Barnes & Noble Reviews

Updated April 23, 2015
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219 Reviews
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Michael Huseby
33 Ratings

219 Employee Reviews

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  1. Cafe Barista

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

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Free Coffee (that's about it)

    Cons

    Erratic Scheduling, asked to do out of description work, low pay, no benefits

  2. Barista

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

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The hours were ok also, the discount was nice.

    Cons

    The pay was not very competitive to the other stores in my area. There was also a lot of hostility between the workers and management.

    Advice to Management

    It was difficult to understand who was in charge. It would have been helpful to have a clear line of authority

  3. Helpful (3)

    No room for growth in the cafe

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    You get to experience and learn the ways of the barista, the sole source of most of America's cup of joe, frappuccino, etc. Can be "fun" at times I guess. Get to meet both interesting and creepy people alike.

    Cons

    There's absolutely no room for growth. I worked with the company for 5 years and was never offered an opportunity to level up. People in the cafe are treated very differently than bookside. For example, no tip cup. Why? Also, book side can purchase cafe items and have them on the book floor, but cafe workers aren't allowed to to buy coffee from the cafe that they work in and keep it with them. Very unfair treatment.

    Advice to Management

    Be more fair to your cafe employees. Clearly cafe workers have it tougher than book side employees. I am very bitter towards higher management of the business.

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  5. Poorly paid

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Barnes & Noble

    Pros

    Sense of community among coworkers

    Cons

    Pays nothing, treated poorly by management

  6. too heartless

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

    I worked at Barnes & Noble

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good hours, can pick up days, adjustable hours, not much else sorry.

    Cons

    Only temp, even if promised regular employment,

    Advice to Management

    stop dicking people around and dont fire anyone on false hearsay

  7. good coworkers, terrible corporate culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Mesa, AZ
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Mesa, AZ

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    work itself is enjoyable, customers and coworkers are usually pleasant, what's not to like about working with books? that's why employees stay there for years despite being treated like cattle by corporate managers

    Cons

    staff is incredibly underpaid and undervalued, corporate rules cut payroll hours to the point where one can't help customers or do their job effectively

    Advice to Management

    give employees raises, quit cutting hours.

  8. Helpful (1)

    Good place to work as a student, otherwise...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Digital Sales Lead
    Current Employee - Digital Sales Lead

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good employee discount if you like to read

    Great employee discount on cafe items (although a free coffee/meal per shift would be better -- then again, it would take a bite into the margin, which is where the cafe makes all of its profit, so...)

    On the job training and coaching in the moment are excellent techniques, but your experience will be highly dependent on the personalities of your management team (i.e., if you have impatient managers, you'll constantly feel like you're screwing up, as opposed to merely taking advantage of opportunities to learn, if you have managers who are patient and kind)

    Great customer service and sales experience, use it and move on to a company that will reward excellence

    Cons

    Low pay -- minimum wage to start, with only $0.25 raises per annum

    The only way to get a decent raise is to get a leadership position, like Juvi Lead, DSL, Cafe Lead, or Head Cashier

    Unrealistic sales targets, especially for digital devices. It's difficult to push Nooks on customers without outright lying to them, because the current generation of Samsung Nooks are objectively worse than the competition and are not competitively priced to compensate; the Glowlight is the only real competition to the Kindle you have, but is it enough to beat Amazon's install base? No. The answer to that is no.

    The only motivation to do a good job is the stick; B&N offers no carrots to increase worker productivity other than the occasional token bonus, like a $25 gift card or an extra 15 minute break during certain competitions or promotions

    The company split off digital sales (Nook device/accessories, NookBooks, and online sales) from non-digital sales (everything else) for accounting purposes (i.e., they are now treated as separate entities); while I'm sure that made Doug Carlson and Mahesh Veerina happy, as a guy who actually sells these things to put a roof over his head... huge mistake

    Company used to offer health benefits to part-time employees, no longer does

    Advice to Management

    Find a way to make the Membership program work for our digital customers; I could sell a lot more memberships to our clients who have already gone digital if they could get some kind of benefit. Obviously, the publishers have a lot at stake in not allowing us to take 10% off the price of a NookBook title; but we could offer other benefits, like cash back on purchases similar to the Kid's Club.

    The $25 price point on the Membership is a major turning-off point for customers, consider lowering (especially the price of renewal) -- communicate Member Appreciation Week better

    Advertise on television to attract new customers

    Offer more incentives to increase worker productivity: commissions or cash bonuses (even in the form of gift cards) for meeting sales goals would do a lot to make less-motivated employees pick up their game. Right now, the company relies solely on the drive of the individual bookseller to push memberships and other products. Head cashiers either meet goal, or get canned. Not a great system for continued growth when the largest segment of your customer base is over 60 (i.e., won't be around much longer) and your younger and more tech-savvy customers would rather save money by buying from Amazon.

    Make a better digital device. The HD and HD+'s hardware was excellent, but the Samsung's cannot compete with the Kindle Fire/HD or the iPad. The price point is all you have against the latter, and customer loyalty is all you have against the former. And when most of your customers are senior citizens, making a device that is as idiot proof as possible is the only way to go.

    It is ridiculous that a sales lead or bookseller who meets company targets gets the same $0.25 per year raise as a bookseller who just punches the clock and does barely enough to keep from getting fired; you track a score of metrics to evaluate performance -- utilize them!

    Do more to develop the leadership qualities of your store managers and ASM's

  9. No hours

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

    I worked at Barnes & Noble

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    discount at the café is great!

    Cons

    no hours available after Christmas season.

  10. Losing significance

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

    I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Dealing with Professors and books and the whole college environment

    Cons

    When the CEO sells controlling interest in the company the outlook is not good.

  11. Helpful (3)

    Great part-time, yet a place for ambition to die.

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

    I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The discount is very nice, fellow employees truly turn into family, and there are some great customers who love books.

    Cons

    Unrealistic expectations, lack of opportunity for advancement, no accountability for actions that impact productivity, and subjective review criteria that allows for favoritism.

    Advice to Management

    Managers, your employees are your most important customers. They provide great service to the people walking in and out of the stores everyday and you owe your employees the same level of great service - make them feel they are a priority. There is so much opportunity to improve satisfaction without raising wages, treat people better.

    District managers should be more accessible, regional managers should be more visible. No store manager should be hiding in an office, it is a team. There is no open dialogue, not even trust in the WeListen process. Give employees an opportunity to provide feedback about their managers. Use it as you would any customer service survey and be open to what you get back.

    Reviews are open to too much subjectivity and if an employee goes above and beyond, there is no flexibility or section under which that can be counted. Success cannot be forever unattainable or people will give up trying.

    The majority of employees who stick around at B&N are those who get comfortable and no longer care other people are doing all the work. They cost the most money, cause a lot of talented turnover, and are driving away your customers.

    It isn't about storytimes, discounts, TV commercials, member cards, email capture, or raises...come out of your offices, see what is going on, and treat your employees like they matter.

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