Wolford Boutique in Soho
Recently there was a post on Hosiery Advocate’s blog about him feeling that Wolford doesn’t wish to hire male staff. Eugene, the Hosiery Advocate, even went as far as writing them a letter.
I was in the area, so I walked in and asked about that. The lady working there told me that they have no problem with hiring men. However, she did mention that some female customers would rather have another female assist them with the change room.
It seems to me that Wolford may lose sales if their customers are not comfortable wtih the sales staff. At least when I try something on I ask the sales girl to come over and look so I can be confident that this is the proper fit. If it’s lingerie, for sure I’d prefer female staff to check the fit.
I used to know a guy in Toronto who brought in a line of Latvian lingerie. He distributed it to stores, but he also had a retail location where I went with my mom for shopping. There was a change room, but he obviously didn’t offer “assistance” beyond the curtain. I don’t know for what reason, but his business closed down eventually.
Have you ever seen men assisting women in lingerie stores with change rooms (ex. Victoria Secret, La Senza, and so on)?
What is your opinion on this? Would it hurt Wolford’s sales if they would hire male staff to assist clients at the boutique?
I asked for some opinions and most people seemed to think along the same lines as Jenny from United States who agreed to share her response with us.
“I would definitely feel weird if a guy tried to help me make a purchase at a Wolford store or Victoria Secret. It would say to me that he has a fetish for hosiery or lingerie, and that’s not the kind of person I want standing a foot away from me while I pick out my undergarments. My guess is that most women would feel the same way, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
On the pantyhose forum there were also mentions about the fact that men and women react differently in the same situation when it comes to a sales person of an opposite gender. Another man stated that he saw gay men working at lingerie stores and women didn’t mind, they just perceived them as one of the girls.
I even consulted two women at work about this matter. One lady said that for sure she would prefer female staff since they have the same anatomy, but she made an exception – drag queens are OK! Another young woman said that she doesn’t mind men at all because even her gynecologist is male, she knows what she likes and all she doesn’t require any assistance or assurance in the changeroom.
Let’s say, so far from my little research most of the time both genders would say that lingerie stores should continue to hire only women. Is this discrimination or not? I remember that one time a professor told me that equality is a concept that generates a lot of confusion and is often misunderstood. Perhaps Wolford is also having that dilemma.
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