Barnes & Noble
3.3 of 5 978 reviews
www.barnesandnoble.com New York, NY 5000+ Employees

Barnes & Noble Reviews

Updated Jul 8, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.3 977 reviews

                             

59% Approve of the CEO

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Michael Huseby

(114 ratings)

61% of employees recommend this company to a friend
174 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    I worked at various BNs overs a 5 year period

    Lead Bookseller (Former Employee)
    Honolulu, HI

    ProsWhen you have a team that's excited to be there and you all have a mutual understanding to do the best that you can. This job is one of the best I've ever had.

    ConsUnfortunately this company is struggling so much that it quickly become a toxic environment to work in. I felt in the end that they didn't care about their employees.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    pleasant coworkers and customers, inconsistent management, terrible corporate culture

    Bookseller (Former Employee)
    Mesa, AZ

    Prosother coworkers were generally pleasant and good to work with. working with books is fun and the customers were usually pleasant

    Consconstant screaming kids in the kids section, corporate dictation of every move, corporate profit maximization leads to radical payroll cuts and understaffing, management can be either very nice and competent or completely rude and disrespectful, usually the latter. insultingly low pay with little to no chance for advancement

    Advice to Senior Managementif you are going to understaff all your stores, the customers aren't getting any personal attention and might as well be shopping online from a competitor

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Killed My Love of B&N

    Part Time Book Seller (Current Employee)
    Memphis, TN

    ProsThe one thing that I can say about this company is that you get a pretty great employee discount. 30% off of books and 50% off at the café. I believe you even get 15% percent off of Nook purchases and outside of sales the company doesn't really offer many discounts on the nook. My fellow co-workers are also really great and we're like a little family. You have a pretty strict dress code when it comes to clothes but you're allowed to have tattoos, you can have piercings and you can have wild hair and I think it's great that the store embraces their employees individuality like that.

    ConsThe co-workers that have remained there. Most people only last a month. I don't know if it's only the particular location I work at or if it's the company in general but people hardly ever last more than a month there before they have to leave. The manager is just condescending and rude.

    There's so much focus on membership over actual customer service and they've just recently implemented cards so we can keep track of how many memberships and gift cards we sell during a shift at the registers so the managers have one more thing to criticize about us.

    The pay is low. Minimum wage or $0.25 more if you have some experience and there's no real chance for raises or promotions. They say they prefer to hire within the company but when the opportunity arises they tell us they prefer to find someone from outside because we do not have enough experience (then we part-time booksellers spend our time training them). There's really no way to become full-time and enjoy the benefits that come with like...like getting holidays off. For Memorial Day, the 4th of July, etc. all full-time employees get a paid day off, part-time employees all have to work because that really inspires loyalty.

    If you dare to call in sick the manager is very, very rude and then your hours are mysteriously cut. And while they're hiring more people because we don't have enough coverage.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMaybe management could learn to care about their employees. And maybe the district managers could actually check in on the stores and TALK to the employee instead of just the managers.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Might as well work at Starbucks

    Cafe Server (Current Employee)
    Birmingham, AL

    ProsFood service job with a steady rate of pay

    ConsNo extra cash during rushes like you would receive waiting tables. For as much chaos you have to deal with, you might as well work art Starbucks and receive at least some sort of healthcare. You get 8/hr and an occasional tip a B&N, that's it.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTrain new hires on one part of the line at a time, i.e the back bar one day, then the front bar the next. It would make learning the drinks less confusing and easier to learn. I understand sales goals and wanting to meet them, but its not the end of the world if your off by one sandwich.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Not impressed

    Assistant Store Manager (Former Employee)

    ProsDiscount, cafe in store, great benefits.

    ConsPoor training for new staff.

    Advice to Senior ManagementInvest in your people.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    More work, low wage, barely there pay raise, and no opportunities for advancement.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsEmployee discounts of 30% for books, 50% at the cafe and 20% cds/dvds. Great way to feed your love for books and there's always different things you can do that will keep you busy.

    ConsThe stress from customer servicing a lot of people but not enough staff to help you, will wear you out fast even with the most enthusiastic. On top of that, you get a lot of responsibilities with hardly any pay increase. Being versatile and eager to help does not translate to job advancement. When there's a job opening for an important position, they don't tell you except for the ones nobody wants. Most often, they would have somebody transferred rather than hire from within the store you're working at. Raise is $0.25 and $0.50 is so rare that people who get it must be either a superwoman/ man doing 5 people workload.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe computers and system needs to be upgraded in your older stores, have their bugs fixed and just plain invest in having them help us help customers. It's annoying when you try to print the receipt after ordering something from BN.COM only to have the browsers unable to open them because they are not upgraded. Wifi connection is also very slow. Imagine how embarrassing it is that the customer is able to pull it up using their phone faster than our computers can on the internet. This does not should award-winning customer service.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    So glad to be gone

    Barista (Former Employee)

    ProsFor a person in love with literature, I was thrilled to get this job. There are decent discounts on books and music, and the café food is lovely.

    ConsManagment was all over the map, with 6 or so managers and none of them communicated with each other. Very often requests for days off would be ignored (even after multiple conversations), and when the schedule was posted without the time off I was painted as the one in the wrong even when I gave plenty of notice. Hours are inconsistent, and the managment's treatment of the cafe workers is slightly unfair. They are paid less than booksellers, but have to not only be cross-trained with the book floor as well as cafe, but are expected to keep up the same sales goals as booksellers.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWorry less about memberships, because they're a scam anyways.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Low salaries and no opportunity to advance

    Bookseller (Former Employee)
    Warwick, RI

    ProsCo-workers are avid readers and I loved working in an environment where healthy discussions were encouraged and plenty. Being part of events and interacting with customers can be very rewarding at times. Unlike a lot of retail environments, I didn't encounter cattiness and ignorant co-workers. As an eclectic thinker, I felt very welcome and respected.

    ConsAs a bookseller, most of us got minimum wage and a sporadic work schedule. I worked for two and a half years and got a 25 cent raise at the very end. During holiday season, I asked to have more hours and I was granted a temporary full time position on the condition that they would reduce my salary at the end of the holidays. This was quite unfair and I couldn't believe when I heard it. Anyway, I was asking for a full time position for over a year but was told by managers that it would take years for someone to get there. Meanwhile, co-workers who had roughly been employed the same time I did, got full time positions. They also got many of our managers from other stores and cities instead of promoting current employees. I also asked for them to give me steady hours or cooperate with me in terms of hours with a second job, but that was discouraged. I didn't understand why. I have two undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Computer Science. I have several years of work experience under my belt and I work very hard. I loved my job and my regular customers there but it was not worth holding on to it for the reasons above.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMicromanaging is neither good for you nor your employees. It lowers their confidence and they will not cooperate with you in return. Stop competing with Amazon when it comes to electronic readers. Either get rid of Nook or invest in a better operating system for it. Hardware wise, it is so much stronger than any tablet out there so market that aspect of it. Also, raise the salaries or decrease the number of employees. How do you expect someone to live of $7.25/hour 15-20 hours a week? Not all your employees are in school and looking for those minimal hours.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Good at first, but any sign of adversity don't expect things to get better.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsYou get to be around books all day

    The employee book discount 30%,

    The Cafe Discount %50.

    Working with generally cool people

    Can be pretty lax

    Making connections with customers over books, music, and movies.

    ConsYou are only as good as your last bookseller report regardless of what skills you bring to the table whether books, music, movies, communications. If you do not make %2 (this is harder than it sounds) in membership sales every week, don't expect to work here long.

    Disorganized management.

    Poor communication

    Poor training

    Managers who actively avoid customer interaction.

    A fun job until you are thrown on a register and forgotten about months at time.

    Awful hours. Expect many days off, or working a second job.

    Morning Meetings have become completely arbitrary and a waste time.

    All technology you will interact with besides Nook will be outdated

    No sense of employee value

    Incredibly high employee turnover resulting in the loss of Membership revenue which = managers breathing down everyone's neck.

    You will work plenty of closing shifts and expected to return before opening.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYour company is eating itself alive. You cannot expect your stores to stay open when even B&N.com offers better prices. Our store is literally losing hundreds of dollars of crucial sales everyday because it is more important to maintain an arrogant notion that someone is not going to wait for what they need. My store is running little staff even on busy weekends, because you cannot comprehend competitive pricing.

    The PDT system is an inefficient hindrance, please spend less time thinking of jargon you can use in the Planograms and actually address and fix our booksellers main tool other than the worst search engine imaginable to look for products. We are losing money because we cannot locate a product either through the system, or an item being misplaced due to lack of confidence in the tools that we use everyday. Cashwrap scanners are hardly functional also eliminating one of the companies "Core Values", Fast Cashiering.

    No one wants a Membership, that, after tax gives extremely little benefit, lower the cost of a membership, or up the discount, or get rid of it altogether. One of the core values "Fast Cashiering" is near impossible when I'm pitching 5 different things, and lets hope to god I'm not trying to sell them a Cheesecake. A customer is less likely to want to become a Barnes and Noble Member if they spent upwards of 10 minutes looking around for help and cannot find any due to lack of staff.

    I've had nearly 10 years in retail, I know how to talk to people, I know how to get the product they want in their hands, I have stopped several thefts, I do all the tasks that are asked, and I greet and make sure everyone who comes to my department is taken care of, but when you consider my contribution to your company to be how many memberships I have sold and tell me that I'm doing an "Ok" job based on a statistic, this immediately tells me my skills would be better used elsewhere.

    This company will by lucky to limp to 2024, let alone 2019 with the rate it's going. I have no idea who the demographic is that our store is meant to cater too. I've never seen upper management so hellbent on upsetting our dwindling patrons at every turn.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Abusive Management

    "Nook Seller" (Former Employee)
    Pensacola, FL

    ProsThe discount and the occasional cool customer.

    ConsVerbally abusive management with unreal expectations and goals. They play favorites with employees worse than any job I've had prior to it. Management is unable to take any criticism and will lash out at their employees. They have actually forced out good employees by bullying them and with threats of firing and damaging any future employment opportunities merely based on whether they like a person or not.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCorporate needs to investigate various improprieties being committed by upper management before a class action lawsuit is taken up with the store.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Barnes & Noble reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Barnes & Noble CEO Michael Huseby. All 174 reviews posted anonymously by Barnes & Noble employees.