Big Lots Reviews

Updated September 16, 2014
Updated September 16, 2014
342 Reviews
2.8
342 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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David J. Campisi
77 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • One of the best reasons to work here is the 20% employee discount that is given (in 30 reviews)

  • That the employees get 20% discount on all items except for on sale items (in 23 reviews)


Cons
  • There's never management meetings so there is extreme lack of communication (in 8 reviews)

  • Not enough payroll allocated to ensure the level of customer service that is expected (in 12 reviews)

More Highlights

84 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Average retail, with below average internal promotion policies.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Furniture Sales Manager  in  Omaha, NE
    Former Employee - Furniture Sales Manager in Omaha, NE

    I worked at Big Lots full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Looking back, there aren't many good reason that set Big Lots apart from other retailers. Most of their policies and benefits are average or below average from what I've experienced. The 20% discount gained by working there is definitely the best part.

    Great company to be hired into externally. They pay very competitively, in this way and only this way.

    Cons

    Typically 70%+ of the store is flex GRM, meaning a vast majority of the product you get in only has a general area is has to go into, and is constantly changes. It's a double edged sword as it makes you flex your merchandising muscle, and can be frustrating at times.

    Seems to be a massive disconnect between corporate and store level employees. Their expectations for what we do at a store level can range from barely attainable to outright ridiculous.

    Do. Not. Go into Big Lots to be hired as a standard associate and look to advance. You CAN advance, the issue is the awful, awful internal promotion progression. I worked there for 5 years, 3 as a manager. If I would have been promoted internally to an ASM, I'd have been making a whopping 14/hr, max, due to their BS flat 20% promotion bonus.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand that your stores are actually doing all of the back breaking labor you assign out. We're the ones who have to make your generalized planoguides work in stores that are little to nothing like what your general idea of them are. Also, take better care of your internal employees. When you have talent within your company that already know the business, yet you step all over them when hiring externally at much higher rates than you offer to your own, it's the single most disheartening thing about working for Big Lots, and the reason I don't intend to go back.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    very poor training, if you did make a mistake you can and will be terminated, only few workers pulled their weight

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Specialist  in  Des Moines, IA
    Former Employee - Customer Service Specialist in Des Moines, IA

    I worked at Big Lots part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    to gain experience to move on to a better retail, all around easy,

    Cons

    never enough staff or hours

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Str mgr

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

    I have been working at Big Lots full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    20% off , friendly staff
    overtime

    Cons

    no life
    too many hours
    not enough help

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    get out while you still can

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Managers Are Expected To Work Miracles

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

    I have been working at Big Lots full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great discount
    Great bonuses
    New CEO trying to change things

    Cons

    Management is expected to pull off miracles with limited payroll.
    District Managers micro manage, to the 10th degree.
    I have never worked for a company where a regional manager cusses when there is something wrong in a store.
    You are told to do a full on dept change today and 2 months later, they want you to change it again...with no payroll.
    No room for store managers to advance
    New CEO REALLY needs to go undercover in stores to see what it is REALLY like!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Payroll needs to reflect sales, i.e. more sales = more hours. If you aren't making sales, no extra dollars. Very simple.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not a good place to be a salaried manager, you become the only resource.

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

    I worked at Big Lots full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    They have a great business model, one that makes it difficult for customers to stay away, despite how hard the company makes it for stores to provide for their customers.

    Cons

    Only the store mgr is salaried. The new ceo has limited store resources, while raising execution expectations so the store mgr is usually the last resource to get anything done. This results in the store mgr either working 24/7 or risk getting fired for not meeting expectations.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would only advise the assistant manager positions for young managers as they will learn more about the merchandising process at BL than anywhere else. You will learn the hard way but you will learn.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Reward Cards Sucks Bad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - CSS  in  Jacksonville, FL
    Current Employee - CSS in Jacksonville, FL

    I have been working at Big Lots part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Love the 20% off employee discount

    Cons

    They want us to sign up people for reward cards and I feel that has the biggest impact on slowing down customer check outs ...had customers walk out because the line starts getting to long. Now customers don't like using the rewards card because they don't see any Rewards from it...Hate the Rewards Card system it's just a very bad customer service plan...the biggest complaint from customers is Long Lines having to wait on people to either sign up for the card or Look for the thing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of your Rewards card it Sucks Bad!!!!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Well.......

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

    I have been working at Big Lots part-time

    Pros

    I love the job. I love the discount. I love the challenge of getting to make a customers day help them find what they need or just want. But management needs work.

    Cons

    Management is very poor half are lazy and they drive out the good employees. Talk behind peoples backs. Seems like the only way to get a promotion is to cry and wine about it. Also management like so sign other peoples names on documents and curse over the intercom. I feel like the job would be a lot better if people fot promoted if they deserved the promotion rather then cried and cried and cried until they got their way

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop catering to the needs of few and find ways to grow in the right direction because if it stays this way its going to go down hill fast lazyiness in management isnt good and when you spend 30 mins talking about your employees(trash talk) and pushing your job off on everuone else just so you can hang out by a fan with your shoes off is very slack!!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Cant decide on a direction

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

    I have been working at Big Lots full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    20% employee discount is great. Pay is not bad and the benefits are very good. That's about all you can say.

    Cons

    Big Lots was once a good company to work for. Over the last 5 they have stripped the store level management of every bit of creativity and dignity we once had and turned us into robots who are nothing more than passers down of information. Every new corporate hotshot thinks they have to re-invent the wheel instead of sticking to what works and has worked in retail for 100 years which is why Big Lots changes direction every 5 minutes. The payroll is a complete joke. They continue to raise expectation yet they provide less and less payroll to meet them. Makes sense huh? You cant keep decent employees because any that are any good realize they are in demand and can go somewhere where they can get benefits and decent hours which Big Lots does not give anyone but management. Then they wonder why we can't attract people who can follow our directions and won't rob the company blind. Big Lots also rents the lowest price buildings they can find, that's great for controlling costs not so great for controlling shrink because those buildings are many times located in rough neighborhoods where thieves are rampant and anyone who is a legit shopper doesn't dare show there face. They don't want a manager who can think for themselves because they are afraid we will realize all these changes are worthless and a waste of time or worse yet prove that \we know more than the higher ups do. I have invested many years of hard work into Big Lots and the return has been nothing but heartbreak and anguish. I will gladly walk away as soon as the next decent opportunity becomes available and I would suggest to anyone else to not waste the time that I have on this company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let managers do what you hired them for which is manage and provide us with what we need to do so. If you would eliminate all the useless busy work and focus on what is important you would save enough money to give a little more payroll and may not even need it if we could just do what is important. Quit preaching how important customer service is when you take all the employees out of the store, you cant have it both ways.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    used to be an enjoyable job, now to much micro-management

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

    I have been working at Big Lots full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    20% employee discount
    steady work for mgmt

    Cons

    not enough payroll to manage the increasing tasks placed upon you by corporate
    difficult to hire/retain qualified employees due to stressful working coonditions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    company is trying to emphasize customer service, but are tying their manager hands by constantly cutting payroll and implementing new programs that are nothing more than needless paperwork

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Go with an alternative - there are many minimum wage stores out there.

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

    I have been working at Big Lots part-time

    Pros

    The environment is fairly laid back once you're away from incompetent managers and taking care of your business. You learn the basics of team work, as you will with any retail job.

    Cons

    Long story short: Big Lots pays very close to if not minimum wage to everyone below manager level, so don't bother with the unfair treatment, ridiculous scheduling, favoritism, and overwork. Most every minimum wage company is more fair to employees, and since Big Lots is a smaller closeout chain, most other companies (McDonalds, Kroger, Walmart) have much more money and assets at their disposal to make the experience better.

    Compensation is terrible. This company is no better than the Krogers and MacDonalds of the world. What they like to do is to pay minimum wage (or 5 cents above, in my case) to their entry level employees, then work them long hours to keep from needing to hire and pay new employees. Purposefully understaffed. If you work at a store with many employees, then expect the opposite - not enough hours. They simply don't want to pay. Training for me was terrible, you definitely learn as you go, and your coworkers will help you. Management is incompetent, but seems to know it's limits. They may try to take advantage of you, or play favorites, but stand up for yourself, and you'll be fine. They're having just as hard of a time dealing with their superiors as us, although that doesn't excuse how bad management can be.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Screen your in-store managers, please. The lower level employees are usually good, but how can you let some of these managers through? Paying more wouldn't hurt either...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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