8 Things You Need To Know When Selling Denim

“My auntie Jean’s got a sister called Jean, her daughter Jean just had a baby, called it…..”

Quick Denim Facts

  • In the early 1960’s, denim was banned by many schools in the U.S as it had become an icon of teen rebellion.
  • An indigo dye is used to give denim its actual blue color. ‘Waist overalls’ or ‘overalls’ were the terms used for denims before 1960 till it was changed to ‘jeans’ which is widely used now.
  • Selvedge denim is denim woven using old-fashioned denim-weaving techniques; preferably on old looms.Distressed Boyfriend Denim Jeans Anyone?


8 Things You Need To Know When Selling Denim

  1. Know Your Range – What brands do you have in stock? Do you have more stock in some brands than others? Do you also know what other stores the brands you stock are stocked in? Learn about your inventory. Speak to the buying team and your managers so that you’re regularly updated. You’ll then be able to keep the customers fully informed.
  2. Know The Styles – Bootcuts, Cigarettes, Straight Leg, Pencil Legs, Boyfriends, Distressed,  Leathers, Tapered, Cropped, Skinny, Spray On. There’s an endless list of styles and every brand likes to call their styles something different. Be aware that some of these titles are almost the same thing like Cigarettes and Straight Legs. What’s important is how you translate the confusion into simplicity for your customer.
  3. Know Your Customer – Whether it’s Sally from the hip hop dance class or Laquisha the dental surgeon, knowing who you’re dealing with will dramatically increase your chances of creating an amazing experience for the customer.
  4. Know How To Prepare For Alterations – If a customer wants to purchase a pair of jeans that are too short for them, recommend an alterations service and prepare them for assessment. They’ll need to have their jeans on and the shoes they plan on wearing with them.
  5. Know Your Surroundings – Hesitation makes customers lose confidence. You don’t want to walk around faking left and turning right. Take me straight to the hole! If I have to take a round trip of the denim gallery with a Salesperson before they find the Paige Straights I asked for….I would have wished I never asked. It’s important to keep on top of merchandising and refresh yourself regularly, that way you will avoid the frowned upon ‘puzzled’ look.
  6. Know The Limits – I suggest giving the customer 3-4 styles at a time to try. This is because it’s easy to forget how the last thing you tried on looked when going through the gruelling tasks of taking the jeans off and putting them on. Whatever number you start with, work together to narrow down the lists and be sure to filter out the nos! We don’t want any excess denim to confuse the situation.
  7. Know How To Justify The Price – Buying top of the range denim in London is expensive. As a result you’re likely to receive last minute price resistance. American brands cost a lot more in the UK as a result of shipping costs and tax charges. This article from the Daily Mail may open your eyes – Are $200 Jeans Really Worth it?
  8. Know How To Turn Customers Into Clients – Check out 6 Steps To Building Your Client Book.

The Customer’s Point Of View:

Jeans are annoying to try on and stressful to take off. All in all choosing between super skinny J Brands or leather bootcut 7FOM is exhausting when fighting to get them on in a hot boxed changing room. In the winter time, people shop with a lot more layers on. This makes the prospect of taking all those layers off to slip on a pair of jeans even more daunting however it does emphasise the importance of being confident in all of the above areas.

Further Reading

15 Interesting Facts About Your Favourite Pair Of Jeans

Did You Know These Facts About Denim?


What tips would you give to someone starting out as a denim associate?

Do you believe that knowing where everything is is just as important as brand knowledge?

 How does one demonstrate confidence as a denim associate?

Let’s discuss. Leave a comment below…


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