO., Penningtons, Addition Elle and Thyme Maternity.
But what you might not know is that, besides fun and fashionable women’s apparel, the company offers many exciting career paths as well.
Having been around for more than 80 years and establishing itself as a leading fashion brand in Canada, Reitmans attributes its success to the hardworking people that make up the company. They’re dedicated to providing meaningful, rewarding and fulfilling career opportunities for students and new grads who are interested in the retail and fashion industry.
We spoke with three recent graduates who have hatched their careers with Reitmans to get the inside scoop on how they got to where they are and what it’s like to work for the Canadian retailer. Though their backgrounds and day-to-day duties are all quite different, they have something in common: a love for what they do (and the 50% discount)!
From new grad to management material
Tabatha Lynde is the Store Manager of a Reitmans in Stouffville, Ont. She worked as a Sales Associate part-time while studying Fashion Business at Seneca College and found that her work experience, coupled with her diploma, made pursuing a career with the company a natural step. She was promoted to Assistant Store Manager after she graduated in 2011, only to be promoted again, to Store Manager, six months later.
Tabatha says that while her education has given her an inside edge, she’s learned even more while on the job.
“What I learned in school helps me to think outside the box when it comes to solving problems and to understand the business as a whole. But working here has taught me a lot, like how essential strong communication skills are in the retail industry.”
Natalie Guttormsson, an International Development and Spanish graduate from Trent University, also works at a Reitmans store in Peterborough, Ont. And while you might not think her studies would transfer over to her role as Assistant Store Manager, Natalie says otherwise.
“My education definitely applies to the work I do with Reitmans. The economics courses I took in school have helped me to understand the prices and how sales work. And my social sciences background comes into play when I’m interacting with all different types of people.”
Life in the store and on the floor
If you’re looking for a job where every day is the same, Teresa Cosentino, a Penningtons Team Leader and Physical Education master’s grad from York University, says this probably isn’t the career for you. Her daily duties alternate between sales, administration, customer service and merchandising.
“I focus mostly on sales and how I can help customers, but I’m also answering phone calls and emails, managing our stock arrivals and taking care of administrative work. My favourite part of my job is merchandising—it’s really fun!”
While being a Team Leader keeps her busy, Teresa’s thrilled about the possibility of moving up into an Assistant Store Manager role after being told she’s “management material.” Judging by how Natalie describes a day in the life of an Assistant Store Manager, the promotion will only make Teresa’s day more exciting.
“I’m always busy! There is paperwork, financials and stock to take care of on top of my sales duties. What I love most is helping customers with their outfits and getting to be creative with visual displays to make them really look great. I also love it when we hold special events and get to connect even more with the customers.”
Both Teresa and Natalie hope to continue on to become Store Managers like Tabatha. In her more senior role, Tabatha is responsible for managing and coaching a team of employees, keeping everything in the store running smoothly and staying on top of sales. From opening the store to scheduling shifts to communicating regularly with the District Manager, she finds the work both challenging and rewarding. And as a clothes lover, she of course loves that fashion is a part of her job.
“We love to ‘dress the part’ for our customers. We’re always watching trends and even have a trend info board in our store to keep on top of what’s happening in fashion.”
Hatching your career with Reitmans
All three—Tabatha, Natalie and Teresa—are emphatic about the Reitmans family of stores being an egg-cellent company for new grads to explore a career with.
Tabatha takes pride in the range of skills she’s acquired on the job.
“It provides you with lots of opportunities to grow and exposes you to more transferable skills than you may have thought—namely business, people management and customer service skills.”
Natalie, who originally wasn’t sure about working in retail, was surprised by how much she loves it and the opportunities Reitmans has opened up for her.
“This work and the skills you develop can cross over into so many things, and act as a stepping stone to bigger opportunities. It’s also just really fun.”
Teresa, meanwhile, can’t see any reason why someone wouldn’t want to work with Reitmans in a retail career.
“Why not? It’s so exciting, there’s never a dull moment. You get access to great clothes and work in a fun environment. Whether you’re thinking of it as a short-term or long-term opportunity, it’s worth going for!”
Reitmans is currently hiring Assistant Managers, Visual Merchandisers and more! See all of their opportunities and apply to hatch your retail career with Reitmans today.
Visit TalentEgg’s Retail Career Guide for eggs-clusive student and entry level retail jobs, plus useful articles and videos that will help you hatch your career in the retail industry.