Barnes & Noble Reviews

Updated 1 September 2014
Updated 1 September 2014
1,046 Reviews

3.3
1,046 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Michael Huseby
133 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It's nice to get a decent discount on books and have access to the titles (in 49 reviews)

  • The one thing that I can say about this company is that you get a pretty great employee discount (in 90 reviews)


Cons
  • Very limited in the opportunity to grow beyond minimum wage (in 68 reviews)

  • The company had some serious problems that turned a great part-time job into a so-so (in 48 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 for 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.  

    Great job for a bookworm

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

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

    Pros

    Quickly made friends with my co-workers and managers, which made being at work fun. Flexible schedule and good benefits.

    Cons

    Rude customers, but that's common for retail. Having to clean up after customers and their children. Difficult to find free time at times with this and full time job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Was very happy with my management. Wish they were more understanding of employees with multiple jobs though.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Great Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Music Department Manager  in  Saint Louis, MO (US)
    Current Employee - Music Department Manager in Saint Louis, MO (US)

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Laid back environment yet very professional, promotes from within, good benefits, upbeat work environment

    Cons

    Pay not huge. Retail environment can be challenging

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Good, and bad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Receiver  in  Edina, MN (US)
    Former Employee - Receiver in Edina, MN (US)

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Flexible hours, weekends off and great holiday pay and time off.

    Cons

    No promotion even though they said it happens, you have to be there for like 5years. Horrible tablet, and they want us to sell it. No raise

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    I consider my coworkers to be family, but moving up in the ranks takes years.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Bookseller & Barista  in  Battle Creek, MI (US)
    Current Employee - Bookseller & Barista in Battle Creek, MI (US)

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble part-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great healthcare and dental benefits. Paid vacations, personal time, and sick time. Very flexible with working hours.

    Cons

    Being promoted. Company needs to better communicate with stores about upcoming events and big news, like new devices. They also need to allow more hours to spend in each store so shrink loss will decrease.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They need to be better organized and hire more dependable employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Analyst  in  New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in New York, NY (US)

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

    Pros

    Hours, culture, benefits, work-life balance

    Cons

    Work Pressure, training, compensation, Industry

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Empathize with the employees

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Overall, I was happy

    Former Employee - Bookseller
    Former Employee - Bookseller

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The majority of my coworkers were pleasant book enthusiasts, which made going to work every day a lot more pleasant than other experiences I have had.

    Cons

    The pay is fairly terrible, but for a summer position, it's enough to make a little money if you can get the hours.

  9.  

    A fun place to work

    Former Employee - Bookseller  in  Charlottesville, VA (US)
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Charlottesville, VA (US)

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

    Pros

    A very fun place to work. Liked my coworkers a lot, had a good time and sometimes I forgot I was working. A great job for book lovers! Good benefits, too.

    Cons

    The pay was pretty low. If you don't like the sales aspect, it's probably really not the job for you.

  10.  

    Good place to work, changes needed

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

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Friendly management and coworkers
    Calm and enjoyable for a retail store
    Fun products to sell
    Few angry customers for retail (most people don't get too upset about books)

    Cons

    Loses too many customers to Amazon every day
    Hard to sell inferior NOOK to people who know the Kindle
    Hard to sell memberships knowing that no one really should buy one
    Low pay and not enough hours
    Becomes frustrating even as a low-level worker to see a good company struggling because of poor upper-level management decisions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    All businesses must adapt or die, books are no exception. If you cannot compete on price or quality, Amazon will take you out. Even we lowly booksellers know when the end is coming, and perhaps you should take our input, rather than worrying about us selling memberships no one needs.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Your normal retail manager job and responsibilities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Merchandise Manager  in  Norfolk, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Merchandise Manager in Norfolk, VA (US)

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Fair pay. If you are doing your job, you are usually busy. Very low turnaround for retail. Once people are in, they tend to stay which in turn develops a "extended family" feel due to the fact that you work with those same people for a while. If you're into it, there are a lot of responsibilities and many people rely on your decisions, reactions and attitude/personality. Some of the best benefits for retail.

    Cons

    Its mid to upper level retail management....you will be yelled at, cursed at and things thrown at you even. Horribly dumb questions (i.e. "Im looking for a book I saw 6 or 7 months ago in a Maryland store. It was green and had the word "the" in the title", "Can we check out books here like a library or just buy them?"), rude customers tat talk down to you, people that come to sit and read ALL day, every day, etc. There is a 1% chance of overtime after they transitioned to hourly scale from salary. Sometimes a lack or breakdown in communication from the corporate office.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advance notice for some company wide policies when they change. More sales floor decision flexibility. Mandatory raises (currently based on a numeric system during yearly reviews).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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