Holland & Barrett Retail

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Holland & Barrett Retail Reviews

33 Reviews
33 Reviews
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Peter Aldis
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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    too much expected, not enough pay

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

    I have been working at Holland & Barrett Retail part-time for more than 3 years


    The majority of the people I've worked with are pleasant, hand working individuals some of whom have incredible knowledge of the supplements and foods sold.

    25% discount could be great although due to the overpriced products, you will find it is cheaper to buy them in boots. But if used in conjunction with promotions, you can get a few bargains!

    Some of the regular customers who came in are very sweet, and can be understanding if there are any problems (i.e, with promotions going through at the wrong price, tills not working, or generally being understaffed)

    Holiday time is actually pretty decent, though it's a mad scramble in August/September with everyone trying to use them up at the same time.

    When you pass the Product knowledge courses, you get an equivalent of an A-level (it's free) which is great if you need if to meet other job specifications.


    The pay seems promising at first, especially with the commission. But for the sheer amount of tasks, training updates, product knowledge training (which will be mostly done in your own time), it is really not worth it. And Commission is pretty sporadic at the best of times, though not for lack of trying to sell high-commission products to customers. I know people who work in other companies who are paid better than me for stacking shelves and facing up products. I'm only a sales associate, the stress the managers and supervisors go through is much worse. They are expected to arrive 15-20 minutes before the shop is due to open, and stay 30 minutes after for no pay. When there is a promotion change, it is common for the managers to stay hours after changing it in time for the morning.

    I am only contracted for 20 hours a week, but I used to get overtime consistently so it would really be 30-40 hours a week. Due to overtime hours being cut, my payslip has changed dramatically with only a few extra hours here and there. You could do overtime in other stores, but I am expected to do my 20 hours a week over the course of 4 days, and having other commitments makes it difficult to find the time to go to other stores in the area. In my experience of doing overtime in other stores, there was a good chance you would not get paid for it, and you would have to hound the stores manager to fix it. Working 5 hour days is simply wasting my day as I do not start until the afternoon, and I could do my contracted hours easily over the course of 2 or 3 days. This is the same for most of the part-time sales associate's who are contracted for short hours.

    Working alone is a problem, even though i work in a relatively busy store. It is worse when working in the quieter stores. It would be standard to be alone on the shop floor as someone is on a lunch break, and the manager is in the back doing paperwork, who doesn't want to be interrupted.

    I know this is expected of most retail jobs, but I've been astounded over how rude some customers have been to me, mostly over things which were out of my control. (i.e, the tills going slowly, not receiving certain stock, promotions not working.) I once had a middle aged man scream at me and storm out of the shop because I informed him that the item he was buying was on a promotion! Due to the targets we have been set, we have to ask every customer if they want a rewards card and a magazine, which annoys most of them as they just want to pay for their goods and be on their way. The amount of times I've had customers treat me like their shopping assistant is incredible. You can carry that basket to the till yourself. I try my best to be thorough, polite and helpful with the customers, but at the end of the day it's not enough for some people.

    Vague/misleading promotions which mostly leads to angry customers at the tills, though a lot of it is down to common sense, come on guys.

    We are expected to sell 4 products to a customer if they come in with a specific problem, such as arthritis, a common cold, etc. Most customers won't want to buy 4 products, so after informing them about the supplements and closing the sale, chances are they will put most of them back on the shelf after all that time spent with them, all whilst the store would be getting busy, a large queue forming at the till. We would have to recommend the 4 items in case they were a mystery shopper, then we would get a bad score.

    don't even get me started on the mystery shoppers....

    Ridiculous reward card targets, that all go towards the area managers bonuses.

    Some horrible area managers are bullies obsessed with targets who have no understanding of the stress of working on the shop floor. If there were wage discrepancies, they could be useless in getting onto payroll to sort it out. When you pass your Product knowledge exams, your wage is supposed to rise. Took them months to sort it out for everyone who had this problem.

    Human resources practically non-existent, and Payroll are hard to get ahold of.

    No holiday time off in December (though this is probably standard for most retail jobs)

    Though I think highly of the majority of the people I've worked with, I've had problems with managers/supervisors with bullying behavior who will turn on you if something isn't done quickly enough despite being overwhelmed with other tasks. I know they are under a lot of stress, but the way I've been spoken to by my superiors is unacceptable, and I nearly quit over it.

    Shoplifting is a massive problem, there is no CCTV and there isn't enough staff to watch out for people stealing stuff. Considering the millions of pounds worth of stock going missing every year, you'd think it'd be worth having security guards in store to watch out for the stock, but no, it'd be far too much money. A female member of staff was verbally abused by a regular shoplifter who she stopped on the way out of the shop.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to treat your staff better, give them more hours to do the basics of their jobs! Pay them more because they are severely underpaid and incredibly hardworking, and invest in some form of security. In short, I really need a new job. I would not recommend anyone to work at Holland and Barrett, unless they were desperate, but you could do so much better.

    Doesn't Recommend
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