Some Women Feel Uncomfortable Buying From Pretty Sales Associates

Illustration for article titled Some Women Feel Uncomfortable Buying From Pretty Sales Associates

You know the place: That boutique that has really fun fashion — great jewelry, cool shoes — and would — or should — be a joy to shop. Except the women who work there are so beautiful. Too beautiful?


If you've ever felt intimidated by a stylish, attractive saleswoman, you're not alone. According to a post by Bee-Shyuan Chang on, a new study out of the University of South Australia shows that women between the ages of 18-26 are less likely to buy from a sales associate who is more attractive than them. Of course, retailers — from Chanel to Abercrombie and Fitch — love for their employees to be the face of the brand. So sales associates tend to have a "look." But if that "look" scares customers away — making them think they're not good enough, not pretty enough to shop at the store — then what's the point?

On the other hand, the fact that the women in the study are young could mean that as we get older, we're more self-assured and less likely to give a crap about comparing ourselves to the salesperson. You go in, you get the shoes you want, and you don't think about her.


Still, the fact remains: Companies believe that women want to see other beautiful women. Our ads contain flawlessly Phoshopped celebrities, and stores like Abercrombie banish anyone deemed less than perfect to the storeroom. PhD researcher Bianca Price says: "Retailers often think that beautiful is better… The solution lies in hiring women of all shapes and sizes, someone for each of your potential customers to relate to." Sounds like what we've been saying about magazines.

Attractive Salesgirls Could Turn Off Shoppers [Stylelist]

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Also (anecdotal) in my experience in the retail sector I found that gay men outsold both women and straight men. I was told by them that the more they "turned it on" the higher their sales would be. I don't know if that is really on topic but it does put a spin on their findings.