Vera Bradley

  www.verabradley.com
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Vera Bradley Reviews

Updated Jul 9, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

3.7 59 reviews

85% Approve of the CEO

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Michael C. Ray

(34 ratings)

69% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • They focus on making connections and relationships with the customers and it really creates a great work environment (in 4 reviews)

  • Great product, good pay, The customers are happy pleasant people who make your day totally worth being there (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • They are more likely to hire from outside the company than promote from within (in 3 reviews)

  • They bring people into management with promises of advancements and continually hire from outside the company (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights
9 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Not a girls best friend

    Sales Associate (Former Employee) Edison, NJ

    Prosthe discount is 50% off, including sale if you're into Vera. Easy to become manager, just enroll in the training program that's announced on their thread which all employees have access to.

    ConsThere weren't enough hours, if you were lucky you got ten hours a week. High hour (11.55) and no hours, so it may as well been minimum wage. Gossip and prying was also a problem. My co-workers loved to talk and talk about each other. If you don't offer up certain details of your personal life they begin to pry. I left when I found out they were asking one of my co-workers about me when they didn't get details from me.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe professional just because you don't care for someone personally does not give you the right to treat them badly professionally.

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    Excellent company gone totally rotten

    Assistant Manager (Former Employee)

    ProsThe culture and core values of the company were the reasons I wanted to work at Vera over any other company.Very good pay scale compared to other retailers. Benefit package was great until last year when health insurance took a nose dive and got very invasive. Sales associates were wonderful girls but some groups tended to be like high school and very cliquey. There was the in-crowd and then the others. The product was fun and easy to sell. They guests were so nice for the most part.

    ConsThe biggest challenges are definitely the upper management. Store managers only look out for themselves. They create a divide and conquer atmosphere in order to feel like they have control. They encourage the team to "report" on each other. They play favorites with both associates and management team - keeping some out of the information loop. The right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing at corporate. Too many differing directives that totally contradict and waste time. Too many last minute emergency desperate decisions for floor changes to try to grab sales. Stores know best what's selling but are not given any leeway to act on it. It should not be a one size fits all strategy - we're not all the same. Unsafe working conditions both in backroom and offsite - accidents waiting to happen. Definitely not a "girl's best friend" atmosphere or policy any more. New regime is only focused on the $$$ bottom line. Employees are leaving with a bad taste in their mouths. Recent ASM job eliminations created way too much stress for whole team and was handled very very poorly by HR. Sales plans are unrealistic when every specialty store, online and outlet returns go against the daily numbers.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWake up! You're losing the wonderful company that was created by two considerate women. You're also losing great employees. When the guests find out all the awful changes coming you will lose them also. Get your HR people some sensitivity training on how to respectively and HONESTLY deal with employees. Corporate needs to have one spokes person relaying information down to the stores about any changes and in a timely manner - no more last minute emergencies because they failed to plan. Stop sending Emails to stores about how corporate employees are out enjoying their holiday weekends - your employees in the trenches don't need to here that. Create an environment where sales plans can be achieved and keep morale high. Vera is no longer set apart from other retailers because all the positives are being eliminated. The recent WSJ article was less than flattering.

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

    1 person found this helpful  

    customers great....the only reason that made it worth staying.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGreat product, good pay, The customers are happy pleasant people who make your day totally worth being there.

    ConsVery poor store management, very political. They move up and give the hours to the favorites. You work hard to never move up. policies continually changing ...so much it was hard to keep track.

    Advice to Senior Managementwhen sales associates tell you something wrong is going on or there are situations occurring that shouldn't be they should send someone in the stores to see for themselves.

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    6 people found this helpful  

    Not a "Girls Best Friend" any longer :(

    Assistant Store Manager (Current Employee) Detroit, MI

    ProsThe pay is good and the discounts are great. All store employees across the board are kind, friendly people. The stores are beautiful and the guests are almost always happy.

    The new high level management has a good vision of where the company wants to go, however.....

    ConsSince the new "regime" has taken over at the upper level it is total chaos at the store level. The employees are currently under a "shock and awe" phase, like deer in the headlights. There is inconsistent communication from the home office, if any at times. Direction comes from many and is often varying. It is very confusing right now. I think they don't know who is doing what and it shows in the daily operations at the home office.

    The company has recently decided to downsize the management numbers, which in itself is not that unreasonable. However, they chose to make it a tenuous atmosphere and decided who was going, telling the possible candidates that they might lose their job, but waiting 45 days to tell them who that will be. Talk about a morale killer?! They will lose more employees than necessary just from the way they handled that situation. Again, poor direction from above. Simple communication during the process would have been a better way to handle it.

    There are so many changes at the moment it is becoming too confusing to want to stay, which is unfortunate because the people at the store level are wonderful to work with. The company is like the teenager going through puberty and not quite sure how to get what they want. It is total trial and error at the moment - not a great place to work. They are going the way of the publicly traded monster who is there to make more money for the share holder and undervalue those achieving those dollars for them.

    Also, their IT has got to be the worst I have ever seen! Always failing, codes don't work correctly, prices ring wrong, etc, ALL THE TIME!!

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf you want to maintain your good people in the trenches get your act together at the upper level! Employees are getting ready to jump ship!! Changes have to be made for sure but they are trying to do too much too fast and it's not working.

    If you want to cut costs look to things like quality of bags and boxes with satin ribbon which is free at the moment, water with patterns on it for $25 a case, refreshments to guests at launches, etc.(all completely unnecessary) the list goes on and on at the store level alone. I hate to think about the waste at the home office!!! It's not all in the payroll!!!!!!!

    Take a breath and do one thing at a time, it can't all happen at once!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Major growing pains!!

    Full Time Sales Lead (Former Employee)

    ProsReally good pay (especially for retail), full time positions for stock and sales leads (unusual in retail), lots of free items, some managers really love the product and their jobs and that can be inspiring, training was excellent

    ConsScheduling: no work-life balance,
    No room for advancement; many times, outside people were brought in for higher positions, leaving loyal associates at the bottom. I was promised the world but it never materialized, while incompetent people were brought in that made me do their job for them
    Lots of weird business policies that made no sense and weren't followed
    New benefits package is awful; the old one was very nice. No benefits for same sex couples
    As a whole, the company does things very last minute; many times I was expected to complete floor changes or pricing issues within 24 hours without being notified and not having the proper staff, then getting blasted for not getting it done. Miscommunication and misinterpretation was rampant; no one ever knew what was going on.
    Vera Bradley wants you to be a very specific type of person, and any deviation from that will just cause your more heartache than it's worth.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop micromanaging!
    Teach your managers how to communicate effectively. 99% of the problems my store encountered could have been solved immediately had the store manager not been so incapable of communicating what she needed from employees. Let the managers enforce the rules instead of being so worried about being kind; your kindness has cost many good employees that do follow the rules because they're tired of dealing with people that do whatever they want with no consequences.
    Staff can't be pulled from nowhere; advance notice is needed for things requiring more staff, or at the very least the ability to get more staff on short notice.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Company Values Not Practiced

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat place to work as an associate, good pay and flexible schedule.

    ConsBeing a manager at this company is not worth it if you want to move ahead. They bring people into management with promises of advancements and continually hire from outside the company. They also do not pay competitively for management, but expect a lot of experience and effort.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPay your people what they are worth and listen to your managers. You also need a complete overhaul of your Human Resources team, they leave you open to serious issues due to their incompetence and lack of professionalism.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Nice people, not-so-nice job description, very little career advancement opportunities

    IT Department (Current Employee) Fort Wayne, IN

    ProsPersonality and self-branding that is "very Vera" is valued, so most employees are very approachable.
    Buy products at more than half the price.
    Many employees are lifers because of the good work environment and friendships.

    ConsVacation days are based on company loyalty years and non-negotiable.
    Tuition or educational reimbursement has a hard-to-negotiate culture.
    Some salary departments expected to work long hours frequently, but also starts the day late.
    Low annual bonus expectation. Will have to self-evaluate first.
    Vertical oriented corporate communication. Never worked at a place so political and top leaders distant to more than one layer from their position.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLeaders to reach-out to everyone in the team. Encourage team activities & lunches.
    Encourage training and lifelong learning opportunities to retain younger talents.
    Review salary employee's work times and keep it consistent to the rest of the business.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Love the product but not the way the store is handled.

    Sales Associate (Current Employee)

    ProsEmployees are encouraged to establish relationships with customers and maintain a "girl's best friend" attitude. Great discount. Access to upcoming product knowledge and surprises. Coworkers become like family and treat each other with respect.

    ConsEmployees work nearly 40 hours week in the summer, but are still considered full time. Hours drop significantly in the winter making the wage unlivable. There's little if no room for growth in the company. With upwards of five managers there are too many directions and too much confusion among expectations and policies. Managers also leave much of the sales work to associates and hide in the back room. Calling off was a nightmare.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTrust your employees.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    "A Girl's Best Friend"

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsIt would be great to be able to list a number of "Pros" to try and balance this out, but it is too difficult. Great discounts. Employees get nice benefits package. Salary basically fair.

    ConsLocated out in the middle of nowhere now. No support services around. Not a real team culture - too political with everyone protecting their little piece of the turf regardless of anyone else. Holds on to archaic business practices. Extremely inefficient.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSuffice it to say: If my " Best Friend" treated me like all my "Girl's Best Friends" at Vera Bradley, I would ditch her! This concept,if practiced in the truest sense, would be great;however that concept is broken from top to bottom. It's all a matter of opinion if someone is or is not being "A Girl's Best Friend." Too subjective and too political and careers are made or broken on this ridiculous concept.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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