Barnes & Noble

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Barnes & Noble Reviews

Updated September 19, 2014
Updated September 19, 2014
1,074 Reviews
3.3
1,074 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Michael Huseby
142 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

364 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Loved the co-workers, the store itself, and the discounts

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Barnes & Noble

    Pros

    - Overall, great co-workers and managers. Everyone was nice to me and were always able to answer any questions.
    - The discounts were great, especially getting the fifty percent off cafe food and drinks. The other discounts came in handy when getting gifts for friends and family during the holiday season.
    - I love books, so it was always fun being surrounded by them and feeling up-to-date with pop culture in the literature world.

    Cons

    - It's retail, which means crappy customers at times and low paying wage. I didn't care for the hours where employees opened as early as 7 a.m. and closed as late as midnight.
    - Too much pressure to sell memberships, especially since there really isn't any incentive or commission to the employees to try and sell a $25 dollar membership to customers.
    - Not a whole lot of room to advance and I only got one 25 cent raise during my time working there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to have more incentives for employees who sell memberships and reach other sales goals.

  2.  

    Worked at B&N for 9 years, 6 as Store Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Store Manager  in  Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - Store Manager in Phoenix, AZ

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Great coworkers in the stores. Advanced reading copies of books - good customers for the most part

    Cons

    After 2012 or so became very micro managing - more focused on process than results

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let the store managers run the stores - they know their customers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    A fun place to work for filled with amazing people, but not as much opportunity as there should be.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate  in  Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Richmond, VA

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

    Pros

    Incredible people to work with. The people working here are simply amazing and I would spend lots of time (when possible) after hours socializing with groups of employees. I feel this is rare for retail.
    Great product (how can you not love books!)
    Fun environment

    Cons

    customers can be difficult and demanding
    little upward mobility: sadly, there doesn't seem to be an emphasis on training and building employees into careers. Seems more like they are really only interested in employing for each Christmas rush and then whoever sticks around for leftover hours, can hang on at part time and very reduced benefits until they eventually find another job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do more to ensure the promotion of employees who are working hard

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great atmosphere, though quite corporate

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

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

    Pros

    Surroundings consist of books and coffee. They work around your schedule and fulfill requests for specific days off when possible. Book and cafe discount.

    Cons

    Incredibly corporate, low pay and, well, it's retail. Management expects employees to sell the ludicrous $25 member card like hot cakes and evaluates you on the whims of customers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop using your employees as mules to meet company goals and appreciate them as individuals.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Good place to get your feet wet in retail

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

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

    Pros

    There are benefits for part-time employees, as well as book lending program. The raises are also pretty fair compared to other retail companies.

    Cons

    Too much emphasis on membership sales and specific questions to ask the customer. No room for personality.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Limited advancement opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Head Cashier  in  Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Head Cashier in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    Employee discounts are great and being surrounded by boook lovers makes the retail job tolerable. It's actually an interesting group of people.

    Cons

    Limited advancement opportunities, as they prefer to hire management from other retailers rather than promote from within.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great at first, but lately.....

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

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

    Pros

    Coworkers are great, I enjoy seeing pretty much everyone every day. Regular customers are friendly and nice, and the employee discount is great (50% off Starbucks drinks in the cafe-can't beat it). Paid time off even for part-timers is great too. A couple of the managers are really good, honest, genuine people that I enjoy working with. Almost all of the employees are very hard working people who seem a bit more intelligent, driven and committed than your average minimum wage retail worker.

    Cons

    Some of the managerial staff I've worked with are less than desirable; there seems to be a deal of two-faced ness. Don't really feel like I can trust half the managers, almost feels like one or two go out of their way to try to get us in trouble. When we're busy or short handed there's this attitude of "tough luck, sweat it out" and lots of pressure to meet avg trans and other sales goals that we can't really have control over. Lately they've gotten more and more strict with the rules to the point where I feel like I can't even do my job with what I am given.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try positive encouragement and acknowledging when employees do a good job; there seems to be no lack of negative criticism all the time. If you want happy employees and a comfortable, efficient working environment then being condescending and overly critical towards people is NOT the way to go about it.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Great for part time work

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

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

    Pros

    Your co-workers are the best part of this job. Friendly, like-minded people working together is a plus. Open conversations between employees and management is encouraged

    Cons

    The pay, even for retail, is quite low. Some weeks, working hours are slim. This makes a paycheck even smaller. The company's shift towards micromanaging is disconcerting.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It is best to keep employees in the loop. Sometimes major store related news is kept a secret. Also, be empathetic to all employees. Most of them are making barely a notch above minimum wage.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    It's alright. A pretty typical retail experience.

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

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble full-time

    Pros

    My coworkers are amazing!

    Cons

    The customers are horrendous and one of the managers is very unpredictable and doesn't treat employees fairly.
    If you work in the cafe, forget about ever being able to call off sick.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    It was great while it lasted

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Retail Management  in  Glastonbury, CT
    Former Employee - Retail Management in Glastonbury, CT

    I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great industry and selling great product in its day, always was proud of our place in the community

    Cons

    The industry has changed and not for the better. The great days of bookselling are gone. The company was too slow to move to dot.com platform and the consolidation/merger with the college group was a financial disaster for B&N Inc .

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    the glory days are gone in bookselling, a new business model is neede to go forward and stay relevant, Nook isn't going to get it done.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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