Barnes & Noble

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  www.barnesandnoble.com

Barnes & Noble Reviews

Updated 15 December 2014
Updated 15 December 2014
1,184 Reviews
3.4
1,184 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Michael Huseby
173 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 an 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.  

    Bookseller

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

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

    Pros

    Excellent working atmosphere for part time employees, book worms and self styled geeks of all types. If you have an excellent customer service attitude and a lot of energy, this is the job for you.

    Cons

    Hours will vary. Slow times of the year you may only get 8 hours a week. Be prepared to work extremely hard during the holiday season. This job is more physical than you think.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep communication lines open with all employees. If they are under stress due to lack of hours, try to be accommodating.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    Just Great

    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time

    Pros

    Fast paced and ever changing

    Cons

    None while I was working

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    Great atmoshere

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

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    good employee discount, fair salary

    Cons

    no chance for advancement, work holidays

    Recommends
  6.  

    Working conditions, Worker Relations, and Benefits- unbeatable in retail

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

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Managers are scrutinized and judged on their relationships with booksellers constantly. National, regional, and district focus is put on employee relations and promoting a great work environment. This gives one of the most welcoming atmospheres I've ever been in for work. And, of course, bookstores draw interesting employees. Recent product changes have drawn the attention of more extroverted, salesmanship driven applicants, which brings a great balance, but does not overwhelm the more quiet, explorative base of the usual applicants.

    The company also spends on employee work conditions, offering paid time off to every employee that has been with the company for six months, offering larger than average discounts in store, special weeks of increased discounts, partnerships with other major services trading discount (e.g. sprint and AT&T, even stuff like flowers.com), offers salary advances, phenomenal insurance to full-time employees, constant bookseller community communications and recognition, and a California standards-based work/break system.

    Overall, you cannot beat the usual environment at Barnes and Noble.

    Being a national chain, surviving the recession and the four horsemen of amazon, and opening to more product lines shows longevity for business. A concentration on business ethics, research, and transparency gives great experience to all levels of employment that you just don't find with many retailers. Booksellers are fully in the know about sales, trends, company direction, goals, short fallings, almost everything affecting the company. You really become invested and part of a company, in the real sense of the word,not just a labor purchase.

    Company moves people up from within. There is quick vertical movement in the retail chain from a good training program and tendency to trust in employees.

    Cons

    Full-time positions have drastically dropped in past two years. Entry level positions can no longer be full-time. This has left the company with a vacuum of expertise on the lower end. Though they have confronted this problem head on with a new streamlined training program, it will take time for the previous level of acumen to be brought back into the company.

    Managers for Barnes and Noble did not need to worry about turn over so much in the past due to the strong focus the company invests in booksellers, but with recent organizational changes, it will take time for managers to handle the new business model. Task effort and allocation has not been reduced in the meantime so it has take longer than necessary to culture proficiency.

    Also, very low starting wages. Stead raises, yearly, not impressive without promotion in the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The management that booksellers interact with tries very hard to meet company standards, very high set standards. If a bookseller uses all the resources available to them from corporate, they will never have trouble with management. Corporate will always lean to the side of the bookseller. Managers are very much held accountable to ethical decisions regarding bookseller work conditions.

    Advice to the company would be to draw more towards core sales and hand selling. We can pull fluidity towards our digital developments better by attacking the margins, the upselling, than with looking for the next bog trend with product acquisition. Pulling away from a consignment model is leaving the retail side open to risk, which we inherently have to carry already in the digital branch by breaking into the market. If we lowered loss on acquisitions, increased sales marginally, we could direct the money towards marketing our digital devices better. Our competitors have inferior products, but are beating us on word of mouth.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Although starting pay is low, working conditions are great, managers very helpful.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Part Time Book Seller
    Current Employee - Part Time Book Seller

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

    Pros

    Professional and polite interview by assistant manager and store manager. All managers and head cashiers are very hard-working and energetic. All current staff are very savvy about business and product. All managers work well with people, especially with new hires. My bookseller position is seasonal and part-time. After three weeks of working training, my job performance was judged satisfactory to work in a department unassisted. Time off policies are flexible and requests are non-confrontational. I am unfamiliar with promotion policy as it is not anticipated for my seasonal work. Online paycheck deposit is easy. Pay is weekly, with a delay of one week, standard just about everywhere, I think. I had worked in a BN store long ago, but with no cashiering responsibilities at the time. Extensive cashiering experience is an almost sure way to get hired, but I must note that their training program is terrific, and step-by-step, and one is mentored all the way through. Intelligent people are key; one must be able to take charge of the position and treat the position as an entrepreneur. If you are not comfortable with treating the general public with respect, despite their differences, this is not the best place for you. The cafe in most stores is really well-run. Employee discounts are great. Vacation policy is pretty standard around the US today, I think. Starts with one week a year and goes upward to a max of 5 weeks. As a national employer they must abide by FMLA, so you will not be penalized by medical time off for yourself or immediate family. The store does major hiring for the Winter season holidays, and periodically other times. To qualify for an interview, contact your state or local employment assistance agencies or make an appointment with the store manager to interview for employment when they plan to hire. In other words, be prepared, it will be appreciated as the company will know you plan to do well on the job.

    Cons

    Very few cons. One is that shifts are often needed to be switched with little warning. Be ready for any position on short notice! Old equipment goes down with no warning; most registers are very outdated and worn.
    Marketing determines stock placement, so one may find a book in two different places in the store. It's planned that way, and you must get used to it. One week off and you will be lost if you don't walk the floor when you return.
    Office culture is "what office?" People are rarely in any office, even the store manager. As I mentioned in Pro's, there is little of the usual pecking order, although it's clear than some people are very skilled. I've never seen any employee be put down by a manager. Managers are on the floor all the time, working hard with everyone else, one of the few places I've seen that happen. There is no group of employees hiding out anywhere in either of the stores I have worked in. Check out a Barnes and Noble and see for yourself.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Update store equipment. It's old and malfunctioning, which slows down fast and accurate cashiering.
    Update the on-hand training manuals, which are out of date with current practices.
    Add one week a year to vacation time accrual, with partial accrual available.
    Update employee online access to employee status from home computers, and make management email addresses available to employees for important messaging with managers. Notes can get lost.
    PDT's are old and malfunctioning. They need replacement or repair. Not enough are fully operational.
    These are normal and run-of-the-mill equipment problems and should not be happening in this day and age.
    More training about selling and up-selling is needed.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Best Retail Work Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Barista; Bookseller
    Former Employee - Barista; Bookseller

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

    Pros

    Managers willing to work with you on schedule. Pay equal to or better than most retail positions. Managers take time to make things fun for employees by providing food or creating team building activities.

    Cons

    Cafe work can be stressful. Few opportunities for promotion.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Overall a good atmosphere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Head Cashier in Hackensack, NJ (US)
    Former Employee - Head Cashier in Hackensack, NJ (US)

    I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, 50% off cafe items, friendly staff, room for advancement, benefits for F/T.

    Cons

    Learn the job on the fly, limited training, holidays can get crazy though time moves quicker, low starting pay

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do a bit better job discussing promotion from within. P/T employees should get some tier of benefits.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    pretty decent

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Cafe Server in Fayetteville, NC (US)
    Current Employee - Cafe Server in Fayetteville, NC (US)

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble

    Pros

    honestly, I love my coworkers, and the environment is super progressive as a whole. I'm super over-qualified to work as a cafe server but i stay here because they're cool with tattoos/piercings and very LGBTQ friendly, even in the conservative neck of north carolina (fayetteville). The customers are hit or miss, some are super nice and some are not so nice to put it kindly, but i've never worked anywhere else so i'm not sure if that's only in military towns where everyone has a transient mentality.

    Cons

    benefits suck, well rather, lack thereof I should say. Pay sucks, in fayetteville at least. Most of the managers on book floor are incompetent, like how they got hired I'd love to know. As i've mentioned earlier, the customers are mostly irritable retired military so they're mean and you've stained their day by your mere existence and the fact that you're a millenial. Besides that, though, it's alright.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    honestly, benefits would be super. Corporate Starbucks employees get a 401k, bluecross blueshield insurance, free take home coffee grounds every week, free coffee. Stop making me pay half price for my coffee. It's insulting on top of the fact that I get NO TIPS. They seriously need to work on that. let me put out a tip jar. don't charge me for the coffee. that's all I ask.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Good company and work environment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Bsp Engineer in Palo Alto, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Bsp Engineer in Palo Alto, CA (US)

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

    Pros

    flexible working hours and freedom

    Cons

    Product Management is not good. some features are bad.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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