Alyssa on Starting a Career in Retail


Alyssa recently moved back to NYC. For the past two years she worked in Planning at Abercrombie & Fitch. Now, she is working at Coach. We sat down with her to learn more about the start of her career, how she landed her first job in retail, advice she has about starting a new job, what it means to her to be powerful, and, of course, her favorite makeup product.

Alyssa, tell us about your new job at Coach!

I just started my new job at Coach working in Merchandise Planning for their Outlet Handbags business. Before that, I worked in Planning at Abercrombie & Fitch on Women’s Jeans & Sweatpants, forecasting sales, then planning out by week how many units I thought an item would sell. Now, I’m a Global Merchandise Planner at Coach, which is similar to my role at Abercrombie, but here I work with buyers across different channels to put together seasonal assortments that will appeal to the specific customers in each of their markets. We’re in constant contact with our buyers as they update us weekly on how our product is selling in their regions, as well as pre-season when we work with them to compile their assortment that ultimately rolls to financial targets we set.

What’s your background? How did you get into retail?

Being a math major, I knew I wanted my career to be analytical in some way, but I also have a creative side that I wanted to be able to exercise day-to-day. Upon learning about Merchandise Planning through my experience at Abercrombie, I found that pursuing a role within corporate retail would be a perfect way to marry my creative and analytical skills. I’ve also always had an admiration for the fashion industry as fashion, in my opinion, is the most visual form of individual expression. You can learn a lot about a person from what they wear, and I love that I work in an industry that assists people in creating their own unique appearance.

Do you have any advice to give about moving and starting a new job?

Be brave. Transition is always hard, especially when there will be pros and cons with every decision in life, but, at the same time, change is exciting, and if you’re curious about what it would be like to live in a certain city or work in a certain industry, take the chance! You just can’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from making the move or starting the new job, because you will grow and learn new things from every opportunity you decide to take on and those are both positive things!

What makes you feel powerful?

Feeling connected to others makes me feel powerful. Whether it’s forming connections of my own or helping others form connections by bringing people together who may have never crossed paths, it gives me so much energy. Having strong connections is important to me.

Favorite product?

I don’t know about you, but I always have dark circles under my eyes, no matter how much sleep I get. So I always wear Bare Minerals Well-Rested Under Eye Brightener. It’s like concealer, but it’s a powder base so it has a more natural look. I never leave my apartment without putting this on!

See Bare Minerals Well-Rested Under Eye Brightener here


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