Waterstone's Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Waterstone's Reviews

Updated 14 January 2019
198 reviews

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2.7
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Waterstone's Managing Director James Daunt
James Daunt
87 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Working with books, in a lovely atmosphere with lovely colleagues" (in 16 reviews)

  • "Staff discount is very yummy, probably too yummy" (in 32 reviews)

Cons
  • "Many stores have only one member of staff for most of the day" (in 19 reviews)

  • "Minimum wage pay even for key holders with responsibility" (in 18 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Excellent company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in London, England
    Former Employee - Sales Assistant in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Waterstone's part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I worked there a few years ago, however it was brilliant.

    Excellent management
    Training
    and benefits.

    Cons

    Probably less roles available because internet shopping etc


  2. "Bookseller"

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

    I worked at Waterstone's full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    If you enjoy working with books and book people, there is truly no better place to work. Heaps of review copies to take home, and I have met some of the most inspiring people I know at Waterstones (staff and customers)

    Cons

    The wage is not *really* enough to live on with a family if you work near London. An unbelievable opportunity for students looking for a summer job, but the company is keen on retaining its talent and so working inconsistently is not really possible.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Some pros but more cons"

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

    I worked at Waterstone's part-time

    Pros

    Generous discount, working with like minded people, opportunity to be surrounded by books, sharing passion for reading with customers

    Cons

    Climate of bullying within some stores which is not dealt with, ineffective middle management regularly giving contradictory advice, promotions/bonuses given according to manager favourites rather than staff merit- lots of very unethical stuff going on which is unfortunate because the job itself should be lovely but is ruined by the company


  4. "People think this is a nice job, but unfortunately it isn't"

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

    I worked at Waterstone's full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    50% staff discount.
    Get to work with books and nice like-minded people.

    Cons

    Minimum wage pay even for key holders with responsibility.
    No paperwork/contract of employment.
    Understaffed stores.
    Staff holidays seem to be used to benefit the company, not the staff.
    Poor support and communication for new starters.
    Questionable ethics in treatment of staff.
    Poor management structure and working relationships.
    Disorganised.

    Advice to Management

    I think the company could modernise it's thinking, be more forward thinking and understand that struggling stores won't progress without investment (such as enough staff). Staff should be treated better, valued and provided with better support and pay. Higher management should value the input and ideas of store managers and store staff.


  5. "Good job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Bookseller in Milton Keynes, England
    Current Employee - Lead Bookseller in Milton Keynes, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Waterstone's part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good discount
    Good pay
    Nice people
    Nice customers

    Cons

    Sometimes can be very corporate the way we have to recommend fixed books chosen by company to customers.
    Poor communication
    Not very good at giving overtime

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your sales associates more!


  6. Helpful (2)

    "mised"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Bookseller in Canterbury, England
    Former Employee - Senior Bookseller in Canterbury, England
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Waterstone's part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    If you love books it is a great place to work.
    Colleagues a great mixture of people.
    Get to meet some really interesting customers and opens your every to new books to read!
    Lovely atmosphere.
    You can really make a difference to people, we used to get a lot of customers for whom the store was a social and intellectual lifeline.
    Great discount.
    Events are great if you are at a larger store.
    Really you have a limited amount of responsibility - work is left a work.

    Cons

    HR operation not great - and this is coming from someone who now works in HR. Culture of bullying left to flourish in some stores.
    Limited opportunities for career development - very much based on whose face fits.
    I had a really awful manager, but they were a long serving employee who they would not do anything about despite various complaints. Hence the HR issues.
    Pay poor but it is essentially retail so in line with the market.
    Rota was always a bit of a shambles. Holiday hard to book etc.

    Advice to Management

    Improve your working culture and HR visibility. Do not rely on people's love of books meaning they put up with poor culture. It is unethical.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Wouldn’t recommend long term"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senor Bookseller in London, England
    Current Employee - Senor Bookseller in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Waterstone's full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good discount
    Opportunity to get advanced reading copies

    Cons

    Understaffed
    Underpaid
    Very little room for progression

  8. "Bookseller"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Lovely people
    Beautiful shops
    Good training
    You learn so much about books

    Cons

    Very low pay
    Everyone is extremely overqualified for what they are doing
    Rude customers


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Bookseller"

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

    I worked at Waterstone's full-time

    Pros

    Working with something you feel passionate about.Customers are usually pleasant if sometimes high maintenance.

    Cons

    Very little appreciation for your efforts. Booksellers are the foundation for the revival in the company yet they are constantly taken for granted.

    Advice to Management

    The autonomy that James Daunt supposedly wants in his stores will never be achieved with the constant middle management interference that shops suffer from.


  10. "My Favourite Part-time Job That I've Had"

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

    I worked at Waterstone's part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Really lovely like-minded colleagues
    The stores work in clusters, which are all tailored to the local area, so there was room to be independent and contribute ideas
    You can get a 'behind the scenes' view of publishing, and sometimes attend events and meet authors
    Get a sneaky look at books before they're published
    50% discount

    Cons

    There is a lot to know- so many different genres that you are expected to have some knowledge of which can be daunting for new starters
    You are pushed to sell the books of the month (I personally don't like having to hard sell)