Juice Couture is known for its expensive denim and its velour track suits. Jeans retail for upwards of $178 and handbags around $230. And yet! Employees at the company’s flagship store on 5th Avenue in NYC allege that the company is systematically trying to bilk employees out of hours and benefits. A petition started by employee Duane and former employee Darrell claims that the company has reduced all but a few employees to part time work. Now, they say, most of the store’s 128 employees are limited to less than 21 hours a week. That’s so they don’t have to offer health insurance to their workers — under the Affordable Health Care Act, employees who work 30 hours or more are eligible to receive health care benefits. Further, in order to qualify for sick days, Juicy says you must work more than 1400 per year, which is impossible on a 21-hour per week schedule.
“Darrell and I are just two of the full-time employees that have been forced out of Juicy Couture,” writes Duane on his Retail Action Project petition. “Now we’re speaking out on behalf of my coworkers who remain at the store, because we all deserve Just Hours.”
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Yesterday, I stumbled on a crazy fascinating Reddit thread asking users, “What is something your current or past employee would NOT want the world to know about their company?” Boy, did they answer. We curated some of our favorite and most instructive revelations (occasional misspellings and bad grammer included, FYI) after the jump!
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Call it the “Pretty Woman” syndrome: When a salesperson at a store is too snotty or insolent for words. Whether we’re talking Urban Outfitters or Louis Vuitton, a snotty, bitchy, over-the-top entitled shop person can totally ruin your day. And while a good salesperson can convince you to buy something you don’t need or actually want, a bad one can have you in tears.
As someone who’s worked in service before — at about a zillion coffee shops — I understand that sometimes a retail employee is simply having a bad day. But when a salesclerk wields their power over you in a disrespectful or humiliating way, it can make you feel like you don’t actually deserve to be there.
And that’s the crux of it isn’t it? The idea that some of us deserve to shop at a particular store, and others don’t. Keep reading »
Jenna Lyons is the president and creative director for J. Crew. She’s also sort of a walking, talking embodiment of the brand’s hip preppy vibe. In this video, a clip from the upcoming CNBC documentary, “J. Crew and the Man Who Dressed America,” Jenna talks about how the company must predict what trends will be popular more than a year out. She and J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler are largely credited with bringing the company back from the brink of failure, and “The Man Who Dressed America,” debuting May 24 chronicles the brand’s auspicious rise.
Love Brit High Street stores — like South Savoir and Love Label — but hate paying for stupid overseas shipping? Us, too. That’s why we’re pleased to announce that Very.com has hit American shores, and is offering the best in British brands stateside. The site offers everything you might need in sizes ranging from petite to tall to plus-size, and has hilarious little Anglo idiosyncrasies. Dresses are split up into maxi, day, going out, occasion and “smart” categories. It’s definitely worth a look. [Very]
How often has this happened to you: You’re stoked to buy something at a cute little boutique, but then the girl working there totally freezes you out? It’s like, commmmme onnnnnn, you work retail! We’re all in this together! You’re not cooler than me! Stop it! The girl in this video knows exactly what I’m talking about. [NY Mag]
For the past week or so, there’s been comments going back in forth in our “What Are We Wearing Today” posts about the shady nature of Forever 21. Not only has Forever 21 been cited for its poor ethics in terms of stealing independent designers’ work, but it’s also been called out for its conservative values as a corporation. Yesterday, Kate addressed her personal perspective on how she feels about wearing Forever 21. As she noted, she wasn’t aware of the company’s reputation, and now that she is, she says, “I’m less inclined to give them my business in the future. But you will still see lots of F21 items in this column because, even though I’ll shop there less from now on, I’m not about to get rid of the things that are already in my closet.”
The ethics of fashion are a murky business. And Forever 21 is hardly the only company that’s guilty. Now that we’ve opened the Pandora’s Box… Keep reading »
Just a little reminder for us to think about where our clothes come from. Spanish retailer Zara has been accused of child labor and violating fair labor practices by Brazil’s Ministry of Labour and Employment. According to the agency, 52 workers in one of the company’s São Paulo factories were being held in “slave-like” conditions, and at least one underage girl was found working there, violating child labor laws. Workers were required to work 16-hour shifts in windowless factories, and were paid significantly below Brazil’s minimum wage, earning between $170 to $286 a month. As a result of Brazil’s several months’ long investigation, Zara’s been charged with 52 infractions.
Notes the Brazilian fiscal auditor, Zara “should be responsible for all of its suppliers, and it is a duty of the company to be aware of how its merchandise is being produced.” But that’s often not the case. And when retailers fail to follow the long tail of their supply chain down to their factory workers, everyone loses. Keep reading »
When the media started noticing haul vloggers
—girls (mainly) who post videos of their shopping sprees—the response was a bit cynical. These girls, wrote New York
magazine, “seem to be primarily of one species: the girl who flatirons her hair, wears too-thick eye shimmer up to her eyebrows, drowns in eyeliner, and gets her brows waxed regularly … ” And many others believed haul vloggers to either be real shopping addicts, braggers, or people who spend their daddy’s money. Keep reading »