Marc Bence/for metro edmonton


Tabatha Tierney, a clerk at Etzio clothing store on Whyte Avenue, displays some of the latest fashions yesterday. A U of A study has found that customers are more likely to buy clothing if a good-looking salesperson has touched or worn it.

Businesses that hire attractive people — or have employees that are well groomed — are more than likely profitable, says a new study out of the University of Alberta.

The study, led by Jennifer Argo of the U of A’s School Of Business, also concluded that good-looking people end up selling more merchandise than average looking people.

Argo says the study found that if an attractive person of the opposite gender has touched or even worn a garment inside a clothing store, a customer is still more than likely going to buy the item.

"More favourably, they are going to pay more for that product as compared to a garment that’s been touched by an average and attractive person," she says.

Lori Therrien, who owns the Etzio clothing store on Whyte Avenue, says she mostly agrees with the study, but believes it takes personality to sell products rather than looks.

"I always tell my staff to play to their own strengths, and I look for staff who will make a good impression," she says.

The study also found that people often look beyond the product when they go shopping to make a decision on what they want to pay for something, and staff appearance is a contributing factor.

However, Argo cautions businesses to be careful about hiring staff based on looks because of discrimination laws.