Written by Student Journalists, Allyssa Ertz, & Alyssa Donnelly
As tourists traverse New York City’s Fifth Avenue, a world famous, multinational corporation that designs shoes, clothing, and accessories comes into view. Right away, Kat Galvis, the concierge, approaches and offers a personalized tour of the entire place.
Galvis, originally from Columbia, moved to New Jersey when she was small, and has been there most of her life. In fact, she still lives in New Jersey with her family, and commutes to work every day. This daily trip takes around an hour and a half one way. There are better opportunities for people who specialize in retail services in New York, but from her perspective, what she does contributes to the higher standard of living in NYC.
It is more beneficial for Galvis to travel here so she gets the advantages of spending time with her family and experiencing a job in a different community. In addition, the living expenses in New York City would be noticeably higher for Galvis if she lived there instead of commuting from New Jersey.
“If I’m doing a similar job but being paid more for it, just because I work in New York, then it’s worth it. But, if I were to live in New York, then it’s not worth it so much because then you’re just paying for the cost of living.” Galvis said.
This concierge job is the first full time position that Galvis has had since she graduated college. She was walking along Fifth Avenue one day, had never seen the store before, and decided to walk in.
“I was absolutely baffled by how beautiful it was and how gorgeous it was, but more importantly, just how friendly the people wer,.” Galvis expressed.
This unique store culture served as her inspiration to apply. According to Galvis, the application was meticulous to complete. Even before applying for the job, the employees who already worked at the store encouraged her to apply and offered to give her tips about the position. Galvis was awed that people who were strangers to her could be so friendly, which made her want to work there even more.
The whole store uses recreation of a stadium as its design inspiration, giving it a sports atmosphere. Through Galvis’ concierge tour, you are able to find everything that is offered in store, including customization of your own shoe, personal trainers offering complimentary sessions, and a variety of choices at a juice bar.
There is also another service Galvis and her coworkers utilize frequently which allows the customer to test what type of runner they are through a program called Run Genie. This can be through either an actual track lane on the second floor or a more private treadmill. Concierge services, extremely similar to hotel concierge, is also available in store setting.
Galvis works to fully provide the customer with the absolute best experience possible in both the store and New York itself. She welcomes them into the store with a simple greeting, and assists them in any way, whether that be through finding the best shoe for the customer or giving advice on how to make the most of their New York experience while they are here.
Galvis’ favorite part of her whole job is getting the opportunity to meet people from so many different areas in the world. She is fluent in four languages, including Spanish, her native language, English, French and Portuguese.
“So many times, I’ll have like, French people come in, and I’ll talk to them in French, and they’re like, oh my gosh, thank you! And they’ll ask me all the questions they’ve been needing to ask for the past week, but haven’t had anyone to ask it to.” Galvis said.
Galvis has a tremendous passion for using her language skills during her hours of work with numerous people. She strives to use these talents in giving customers the opportunity to feel more at home while providing a memorable time in New York.
This corporation has a strong branding effort relating to their customers and giving them the best in store experience as possible. While hiring passionate workers like Galvis, this company will continue to tap into the interest of the customer as its priority in a friendly, happy work environment.
“One thing that we always say here is that we want to match the personality and the enthusiasm or the calmness of the person coming to us, and that doesn’t mean changing our personality, but that means if someone is more low-key or more calm, then meeting that calmness. If someone is very demanding, I want to show them I am doing them everything I can to meet their needs.”
This corporation has asked for their name to stay anonymous due to store policy.