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Bloomingdale’s Clerks Want Commissions On Showrooming, In-Store Pickup Sales

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When a store employee helps you, and you go on to make your purchase from the same retailer’s website, should that employee receive a commission? The union representing clerks at the flagship Bloomingdale’s store in New York City says that they should, even if it isn’t clear on exactly how that would happen.

Workers have two concerns about how online sales affect their pay. (Warning: auto-play video at that link.) First, they’re concerned about showrooming, which is when shoppers check out an item in person and go on to make their actual purchase online.

While the Bloomingdale’s staffers can’t do anything about shoppers who go on to make their purchase from other retailers, members of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union wants some kind of compensation for customers who end up buying from the Macy’s-owned chain’s website.

How would that work, exactly? The union doesn’t know.

“I am sure the company can work on a tracking system. There’s technology for everything,” a union spokeswoman told CNN.

The second problem is the reverse of showrooming: Customers who make purchases online and come to pick them up in the store. Employees say that this takes up more of their time, but doesn’t affect their commissions. When commissions can be a large part of a given worker’s compensation, that’s a big problem.

“We are trying to reach a fair and reasonable agreement that represents our associates’ commitment to our customers,” a spokeswoman for the department store explained to CNN. “But we have to address the competitive business realities we face. And we have to be flexible about the way we take care of our customers.”

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