Factory Connection deals in the latest brand-name fashion attire, as well as accessories and shoes. Its products are intended for low-to-middle-income men, women, and kids.
The company started as a 1000-square-foot store in Guntersville, Alabama in 1976. It is currently based there, with its distribution center located in the same city. It was founded by Kenny Littleton and the late Terry Scott.
The chain operates largely in smaller towns in the American southeast, where it has over 300 stores in 16 states. The company currently hires over 1300 workers.
All store employees receive a monthly clothing allowance in addition to a discount on Factory Connection products. Benefits are somewhat limited for lower-tier employees, however, with only store managers benefiting from the Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance and a 401K.
Many of the employees enjoy the $50 monthly allowance that they receive. They also tend to speak positively of the work environment, the management, and the customers.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at Factory Connection?
Legally, you should be at least 14 to apply for a job as a sales associate. However, this limit – and the relevant work permits required – may vary from state to state.
Factory Connection Careers
The Factory Connection is always looking for sales associates, assistant managers, and store managers to run its stores. For other positions, it may be best to contact a store or the headquarters directly with regard to potential opportunities.
Sales Associate. The sales associate does not need to have any prior work experience. His/her job is to be positive and energetic, and to help the customers with their selections and purchases as needed.
Assistant Manager. The job of the assistant manager is to help the store manager open or close the store, supervise the sales associates, and ensure that the customers have a pleasant and productive shopping experience.
Store Manager. As the head of the store, the store manager is responsible for opening and closing, verifying transactions, and supervising the sales associates. He/she should also maintain a positive and friendly atmosphere inside the store, and to offer all-around help where needed.
Buyer. The buyer is charged with understanding the local trends of the community and using them to decide which products to order. It is also the buyer’s duty to negotiate with the vendors, and to maintain good relations with them.
Merchandiser. In this position, you should be able to analyze past data so as to forecast trends and stock appropriately for the future. You should also monitor selling performance and make adjustments as needed.
Executive Manager. The executive manager should work from the headquarters in Guntersville to oversee the major company operations. He/she should keep an eye on regional performances and coordinate with the district managers to launch initiatives as needed.
Operations Manager. The operations manager should understand current trends and be able to identify when they are changing. Working with past comparisons of expected versus achieved sales, he/she should adjust purchasing accordingly.
Human Resources Staff. Factory Connection requires HR staff to handle new applications, to schedule interviews, to help provide accommodation for those having to travel to the interview, and to organize the relevant paperwork.
District Manager. The district manager is responsible for managing all of the Factory Connection stores in his/her region. This means doing store walkthroughs, ensuring that all store managers are fulfilling their duties, and making sure that all stores operate according to company standards and guidelines.
Third Key Manager. If the store manager or assistant manager are for whatever reason absent, it is the third key manager’s responsibility to take on their leadership duties. This means opening and closing the store, working the cashier, and helping out the sales associates, when necessary.
Factory Connection Application
To apply to work at Factory Connection, it is first necessary to submit an application and then attend a short interview. This may be done online or in person.
Some stores may have printed applications ready for you to fill out. However, the best is to download the form from the company website and to take it over, completed, to the store where you want to apply. An online application is also possible on the company website (for sales associates and store managers).
The application form includes your personal info, any past misdemeanors or instances of being discharged, your educational/employment history, a few references, and a few lines about your skills and qualifications. There are some questions at the end which are intended to test your moral stances – you should answer these honestly but carefully.
The standard application does not ask for a résumé, and most store positions are unlikely to require it. If applying for a higher-tier job, follow the standard rule of presenting a professional document that clearly highlights your strong points as they relate to the position.
Based on past employee accounts, interviews at Factory Connection tend to be brief, to the point, and sometimes quite informal. When applying for the position of a sales associate, be aware that you may not get a “traditional interview”. Instead, they may ask you a few questions and then hire you, so act normal and you should be fine.
Things to Know About Factory Connection
The company is founded around the idea of selling discounted latest fashion to smaller communities – notably, to low-and-middle-income customers in smaller towns. As such, there is a very personal approach to the clients, as you are likely to see them again (possibly wearing what you sold them).
In terms of publicity, Factory Connection tends to keep a fairly low profile, only occasionally making the local news with the opening of a new store.
The company is known for providing its customers brand-name apparel at a 25% to 70% discount from the regular retail value. It does this by maintaining close relationships with the leading fashion manufacturers in the industry.
Factory Connection is an equal opportunity employer. Those who have to travel to their interview are encouraged to contact the company first so that it may help arrange for their accommodation.