Aaron Brothers Art and Framing

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Aaron Brothers Art and Framing Reviews

Updated Jul 18, 2014

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2.0 42 reviews

42 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    Good if you care

    Lead Sales (Former Employee) Dallas, TX

    ProsVERY laid back. Floorsets only happen once every two weeks, the customers for the most part know what they want, although I will say they are normally ok with you sharing info. Distract managers are great listeners and not completely detected from what's going on and are willing to help. The pay isn't bad and they try to move you up if you want to and promote within the company. You get to see AMAZING things every week. Great job inbetween jobs if you are just looking for something new.

    ConsStill a growing company so they don't have everything under control. Lot of "experimental" practices which can be stressful at times.

    Advice to Senior ManagementOrganization.. I've worked at a few stores and if this isn't done well new employees hate this job, they only stay because it's easy.
    Communication.. if this isn't there with the customers they will hate you. Easy as that. I've seen stores fall apart because of this.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Follow the rules....wink, wink

    Manager (Former Employee) Phoenix, AZ

    ProsThe salary is not completely abysmal for retail, there is company paid training, decent discount. If you like pictures, art and have a creative eye, you can have fun here.

    ConsLots of rules that nod to safety and responsibility that are contradicted by policies you can't follow by following the rules, in my opinion. So, you either get your work done by being alone in the store as a salaried employee in order to make up for the unreasonable payroll hours restrictions, which puts you in violation of the policy against being in the store alone for more than an hour and never after closing, or you don't get your work done and get reprimanded, sanctioned, threatened with termination and finally terminated. I was actually told "If anyone asks, you followed the rules, but what I don't know I can't write you up for, wink, wink".

    Advice to Senior ManagementRevamp the company to use less store space, have fewer items in the stores---NO ONE needs hundreds of styles of expensive frames to choose from--improve your training program, do not count any payroll hours used towards the 2 or 3 a.m. shipment times towards payroll total, do not put employees in the position of "damned if I do or damned if I don't".

    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
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    A fun job with bad pay and no future.

    Framer (Current Employee)

    Pros-Depending on what store you work at, the management is hit or miss. My manager is great, so are my co-workers. Also, the job is mostly fun!
    -They offer 401k and benefits.
    -A lot of cool art comes in the store.

    Cons-The company doesn't give enough payroll to have numerous people working at the same time. So often times, there are a dozen customers in the store but only 2 people working.
    -I've been there for years and have gotten exceptional reviews, but my raises have been about 27 cents a year.
    -They're always pushing people to work harder, make more money, get more done, but they don't provide adequate compensation.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt would be great to screen all store managers to ensure that they can do their jobs properly, instead of having the entire store suffer for it. Better raises are imperative, as well as adequate payroll. It would have been nice to have been offered stock options before going public as well.
    Overall, from an employees standpoint, it seems that the higher ups are doing nothing for their workers and everything for themselves. It's sort of insulting and brings morale down. Perhaps the higher ups can clear that up.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    bad planning......

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsThe majority of people in the stores are likable.
    The store itself is fine.
    Product mix is fine for the most part.
    Every DM I have met seems great.
    Pay would be "ok" except for the cons listed below.

    Cons- From what I hear the current buzz word is "planning" from the corporate people - which is INSANE since this is the exact number one issue I have with the corporate office.

    - Not enough payroll for the expectations. Payroll is only planned for the week you are in. For example, if you take 150 custom frame orders you get the payroll for the week you are currently in and the week you have to put them all together you are just screwed. The stores are treated as corporate stores in many ways and then as "mom and pop" stores in other ways. This basically means TOO MANY chiefs sending out expectations and WAY TOO few Indians to actually do it. Unless, you don't really care about being frustrated with your job hourly and daily.

    - Not enough space for the product sent to the stores which just makes it take longer to deal with it...reference second con. Fewer "regular" frame styles would be a smart start.

    - No stock room....see above cons.

    - Store to Store transfers: not really paid for doing them, gas or hourly, but it is 'expected' that you make every effort to get stuff from other stores for customers. This is lawsuit waiting to happen and they don't even see it coming.

    - Accuracy - Well, the expectations are high at the store level...but, the communication that comes to the stores seems detailed at first glance...but, there is always something missing, wrong, etc. Rarely, do we get a planogram without some type-o, it being totally wrong or it is just not explained well.

    - Weekly communication has been planned down to one day a week....which would be wonderful if it was on average 25 pages long. Ridiculous.....just ridiculous.

    - Promotions to corporate office are possible....I am not sure what criteria they actually use....but, I have to say I think it is highly suspect because qualifications and experience don't seem to play a major role. OR, people are interested but are blown off. In fact, the best ridiculous thing I have ever heard was the "need to be a store manager in a high profile" store prior to being considered. Really...? Really? Wow....stupid. I can say that being a store manager at a previous company that outperforms the highest Aaron Brothers store by a multiple millions of dollars will not impress them.

    - Hiring: It is a joke. You do not get training hours for ANY level position at the store. The only exception is when they hire a store manager with ZERO custom framing experience and practically irrelevant retail experience they will put them in another store for a couple of weeks.

    - If I hear the abbreviation ADS one more time I might actually scream. There is an insane amount of focus on getting more money out of the customers that just walk in. Well, I hate to break it to you...but, not everyone wants or needs to spend $1000 dollars EVERY time they walk into an Aaron Brothers store. Granted "ad ons" are important and every associate should be doing this. But, if only one customer spends only $5 your ADS is screwed for the day. And, there are plenty of transactions that are even lower. Really, it isn't that it isn't important it is that there is WAY TO MUCH pencil whipping going on related to ADS.

    - Marketing: print ads are cool, emails are too frequent and bringing in new customers doesn't even appear to be on the agenda. I really despised when they would send down the directive to start calling all our "best customers." If this is the way you intend to make more money you are out of the loop. Calling best customers will get some repeat customers in...however, they would have come eventually anyway. The focus on this as a way to get sales up is just crazy...oh, and you don't really have time to do it. They want you to take fliers to places and hand them out but, seriously, with the way things go in an average store on an average day this is just a stupid thing to expect.

    - Daily Sales - well, LY is the only thing they really look at. If you are in retail you can appreciate how stupid that can be. Example: a store will get praised for being up 350% on a day but, that is only because they had a horrific sales the exact same day the previous year. While some other store tripled their total sales on the same day. It is VERY VERY VERY STUPID. Mostly this would be fine weekly but, as a daily thing it is just silly.

    - Conference calls - believe it or not I support these. Just kidding. They only do it once a week for stores...but, it is completely ridiculous and a complete waste of time. If you can read....you can just read the completely overdone weekly communication and you will get all you need. And, since you don't have payroll....the manager either has to take it while not at the store OR you put your store down a man during the call. Luckily you get to choose your own demise. Here is a helpful hint: USE CONFERENCE CALLS FOR LIMITED AND IMPORTANT REASONS and not to toot the horn of some store that beat their LY numbers and read a document to us....because I can see that on the Daily Flash report.

    - Lunches: At Aaron Brothers.....this will be the stupidest thing you ever experience in your life. Everyday you have to fill out the Daily Focus including lunch times. Here is a bit of news....YOU CAN NEVER GO AT THAT EXACT TIME. But, because they are too afraid of getting sued, probably due to the ridiculous California rules, everyone fakes this. I can't tell you how many times I have seen work arounds from store managers to make it look like you or they go to lunch on time. Most days you can go to lunch...but, you can't do it on a predetermined timeline because of the amount of payroll and coverage. However, if you don't fill out the Daily Focus with a made up time you will lose audit points. And, you get in trouble if you don't start your lunch prior to your fifth hour, which works just fine in companies that provide adequate payroll for the store's volume.

    - No automated scheduling....handwritten only.

    - No word or excel so, anything you need to do is IMPOSSIBLE.

    - Registers are ancient...and they act like it. We were supposed to get newer ones, but I think I heard that for a couple of years before it NEVER happened.

    - A/C: you better be ready to sweat...because almost every store I have ever walked into has a cooling issue of some sort. Bad lighting is probably a big part of it...there are a million spot lights around the design counters...and it is hot, especially in Spring, Summer and Fall. Bad planning years ago is haunting the stores now. The stores for the most part feel fine as long as you are not doing any normal retail activities like walking, running, going up ladders, setting planograms, moving stuff around because we just want to move it around, etc.

    - Promos - it seems that at least 25% of the time promos don't ring correctly.

    - Promos - you have to manually do coupons, and MANY promotions....just crazy.

    - Adsets - over the years they have cut them way back so, they finally got a clue about this. However, you still don't get any real payroll for setting these things. It is quite the challenge....and the expectation is that it is done off hours. Ok...here is a little tidbit....you barely get enough coverage for daily open hours and lunch coverage...but, they magically want you to be able to do this stuff in off hours. BAD PLANNING!

    - Training: there are some good computer based training programs. The problem is the person training is also coverage. This leads to constant interruptions which is not good for the training process. Smaller and very regular training modules would be way more effective that long tedious ones. My favorite thing about training is that they expect everyone to be able to go to the frame shop and do timeframes. This means they would have to train themselves since the only other person on duty needs to be able to great anyone who enters the store within 10 seconds and you can't both be back there if there are customers in the store.

    - 2pm Sales - this is just crazy. One store from each district is assigned to take calls from the other stores in their district, do some calculations and call sales number into a corporate voice mail. Then, they send the info to their DM in email format. I could have sworn that companies stopped doing this a solid decade or more ago. Seriously, it would take no time at all for any decent techy type to set up a web form processor that could take the data from an email and create a report for corporate. One email from each store would be way better than this calling around garbage. Of course, if they had a really good IT person they could probably just do it automatically. It is claimed this is impossible with the current register system. I call BS on this, but, I could be wrong. So, if I am wrong, the problem is HORRIBLE planning for the last decade on software and hardware replacement in the stores.

    - Wall Frame Endcaps: This is crazy too. They just need to set some permanently and be done with flip flopping stuff around every couple of weeks. It is just busy work with no payroll to support it. The primary staple frames should have a permanent end cap. A few could still be used to rotate product.

    - Intranet: The intranet the stores have access to is very bad. You can't find anything most of the time. Most of the documents they put out are not searchable. For example: the giant weekly communications are not searchable from the intranet. Which means if you need to reference something you have to already know where it is. This is such a simple thing that is shouldn't even be happening.

    - Planning seems to absolutely suck....and this is with all the effort they put into it....see all of the cons listed above.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSee every single one of the cons above.

    If you live by the coupon you will die by the coupon.....start working some new ideas into the mix so that the expectation of a coupon isn't constant.

    Most of the corporate people, that have presumably had store manager experience, wouldn't survive a half shift in the store without a super-seasoned manager level person in the store with them. This is not true of the DMs I have worked with, but it is true of the people higher up throwing down the expectations. That being said, I don't think even the DMs realize how ridiculous it can be in the stores because, when they are in the store they are an EXTRA person in the store so a lot of things are taken off of the people on duty by accident.

    They think that guest service is the most important thing on the agenda. They are correct. However, they throw so much stuff down on the stores that it is very difficult to focus on each and every customer without falling behind, skipping a lunch, missing a deadline, etc.

    Deposits: you many want to revisit how this is done. Safety? Frequency?

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

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

     

    Abymissal

    Part Time Lead (Current Employee) Houston, TX

    Proscustom framing was lots of fun. Lots of training available for art supplies and what not.

    ConsSuper low pay, no where near enough hours in payroll, Every week we were moving merchandise around for sales. Way too much non art/ art supplies product. Computers/registers were constantly breaking down. the usual deposit for a weekday was around $1000 one day I did $6000 in custom framing and all they did was say good job. No commission, no raise, and no mention on my reviews. No time to actully take the greaty training. Poor Q&A on custom framing software frequently it'd crash and you's have to start over from the beginning.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf you want people to sell more stuff, offer them commission. You need more employees on the floor to sell things.

    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
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    Store Manager

    Store Manager (Current Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    ProsNiche specialty retailer, see a lot of great artwork/photography from customers

    Consa lot of certifications, heavily tasked with minimal payroll to cover, micro-managed corporate mentality

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    great part time

    Par Time Lead (Former Employee)

    ProsGreat part time job. Only if manager is willing to work with you

    ConsManagement can be a little dysfunctional

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
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    More Cons than Pros

    General Manager (Current Employee) Orange, CA

    ProsGood pay for management. Friendly people to work with. Being surrounded by art and artistic inspiration.

    ConsCorporate expectations are too high for each store. They expect more and more every year from their stores without giving any extra time to get things done. It's very hard to inspire young kids to do what they were hired to do when they're being paid next to nothing. Too many sale sets. It is very hard to get fired from Aaron Bros. You could show up for work and do nothing for months and, unless you're caught stealing, you still have a place to work.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAllow each stores the freedom to go over in payroll if absolutely needed. Allow stores the freedom to get rid of underperforming employees and the ability to pay more for really hard working ones.

    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

     

    Corporate Craziness

    Corporate (Former Employee)

    ProsStore Discount - that's it.

    ConsCorporate staff - no advancement unless your popular with the in crowd. No respect for salaried staff. Expected to work 60 hours a week every week. My boss was a workaholic and expected us to do the same. If you want to work here don't expect to learn new things or use modern technology.
    Stores aren't trained on new processes.
    Owned by Michaels and all that matters is sales and putting the blame for mistakes on someone else.

    Advice to Senior ManagementUpdate your computer systems. Improve team environment and culture. Even out workloads. Stop taking advantage of those that show initiative.

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

     

    It's a retail job, you can't expect too much

    Sales Associate (Current Employee) Cupertino, CA

    ProsHelping customers design their custom framing is interesting and can be challenging

    Cons-the floor sets are constantly being changed so many work days consist of moving merchandise around the store
    -difficult customers as with any retail job
    -management making last minute schedule changes

    Advice to Senior ManagementSchedules should be posted as far in advance as possible and then should not be changed unless absolutely necessary
    Don't waste our time with unnecessary floor set changes

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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