Build-A-Bear Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Build-A-Bear Reviews

Updated 19 March 2019
586 reviews

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3.6
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Sharon John
154 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "Not enough recognition, minimum wage" (in 33 reviews)

  • "No room for advancement and they get like 4-8 hours a week" (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Perfect Work Enviroment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Bear Builder in Plymouth, England
    Current Employee - Bear Builder in Plymouth, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Build-A-Bear part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing management
    Great at giving feedback on your performance
    Generous discount
    Loving work environment

    Cons

    Apparently there is a lack of hours after Christmas but I wouldn't know


  2. "Pretty fun, but pay doesn't reflect the responsibilities expected of you. Not so "pawsome"."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Build-A-Bear part-time

    Pros

    -My team and managers are great- so supportive and nice, so no complaints at all there. The general atmosphere is very encouraging and fun.
    -Honey pay- for every 8 hours worked, you receive an extra hour's pay which is very nice when you only work part-time.
    -Generous employee discount (30% regularly, and 50% at Christmas). (And head office sends everyone a bear at Christmas which is sweet).
    -Training is done gradually so you don't really feel you can't handle what's being thrown at you.
    -Good experience of working with kids/ delivering excellent customer service.

    Cons

    Along with the standard cons of working in retail (rude, entitled customers, run off your feet at the weekend/ Christmas etc.), there are quite a number of cons...

    Bear-Builders (sales associates) are paid minimum wage, which is appalling considered the amount we are expected to do- regular 'retail stuff' like till work and restocking, plus heavily interacting with all customers, building the bears, being a child's entertainer, going above and beyond for every single customer, cleaning the shop, and hosting kids' parties (which has no extra pay whatsoever), all while maintaining a bright and bubbly persona. Contracts are 4-hour-a-week only for Bear-Builders, which is hard when this is an only job; and number of hours worked can vary vastly between weeks, with a single 4-hour shift one week, and 25 hours the next.

    You are forced to up-sell extras to every guest constantly, even kids and grandparents just looking for a bear for their grandchild- it gets very tiring and I feel like it's really unethical. Each employee also has personal sales targets we are expected to meet, and a certain level of stress comes with this- it is a lot to expect from a minimum wage job with little prospect of advancement. Also, there is an expectation to pounce on and greet every single customer with a scripted set of greetings and questions as soon as they enter the shop (it all seems very American and in-your-face); and so you're fully aware of how irritating you're being, but you have to as it's part of the job. This also puts you directly in the line of fire for being yelled at by customers who want to be left alone.

    Breaks are very short (or non-existent) for long, tiring shifts.

    You're expected to clean up vomit and pee occasionally...

    Parents just straight up filming you without asking your permission.

    In short, this is an okay job to have if you're desperate for work or just need a weekend job to see you through college, but it's soul destroying, physically and mentally draining, and you're paid peanuts for the work you're expected to do.

    Advice to Management

    Consider paying your Bear-Builders more than the minimum wage- our responsibilities reflect so much more than that. Additionally, it might be an idea to create some different tiers of contracts, i.e. 4-hour/ 8-hour/ 16-hour a week contracts so people able to work more than one day a week can have a bit more consistency between paychecks and workloads.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Sales Assistant at Build a Bear"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bear Builder
    Former Employee - Bear Builder
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Build-A-Bear part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Every day was different, can be good fun. The staff are lovely people, friends for life.

    Cons

    There was a lot of unnecessary pressure on sales assistants, many managers prefer to delegate tasks than muck in themselves. This only becomes more frustrating as time goes on.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Sales Associate"

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

    I worked at Build-A-Bear part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    There isn't really a lot to learn
    You just need to push for sales

    Cons

    The customer the shop attracts tend to be more spoilt
    At peak times, mostly on weekends in the Summer, the store was incredibly busy
    There's not much incentive to work there for sales associates
    Managers were mostly in the back because they didn't want to deal with the shop
    Pay was close to minimum wage
    The only benefits we could get were 20% off on the bear skins only not in conjunction with other offers, and a free BAB pen
    Not much flexibility with shifts but that is with most retail

    Advice to Management

    Integrate with all employees regardless of their role in the store
    Don't ask employees to do things you wouldn't do yourself
    Don't just put up a front when management come to inspect the store


  5. "Bear Builder!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Build-A-Bear part-time

    Pros

    Discount on bears, majority of staff were smiley

    Cons

    0 hour contracts, pushed to sell underwear (£3) for bears to grandmother's who just wanted to treat their grandchildren.

    Advice to Management

    Be happier, don't always assume we're machines, we need a break during shifts!


  6. "My favourite job ever but the worst pay!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Build-A-Bear full-time

    Pros

    The job itself is the best I’ve ever had - genuinely finished each shift feeling happy and that I’d made someone’s day. Very rewarding!

    Cons

    - poor pay
    - lack of hours
    - not much development available to someone wanting to progress into management.

    Advice to Management

    Managers always tried to give me as many hours as possible however it’s the company who made it hard with such a small payroll! The amount bear builders are paid, compared to how much work is expected from them is ridiculous - deserve a lot more for all the work we have to do.


  7. "Loved it"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - ASM- Assistant Store Manager in Bury, East of England, England
    Former Employee - ASM- Assistant Store Manager in Bury, East of England, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Build-A-Bear full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great place to work, fun, fab discounts

    Cons

    Not enough recognition, minimum wage

    Advice to Management

    Managers should receive more recognition from higher up to keep them motivated

  8. "Decent place to work for short term"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Build-A-Bear part-time

    Pros

    Lovely people - everyone was so friendly and sweet. Dealing with kids was often cute

    Cons

    Management took no control over shifts. There was a railway strike (told in advance) so I informed my manager I wouldn’t be able to do my shift that day (it was roughly 3wks away) and if I could swap and was told to take it up with coworkers and not him. Not the best pay


  9. "Enjoyable"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Build-A-Bear part-time

    Pros

    Fun to work with children

    Cons

    Not paid for call out time


  10. "A short time job."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Assistant/Bear Builder in Edinburgh, Scotland
    Current Employee - Sales Assistant/Bear Builder in Edinburgh, Scotland
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Build-A-Bear part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -30% discount, 50% in december.
    - Decent wages if you are over 18.

    Cons

    - Poor wages for those under 18.
    - A lot of four shifts so they don't have to give you a break.
    - The company put a lot of pressure on staff to meet sales targets depending on deals that are on and typically if you preform poorly you get less shifts.

    Advice to Management

    This company have to stop paying people based on their age.