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I have been working at Columbia Sportswear part-time for more than 3 yearsPros
Watching advancements in technology from what some may once termed as "budget brand", Columbia Sportswear Company has done well to bring some pretty innovative and practically useful apparel products to the market at affordable rates through their outlet stores.
Big, high ceiling environment construction gives to roominess (at least for my store). The pay is decent depending on your store; there is a bonus incentive to boot. Flexible schedule for students or adventurers as there is also tuition assistance.
I really enjoy the clothing, and most of what the company puts out as their claim is true more often than not since the induction to the Boyle family of Mountain Hardwear, Sorel and Montrail footwear in the 2000s. When in youth of past times I recall the design as big and bulky, but good for what you got even though it was spendy. However Columbia has kept pace, and when I began working with the company I witnessed the evolution of their constant efforts to keep trying and bettering a lot of the time.
If you can jive with random people then this job won't be odd. Since I love to be doing some foray into adventure outside on some rendezvous I would relate to people and ask what they were into and at many times learned of new places to go as well as trade some cool locales as an idea for some fun day outside. So that was cool. If you really get amped about playing outside then working here you can get some very great gear at a rockin' discount.Cons
Holidays are hectic, but hey it's retail!
Lack of full time work and pay increase for achieving employeesAdvice to ManagementAdvice
Daily store goals are not aligned the prior year i.e. this day last year was on a holiday now this year it is on a weekday. For the three years I worked there, the first 2/3 about 82% of the year the store employees would get a bonus at the end of the month if the prior month's sales goals had been met. It helped to supplement the pay sometimes up to $200, but mostly around $85 - $130. I understand the cost cutting technique but for how much is sold at high volume stores, the sales forecast could really be reflected better when the the LY and CY goals are egregiously incongruous.
The absolute waste generated from having a truck drive cardboard boxes filled with petroleum based fibers encompassed in plastic packaging and sporting hangers wherein much of in is tossed in the dumpster to be taken to the landfill. In the outlet malls, everyone is doing it too so it is very wasteful though steps that are being taken should be instilled to reinvent waste disposal and reuse processes at the store level. Like hangers. Maybe seek out a machine or commission one to be made that quickly and safely could break hangers and separate the plastic and metal recycling. Or the company you contract the hangers for (if you do indeed buy them) ask if you could send the hangers back; better yet, invent a great storage system for the stores to reuse hangers.
Give people more hours, where I live thirty hours at four days a week is $17 a month is too much to qualify many low income programs such as foods stamps. When I was younger, 40 hours a week was full time. Now I do know that there are some health care laws that do concern supplying health benefits if an employees works a certain number of hours a week. Though what if some legal documentation could be cemented on contractual basis between a store associate and Columbia Sportswear Company where if the employee wishes to say average 34-36 hours a week then they can forgo any claim to health benefits. A good option to boost morale because when you cut out bonus opportunities, cancel pay increase opportunities for the forthcoming year (.20 to .40 cents, the turnover is pretty high, reward the committed) and cut back on available hours to work in a week, the folk who are stoked for what the company vision is about and to live the brand become dispirited after a while, for me it was about a year of seeing the continuing limitations.
However given that said, I am very grateful to work at Columbia. You placed my store in a most wonderful location inundated with beauty and recreation to test the gear with perspiration. I developed a very good skill, and would never have guessed that I could be such a good salesman. Naturally, I am a quiet person with newly met people. But I learned how to crack the ice with people in a gregariously genuine way, a trait valued in any social situation that I will use a lifetime.
Although I would not be intrigued to work with company again at the store level in management, it would be cool to design product and test it for the company. I really like the integration of technologies that are forging and have always liked explaining this to people, prompting me to go study the sciences.
Overall, I get what you guys are aiming to balance, and you're doing pretty well in many respects. I just feel you could appreciate your hourly store associate with merit by communicating with the store management on who is deserving of recognition. You will groom good employees this way and keep them working for you in the long-run. Which in turn gets you people who know the product and what it does well since after so long through the discount they acquire different types of product and try it out, offering personal experiences to the customer which is genuine. People like genuine. I dig what you guys are laying down, just watch where you may step.
Thanks for the memories!Doesn't RecommendNeutral OutlookNo opinion of CEO