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Theodora Marinos 20 Questions with Endear

Aug 12, 2021

Meet The Sales Director Who Thinks It's Cool To Care

Read what Anine Bing's Director of Sales, Theodora Marinos, thinks about personalization, the sustainable brand she's eyeing, and the secret to great service.

By Leigh Sevin, Co-Founder @ Endear

20 Questions with Theodora Marinos

In a new series from Endear, we interview retail experts to get their take on a variety of industry-specific questions - 20 of them, to be exact. Our latest interview in this series is with Theodora Marinos. As sales director at Anine Bing, Theodora has taken an active role in changing the way brands think about the omnichannel experience. Here she dives into the past ten years of working in retail, what she sees coming down the line, and the importance of putting the customer first over the course of 20 Questions with Endear.

Did you ever work in a retail store?

Yes! AKIRA in Lincoln Park, Chicago.

What's the best part about working in retail? Or the worst?

The best part is finding solutions for your customers. Sometimes they don't know what it is that they are looking for and it is our job to solve the riddle. The worst part is our limitations in the moment. As much as we want to provide you with a perfect solution, sometimes supply chain, technology, inventory levels, etc are out of our hands.

In five words or less, how would you describe the future of retail?

Experiential and interactive

I was working remotely with a customer for about a year and they were pretty routine interactions. One day I received a note thanking me for all of my help and that it has truly helped him change his life. It made me realize the impact we have on people by making them look and feel their best.

What's your favorite way to be approached as a shopper? Or least favorite?

Approach them with smart solutions or suggestions. "I see you're shopping for sweaters, do you mind if I suggest a couple of my favorites?" Least favorite is having someone awkwardly watch you with hawkeyes across the room.

In your opinion, what are some of the most important qualities or skills someone working in retail can have?

Hustle. Whether you are on the floor or behind a computer. There are a lot of amazing opportunities in retail if you work hard.

Tell us about an experience you had with a particularly noteworthy customer.

I was working remotely with a customer for about a year and they were pretty routine interactions. One day I received a note thanking me for all of my help and that it has truly helped him change his life. It made me realize the impact we have on people by making them look and feel their best.

Fill in the blank: "Working in retail is great, unless you _____, then don't even think about it!"

Have a huge ego. This job is about serving others and putting them first!

Name a brand you think has a particularly great or unique approach to retail right now.

FARM Rio. Their commitment to reforestation projects and including sustainable practices is admirable.

What's your favorite thing to shop for?

Shoes. It's a problem.

What's the last thing you bought while shopping online?

Swedish dish cloths. Not glamorous but highly recommended.

What store(s) are you shopping IRL right now?

Bluemercury, ALO Yoga and my local nurseries!

What was your favorite store/mall to shop as a kid?

Mall Of America. We would drive two hours to get there and would make a whole day of it. Rollercoasters AND The Limited Too?!

What was your first "big" retail purchase?

An Amanda Uprichard royal blue silk dress. Her store in NYC was beautiful.

What technology trend do you think will have the largest impact on retail over the next 5 years? Over the next 20?

Customization. How can we make you feel like a unique person and remember you out of hundreds of thousands? If you don't feel special during your time on a website or in a store, you're not going to come back.

What's a current retail trend you're excited about?

Sustainability and/or corporate responsibility. Gone are the days of retail feeling cold. People want to know you care about your employees, community and the environment.

If you don't feel special during your time on a website or in a store, you're not going to come back.

What's the best piece of advice you've gotten while working in retail?

Embrace change. This industry is changing faster than ever and if you aren't on board you'll get left behind.

Fill in the blank: "Shoppers today will never appreciate the art of _______."

Sprinting the floor in heels.

Fill in the blank: "Ecommerce is to stores as ______ is to ______."

Sunshine is to flowers. One makes the other so beautiful!