Barnes & Noble

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Barnes & Noble Reviews

Updated 4 March 2015
Updated 4 March 2015
1,266 Reviews
3.4
1,266 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Michael Huseby
196 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It's nice to get a decent discount on books and have access to the titles (in 42 reviews)

  • The one thing that I can say about this company is that you get a pretty great employee discount (in 108 reviews)


Cons
  • While the pay is a little above minimum wage, the hours make for some very small paychecks (in 79 reviews)

  • The company had some serious problems that turned a great part-time job into a so-so (in 61 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great People, Unfortunate Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Children's Lead Bookseller
    Former Employee - Children's Lead Bookseller

    I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Working with other book lovers and readers created a great atmosphere of sharing recommendations and discussing titles throughout the day. My fellow booksellers were the reason I stayed in this job. The employee discount on books is okay, as is the book borrowing option. I greatly appreciated that the store did not open early or stay open late at all for the holidays, as I find the whole Black Friday phenomenon detestable.

    Cons

    Very poor pay grade and no recognition from the corporation itself that minimum wage is an impossible wage to survive on. There are no benefits for part-time, and the full-time benefits are sad. There is no real opportunity for advancement, which is unfortunate as there are many great employees who would do the company a real service if they were promoted and given the space to flourish. Dealing with customers can be demoralising, as anyone who works in retail will understand. The push to sell certain books, the membership card, the nook, etc., constantly interfered with the personalised, thoughtful, friendly service and assistance that I and my fellow booksellers so truly wanted to offer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cut the constant, multiple promotions (and the constant hounding of employees over them) that interfere with the personalised service your booksellers can offer. If customers want canned promotions, they have the entire internet for that.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    As good as retail will ever get - great business, good benefits, but concerning trends

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Merchandising Manager in Orange, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Merchandising Manager in Orange, CA (US)

    I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    As good as it will ever get for retail. Great community of people to work with. Full-timers get great benefits. Benefits extended to same-sex partnerships even where not legally required. Books are fun.

    Cons

    People just get weird around bookstores. High sales expectations (memberships). Increasing trend towards bare minimum staffing of a store... frustrating when the main advantage over online shopping is customer service.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allot more hours to store so they can staff to meet customer's expectations. Managers are doing what they can with what they have, which isn't much.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Good company to work for while I was taking college courses.

    Former Employee - Bookseller
    Former Employee - Bookseller

    I worked at Barnes & Noble

    Pros

    The company was flexible with my schedule.

    Cons

    Do not have too many cons. More training in certain areas.

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  5.  

    awesome

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Barnes & Noble

    Pros

    flexible schedule, vacation time for even part-time employees

    Cons

    bureaucratic higher up stuff that happens anywhere in chain stores

  6.  

    This is a wonderful company to work for because of the people, who are passionate about books but also about each other.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Store Manager in Pittsburgh, PA (US)
    Current Employee - Store Manager in Pittsburgh, PA (US)

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble

    Pros

    It's the booksellers who make this company so worthwhile. They love what they do and their knowledge of books is immense. The company also provides a great deal of flexibility in scheduling as well as the best work life balance a retail management position can offer.

    Cons

    Technology is still not as up to date as it should be, especially when the efficiency expectations continue to get higher every year. Schedules are still done in Excel, which is incredibly time consuming and takes managers off of the floor more than necessary. There is also not a great deal of talent development for store managers to move forward in the company. We spend a lot of time trying to hire / recruit and only want top talent but do not compensate well for it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are great opportunities to develop booksellers and managers within the stores but you are limited to antiquated technology. The company is slow to change and stay up to date so you have to make the best with what you have. You will put in a lot of work that could be made much easier with better technology and the compensation does not necessarily match the effort.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Wonderful people to work with, limited advancement opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lead Cafe Server
    Former Employee - Lead Cafe Server

    I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very friendly co workers and managers, they were great about accommodating scheduling and vacation requests. Everyone worked well together and helped the store run smoothly.

    Cons

    In 7 years, I only witnessed a few people get promotions within my store. New managers were hired from outside the company or transferred from other stores.
    Raises were annual, but in tiny increments.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Support dedicated employees and help them grow into management positions.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Absolutely the BEST place I have ever worked retail!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Bookseller in Brookfield, WI (US)
    Current Employee - Bookseller in Brookfield, WI (US)

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble part-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    -staff is super friendly and flexible
    -management really cares about how you feel at the job
    -they work with other jobs and school hours
    -everything is great
    -super great discounts (50% in cafe, 30% on the bookfloor and music dept., employee appreciation days in the holiday season-45%)

    Cons

    -the only drawback is they really, really push you for memberships, and if you have a hard time getting them, they somewhat devaluate your ability as a bookseller

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9.  

    Love my job!

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble

    Pros

    Family environment with coworkers and customers

    Cons

    None! I've bee with the company over 13 years

  10.  

    !

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble

    Pros

    Good when things make sense

    Cons

    Not good if sales are bad

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