Ann Taylor Reviews

Updated March 25, 2015
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3.1
27 Reviews
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Ann Taylor President, CEO, and Director Kay Krill
Kay Krill
12 Ratings

27 Employee Reviews

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  1. Sales Associate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Ann Taylor full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    They truly care about their employees. Great training throughout the year.

    Cons

    Sometimes you have to do hard labor and for very little pay.

    Advice to Management

    Paying your employees a better wage with slow down the hight turn over

  2. Helpful (1)

    When I started, a nice company that like to grow potential. Focus changing towards appearance, not sustenance.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Co-Manager in Aurora, IL
    Former Employee - Co-Manager in Aurora, IL

    I worked at Ann Taylor full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent discount. 50% off retail prices, with select items 75% off once a season and the opportunity to earn stackable coupons. Depending on the store you work at, a great environment can be created to make the days fun. Great benefits, including providing emergency day care for mothers to allow them to balance family and work.

    Cons

    The new changes in upper-management have brought a very different mentality to the company. Payroll hours are being readjusted which ask for more in return for less available hands. Goals are high, especially in outlet division, with very little achievable reward because those goals are so unattainable. If you're management you get very little in the way of work life balance. If your store team works well, you can try to have something of a life, but overall the opportunity to truly create a home life is severely limited, especially at a high volume store.

    Advice to Management

    Though you want to readjust things to reflect the change in the market, please make sure to remember that have many employees that have been there for years and have done great work. Recognise that, instead of creating a new 'in' club and making others feel like the red headed step-children of the family. You're losing excellent employees in outlet due to this new attitude.

  3. I loved it until upper management was changed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Lead in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Sales Lead in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Ann Taylor

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great discount! Flexible hours! The hours were good. The fashion was amazing. Prominent performance and bonus discount if the store made it's goal.

    Cons

    Management! The original management from 2013 was solid. When the store manager and co manager was changed everything got terrible and tons of employees quit.

    Advice to Management

    Change the entire management team

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  5. Helpful (3)

    The Good, the Bad & the UGLY

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Store Manager LOFT in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Store Manager LOFT in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Ann Taylor

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Opportunity to work in a fast-paced, constantly evolving atmosphere. No two days are ever alike.

    LOFT has a very operational workload. You will become a master of balancing bi-weekly (minimum) promo changes, store sets, shipment, processing DOMs (online orders) and basic operation aspects.

    Dress code is pretty open to interpretation & generally affordable. They give an additional seasonal coupon book to make sure the team is wearing current pieces. You can wear denim & flats to work! As long as you're dressing "high to low" - casual pant, refined top or dress pant, casual top you're good to go. I tend to stick with neutrals I can wear all year round and add a small dose of the current color. The product turns over very quickly (thanks to heavy promotions) so what is "current" one week will not be the next.

    The company has a large number of reports available for you to analyze your business. There are financial reports as well as product reports that let you see how well you're selling specific departments (pants, petites, jewelry, etc) compared to the average LOFT location. In addition, you learn important aspects about gross margin & really flexing your store's presentation based on what you own & sell. Most upper management are very supportive of this merchant mindset as long as you have a business case for what you're doing. It gives you a new perspective & is interesting to see how all of the puzzle pieces fit together.

    There is an online assessment that all candidates must pass prior to the point of being hired. This can sometimes delay the hiring process, but it does help to ensure you're hiring the right fit for the right job. There is also flexibility with what you can pay your team. When I started, I was given a range of what a Sales Associate, Sales Lead & Co-Manager could make. It was my job then to balance the team's salary based on experience so that the store's average ended in the middle ground & would be most profitable. It's nice to have the flexibility to pay a little more where you know you will get your return on investment without having to check with your DM first.

    Half time pay for salaried Co-Managers for hours over 40. Some people say this is a con because it is not time & a half, but I've worked with several retailers who do not offer ANY pay for hours over 40 regardless of position. That's why it's salaried after all! As a Store Manager, I don't benefit from this, but it is nice to know that my Co is compensated for additional hours required.

    Most retailers offer Floating Holidays for just Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years. LOFT adds Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day to that list for an additional 3 days of PTO. They also offer 1.5- 2x for hourly workers that have shifts on those days.

    Cons

    Payroll is different than your typical retailer. You are given XX hours for Client Facing, XX hours for Management, XX hours for Stock, XX hours for Visuals, XX hours for markdowns. This means you never have to cut hours based on not making Sales Goals. Sounds nice, right? This also means that if you're consistently busier than anticipated with a higher volume of visits or sales than expected, there is NO room to add additional coverage. You get 1 Manager & 1 Sales Associate whether you're making $500 or $5000. Payroll is usually mismanaged all year, so when it comes to Holiday time - when you would absolutely benefit from additional coverage that would pay itself back tenfold - DMs will ask their teams to CUT HOURS to actually be UNDER payroll during the BUSIEST time of the year. The company is trying to scrape together and last minute profit before the year end.

    There is a huge focus on credit cards. You can absolutely bottom out on sales, but if you're making your credit cards, you won't hear a word about your % to Sales Goal. You are required to convince people to open these accounts on the floor and at the cashwrap. Most stores set the goal of asking each client 2-3x if they're using their LOFT Card or if they'd like to open one, or if they'd like to convert to the MasterCard option. It's repetitive and clients get annoyed. Plus, you're really not doing them any favors by saving them 15% off their first purchase when after leaving that balance on their card, they're being charged 25-30% interest each month. This is common in several other credit card carrying retailers too though. Credit Cards are harped on daily with "encouraging" and shaming emails from DMs. All this, and guess what percentage of your Annual Performance Assessment this is... 5% That's it.

    Sales Volume Goals are set very optimistically by corporate. The actual metrics like DPT and Conversion are set at realistic goals. The problem is they're goaling stores higher in visits than that store has seen in the past 5 years. So even if you're making your quantifiable goals, you will never make your sales goal based on the walk-in traffic. Doesn't quite seem fair. In addition to that, Online Returns count against your store's sales. It's incredibly frustrating that you can be having a great day, and then clients will come in an return a $500 Online Order because she never got a chance to try it on first and it doesn't fit right. If online gets the credit for the sale, why wouldn't they get credit for the return? In addition, they're also working on rolling out iPads to the store, so that stores can help customers place online orders while they're in the store. It gives the company an additional source of revenue, but it will surely increase the amount of online returns in the store. So it benefits the people sitting behind the desk, but the frontline employees are going to be the ones suffering. Oh and % to Sales Goal... 30% of your Annual Performance Assessment. Wouldn't be so bad except you're not being assessed on your actual results, you're being assessed on your results, less tons of online returns.

    Work/life balance is always a struggle in retail. Store Manager's hours over 40 aren't counted towards payroll. So if there's additional work to do, guess who's doing it? Once you get a strong team and the business cadence down though, this is reduced. My average work week is about 40-42 hours. This is after spending 6-8 months building a team from the ground up while working 44-46 hours.

    Corporate visits will consist of a walk-through of the store, a few questions about business, and then hang out in back and socialize. You can expect DMs to do a 2-4 hour visit with half of that time in the back room checking emails or taking conference calls. If you want to affect sales results, step out on the floor and actually give feedback about selling behaviors. Anything you can say in a conference call, you can write in an email.

    Advice to Management

    Live up to your 4 Core Values:

    1) "Staying Connected to Women" by spending time in the field.. actually WITH the field. Not on your laptop/iPhone.
    2) "Embrace Fashion First" by allowing stores to flex payroll for more of a hands on client experience. 2 Part coverage is not always enough to meet out]r clients needs.
    3) "Putting Our Best Selves Forward Every Day" by being accountable for store's ACTUAL sales & results, not those offset by Online Returns.
    4)"Honoring Our Full Lives" by actually encouraging work/life balance and not relying on manager's salaried hours to pick up the slack.

  6. Not bad for a part time job.

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

    I have been working at Ann Taylor part-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible scheduling
    OK discounts
    Work-life balance

    Cons

    Management gets outsourced quickly, leaving stores into shambles.

  7. Great environment however low pay for visual merchandiser

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Visual Merchandiser in Chicago, IL
    Current Contractor - Visual Merchandiser in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Ann Taylor as a contractor (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I have been working with this company for almost 2 years. I love my working team, and the managers.

    Cons

    The company doesn't make any salary difference between sales associate and visual merchandiser.

  8. Great company!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Ann Taylor LOFT Sales Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Ann Taylor LOFT Sales Associate in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Ann Taylor part-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great work environment, from the people I work with to the structure of the company. Very flexible with my schedule and able to work around any conflict I may have. Not to mention I love the clothes!

    Cons

    It seems to be a temporary job for many, somewhere for people to go while they are looking for full-time work.

  9. little room for growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Ann Taylor Loft Sales Lead in Skokie, IL
    Former Employee - Ann Taylor Loft Sales Lead in Skokie, IL

    I worked at Ann Taylor full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great starting pay. Great associate discount. High fashion retail company that rewards hard work and fashionable associates. Best part is you can look amazingly fashionable everyday! Most of the clients are amazing to work with; you really get to make a difference in someone's life by influencing their fashion decisions. Most mornings are slower paced; however it really picks up after school hours.

    Cons

    You really have to have a heart for fashion. If you're the type of person who doesn't pay attention to the small details in fashion, you might not want to apply. Its really hard to get a full time position; you really have to prove yourself, and even then, most managers will hire their friends before promoting you(which is common amongst retail). Store visits are brutal! You really have to have a back bone and be able to take some tough love and harsh criticism.

    Advice to Management

    Please consider internal promotions before hiring externally. Make sure to keep your promises and be a good example to the rest of the team. Keep the Whole Hearted Promise alive! it was a great tool.

  10. Helpful (5)

    Run the other way from Ann Taylor.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Ann Taylor full-time (More than a year)

    Disapproves of CEO
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Discount on foreign-made, poorly- constructed clothing, yay!

    Cons

    See pros, oh and here are a few more cons: non-present dm and rm, poor work/life balance, aka no balance, unrealistic sales and credit goals clearly not in alignment with the economic conditions or outlook for the United States, tremendous workload and zero payroll to support.., example: from 9 to 10am, do all store opening procedures ( administrative and cleaning), clear off 60 desperate emails from dm in this sinking ship company, change all promo signs for the day, usually 15 or so, put away all abandoned clothing from fitting rooms (about 4 racks), and process online orders that have been sourced to your store. Do all of this with just yourself and one other associate! Good luck!

    Advice to Management

    Stop expecting the world from your team while you sit at home as a dm or rm taking conference calls.

  11. Loft

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Ann Taylor LOFT Sales Associate in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Ann Taylor LOFT Sales Associate in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Ann Taylor part-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    If you aren't dependent upon the job to make a living, you will enjoy working there.

    Cons

    There are too many workers with to few hours to give out. Management can pick favorites. There is no easy way to be promoted from within, unlike what you'll see at most companies.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees like you care about their lives outside of work. Do not expect above and beyond if you can't pay us enough or provide enough hours for people to make it in the world.

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