Backcountry.com Reviews

Updated June 23, 2015
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3.2
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Backcountry.com CEO Jill Layfield
Jill Layfield
85 Ratings

Pros
  • The gear discounts and pro forms are stellar (in 24 reviews)

  • Work/life balance; powder mornings and lunchtime rides are for real; did I have regular periods of time where I was working long hours (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • Upper management - C-level- threatens employees if they don't follow their lead (in 10 reviews)

  • Low pay unless they recruited you from a fancier company (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

126 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Dream Job

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Park City, UT
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Park City, UT

    I have been working at Backcountry.com full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people, fun industry, a perfect location in Park City, discounts on gear, opportunity for people that work hard and have good attitudes, and a culture that encourages you to get outside and use the products we sell. I feel very fortunate to be able to come to work at Backcountry every day.

    Cons

    Too many competing priorities, but company is getting better at managing this.

    Advice to Management

    Stay focused on the customer and what makes us unique.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Still growing

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Park City, UT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Park City, UT

    I worked at Backcountry.com full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Great opportunity for advancement and you work with really, really smart and ambitious people. Don't expect "powder days" all winter long, powder days can happen, just don't put this at the top of your list of reason's to work here; you have to work hard and produce results, just like any other fast paced highly innovative company.

    Cons

    Backcountry is a great place to work, but one of the challenges of working here for some is the political game and sometimes (reasonably so) major lack of transparency. But also, I am 3 years removed from backcountry.com, so hopefully it's improved.

    Advice to Management

    I think there are great things to be said about the way this company is run, but being owned by a huge investment company poses it's challenges in terms of company culture, but try to be as transparent as possible.


  3. Helpful (4)

    Rapidly changing.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Park City, UT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Park City, UT

    I worked at Backcountry.com full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Wonderful people all around you that are really difficult to not get along with. Lots of active, intelligent, kind-hearted folks at every level who harbor the passion that keeps the company afloat. BBQs in the summer (for now). Great discounts on gear. Quick recognition and ability to be promoted if you work hard and make your intentions and contributions clear. Stellar location for any outdoor enthusiast. Work/life balance is (for most departments) respected.

    Cons

    Backcountry has been changing rapidly since being bought by a publicly-traded company only a few years ago. I only spent a year there, but saw it myself, and also heard many stories about the way things were in the past, compared to the direction the company is heading. The priorities are shifting, from maintaining company culture and organically connecting with its core customers, to producing impressive numbers to please investors. This means constant sacrifices - some big, some small, but always happening - to save the company money to meet end-of-year goals. For example: There used to be funds allocated for employees at nearly every level to go to trade shows, product demos, etc. to broaden their scope of their respective industry/sport/activity and its products. Those budgets are being massively reduced. There used to be 2-3 "warehouse sales" to clear old inventory, wherein employees got insane deals. Now there is one per year, if that (part of this was due to the industry-rivaling returns policy that BC had in place, which has been eliminated). The executive board of about twelve members used to mostly be folks that rose organically through the ranks to lead with an honest passion for the company and its mission. Now the vast majority of the board is former execs from companies like Amazon, Delta, etc., who were installed because they are friends of investors and are focused almost exclusively on profitability and couldn't care less about Backcountry, its roots, or its customers. Also, the company used to cultivate deep relationships with key manufacturers, and in turn, BC and its staff (including customer service agents) were especially keen on important product, and thus were a rightfully trusted source of information both within and beyond the industry. Now, chasing quick deals and big margins to meet quarterly goals, product cycles so quickly, and comes from so many different vendors, that the company can't keep up, so customer service slips in quality, and they often don't even know what they have (this is also reflected in the increasingly high demand of production from the content department - in charge of coming up with product photos and descriptions - who have to hit bigger and bigger numbers with fewer and fewer people and less and less time. They are strained, which is why product descriptions are becoming more and more brief, tech specs becoming more sparse, and product photos are increasingly inconsistent in quality - because they're being supplied from the vendor, not taken in the company's photo studio, to save money (and there are internal talks of eliminating the entire content department itself to save even more)). I could go on and on with examples. The point is that the company is becoming a shell of its former self. Long-standing employees are leaving and turnover is increasing. Everyone inside knows it (and after a drink or two will admit it - even the big wigs). Ultimately, Backcountry is morphing into standard Corporate America while masquerading as an experience-focused, passion-driven company. It's not. Also: Compensation levels are poor (and slipping), benefits and perks are being eliminated every year, and the HR department is a generally bunch of morons.

    Advice to Management

    It's clear you want to become the Amazon.com of outdoor gear. What you forget is that no one (cool) drives around with Amazon.com bumper stickers.


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  5. Great Experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Backcountry.com full-time

    Pros

    Professional Visibility creates professional opportunities elsewhere Made many life long friends Collective Talent of the workforce is high

    Cons

    Don't pay market value. Strategies to stay competitive tend to tread water and come at a high cost.

    Advice to Management

    What are you going to do to stay competitive after you squeeze the ROI out of every budget line imaginable?


  6. Helpful (2)

    False Image

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative

    I have been working at Backcountry.com full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Gear Discount, good employees, somewhat easy going. If you make it into a leadership position, your schedule can be flexible.

    Cons

    Things change daily and workload from the Gearhead level up continues to increase and increase. Management expects more and more work with little play. The image Backcountry.com portrays itself as false. It's about profit, not a lifestyle. Maybe it used to be different.

    Advice to Management

    Step back and think about why this company was started in the first place.


  7. Interesting, to say the least.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Gearhead in West Valley City, UT
    Former Employee - Gearhead in West Valley City, UT

    I worked at Backcountry.com full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Casual setting, approachable management, and lots of on-site events. All the information about outdoor gear is at your fingertips and disposal.

    Cons

    Statistics-based performance is not ideal for some employees (esteem issues, etc.). Deescalating irate customers can be really difficult.

    Advice to Management

    Personalize the statistics for each employee. Not everyone likes to be compared to their co-workers in a group email.


  8. Helpful (4)

    Needs Improvement

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Park City, UT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Park City, UT

    I worked at Backcountry.com full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    - Gear Discounts - Gear Discounts - Gear Discounts - In reality there isn't much upside to working here. The gear discounts are great, the flexible work schedule (dependent on your manager), and work space is also a plus. There are great people that work here, good place to make friends. - If you are looking for somewhere to fly under the radar, this could be your spot.

    Cons

    - Pretty much everything else. - Executive team (for the most part) is self-interested and clueless. - Difficult to move upwards in the company. - Projects never get completed once they are submitted to Sr. Management. New executives are always coming in and trying to change things. You will almost kill yourself trying to get a project done, and then that executive leaves and the project is dropped. - With the high executive turnover there is no clear direction that the company is pursuing. I don't think Jill (CEO) has done a good job at defining a strategy for the firm. It is always changing with new executives and she is unwilling (or unable) to define where the company is headed.

    Advice to Management

    - Define a strategy and stick to it. - Promote from within. - Find a way to retain your executive team. - Don't drop projects once they have begun. - Think.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Copywriter

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Copywriter in West Valley City, UT
    Current Employee - Copywriter in West Valley City, UT

    I have been working at Backcountry.com full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great perks, awesome coworkers, flexible schedule, and great company.

    Cons

    Hard to move up the ranks and a lacking a little in management to employee communication

    Advice to Management

    Have more conversations with your employees so everyone feels secure and involved. It boosts morale.


  10. Helpful (4)

    Great for a starting or mid-level, not much advancement.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Park City, UT
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Park City, UT

    I worked at Backcountry.com

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

    Pros

    - The gear discounts are crazy good, anyone will say that - It's a good place to learn a lot if you are just getting started - There are some fun events and vendor clinics - Nice facilities - Flexible schedule

    Cons

    - Upper management only cares about the bottom line - They don't give employees much room for creative problem solving - Things are very much controlled by the board and sales - No clear direction on where the company is going - Taking a departure from the core outdoor

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees and pay them market value. You don't value your engineers and all the good ones leave.


  11. Helpful (4)

    Horrible

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Backcountry.com full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    The coworkers you work with, though the good are fading quickly.

    Cons

    The executive team does not care about their employees, keeping promises or treat their employees with respect. If you work above and beyond they work you into the ground with no appreciation. The good people that are there are fading quickly and the people replacing them are robots who just say yes and have no character or dedication to the company.

    Advice to Management

    Seriously look at your roots and where you came from, the company did not grow off of greed, treating employees horribly and overworking. As much as the company has to shift as they grow, you don't have to lose everything that made you. Liberty needs to pick off the executives who are leading with this mentality and get some leaders in who want to lead by example and treat people with respect and not just drink on the job, look at how many reviews say the leaders just sit and drink on the job, it is true.



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