Barnes & Noble

  www.barnesandnoble.com
  www.barnesandnoble.com

Barnes & Noble Reviews

Updated November 21, 2014
Updated November 21, 2014
1,162 Reviews
3.4
1,162 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Michael Huseby
167 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The one thing that I can say about this company is that you get a pretty great employee discount (in 104 reviews)

  • It's nice to get a decent discount on books and have access to the titles (in 40 reviews)


Cons
  • While the pay is a little above minimum wage, the hours make for some very small paychecks (in 79 reviews)

  • The company had some serious problems that turned a great part-time job into a so-so (in 58 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Department Assistant

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

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Barnes & Noble is a great place to work. It's full of smart, forward thinking people who love what they do, and the product they sell. There are so many employees who have worked here for 20+ years.

    Cons

    You begin with only two weeks paid vacation, and don't receive more until after 5 years with the company. While there is room to grow, it can be difficult since employees stay with the company for so long.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Although starting pay is low, working conditions are great, managers very helpful.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Part Time Book Seller
    Current Employee - Part Time Book Seller

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Professional and polite interview by assistant manager and store manager. All managers and head cashiers are very hard-working and energetic. All current staff are very savvy about business and product. All managers work well with people, especially with new hires. My bookseller position is seasonal and part-time. After three weeks of working training, my job performance was judged satisfactory to work in a department unassisted. Time off policies are flexible and requests are non-confrontational. I am unfamiliar with promotion policy as it is not anticipated for my seasonal work. Online paycheck deposit is easy. Pay is weekly, with a delay of one week, standard just about everywhere, I think. I had worked in a BN store long ago, but with no cashiering responsibilities at the time. Extensive cashiering experience is an almost sure way to get hired, but I must note that their training program is terrific, and step-by-step, and one is mentored all the way through. Intelligent people are key; one must be able to take charge of the position and treat the position as an entrepreneur. If you are not comfortable with treating the general public with respect, despite their differences, this is not the best place for you. The cafe in most stores is really well-run. Employee discounts are great. Vacation policy is pretty standard around the US today, I think. Starts with one week a year and goes upward to a max of 5 weeks. As a national employer they must abide by FMLA, so you will not be penalized by medical time off for yourself or immediate family. The store does major hiring for the Winter season holidays, and periodically other times. To qualify for an interview, contact your state or local employment assistance agencies or make an appointment with the store manager to interview for employment when they plan to hire. In other words, be prepared, it will be appreciated as the company will know you plan to do well on the job.

    Cons

    Very few cons. One is that shifts are often needed to be switched with little warning. Be ready for any position on short notice! Old equipment goes down with no warning; most registers are very outdated and worn.
    Marketing determines stock placement, so one may find a book in two different places in the store. It's planned that way, and you must get used to it. One week off and you will be lost if you don't walk the floor when you return.
    Office culture is "what office?" People are rarely in any office, even the store manager. As I mentioned in Pro's, there is little of the usual pecking order, although it's clear than some people are very skilled. I've never seen any employee be put down by a manager. Managers are on the floor all the time, working hard with everyone else, one of the few places I've seen that happen. There is no group of employees hiding out anywhere in either of the stores I have worked in. Check out a Barnes and Noble and see for yourself.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Update store equipment. It's old and malfunctioning, which slows down fast and accurate cashiering.
    Update the on-hand training manuals, which are out of date with current practices.
    Add one week a year to vacation time accrual, with partial accrual available.
    Update employee online access to employee status from home computers, and make management email addresses available to employees for important messaging with managers. Notes can get lost.
    PDT's are old and malfunctioning. They need replacement or repair. Not enough are fully operational.
    These are normal and run-of-the-mill equipment problems and should not be happening in this day and age.
    More training about selling and up-selling is needed.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Good company and work environment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Bsp Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Bsp Engineer in Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    flexible working hours and freedom

    Cons

    Product Management is not good. some features are bad.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Good place for stable emplyoment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - General Merchandise Manager in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - General Merchandise Manager in Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Hands on managers, promotes from within company, opportunity for overtime during peak times, relaxed dress

    Cons

    low pay, not the best training programs, stressful days during peak time and completely boring days during non peak times

    Doesn't Recommend
  6.  

    Good People and Work to Life Balance

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

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    -Reasonable hours with a focus on providing a work-life balance.
    -Fair compensation and immediate 401k vesting.
    -Friendly coworkers that take an interest in you as a person.

    Cons

    -Limited career growth opportunities.
    -Training budget is limited.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great overall experience at corporate, but with some corporate drawbacks.

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

    I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Amazing coworkers, books everywhere, and everyone loves talking about books. This was in the corporate office, and there are great perks and wonderful work-life balance.

    Cons

    It can be hard to get through the corporate red tape, and if you are low on the totem pole, it can be hard to get heard. Decisions can take a very long time to get made.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate more directly with employees.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Solid company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Cashier/Customer Service in Glen Allen, VA
    Current Employee - Cashier/Customer Service in Glen Allen, VA

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The management, in my opinion, were very professional. They were not lacking in emotion though, as I've seen some managers have no sympathy for employees. I found at my store that the managers were easy to work with and very fair.

    Cons

    Well, being retail, I worked holidays. Sometimes I did not mind, but I typically like to get holidays off. That comes with the territory of retail, though.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to maintain a positive balance of work policies and understanding schedules of certain employees.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    In one word: Decent. Hamilton County, IN

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Cafe Server/Bookseller in Indianapolis, IN
    Former Employee - Cafe Server/Bookseller in Indianapolis, IN

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    One of the major pros of working at a book store are the types of customers you serve. I've worked at one other retail place and the customers there were very rude. However, at B & N the customers were kind, genuine, patient, and understanding. I don't recall ever having a bad experience with a customer. The management on the other hand is another story.
    In addition, I enjoyed the coworkers I had and also some of the members of the management team, specifically the store manager and the assistant/merchandise managers. It's incredibly refreshing to work with people who value reading, books, and knowledge the same amount as you do.

    Cons

    The pressure to ask for emails, phone numbers and get people to purchase membership cards while at the same time trying to sell them a product of the day/special buy is ridiculous. First off, no customer wants to give an email or phone number and no bookseller wants to ask for that information. It alienates the customer from what could be a great transaction experience. Also, regarding selling membership cards - it is a difficult process and at times, the customer just doesn't want to buy one - it's not always the bookseller's fault and as such, they shouldn't be treated like it is. Asking for an email address, asking a customer multiple times if they would like to purchase a membership card, and telling them about the special deals is too much unneeded information that a bookseller must convey to the customer. Customers don't like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    One other con: having one person work/close the cafe is an absolute joke. The closing person has an incredible amount of work to do to properly close the cafe such as: pre-bake everything for the morning, refill syrups/beans, restock the bake case, take temperatures, wash all dishes (this takes a ton of time), put chairs on top of tables and mop, while at the same time serving customers. This is incredibly unfeasible for one person to complete alone.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Decent place to work for part-time students or someone needing a side job.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Part Time Book Seller
    Former Employee - Part Time Book Seller

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Benefits are fairly good, for merchandise as well as health and PTO. It is a laid-back work setting, but professionalism is still expected.

    Cons

    The pay is not the greatest and raises are very small. Also, hours can be horrible especially when doing turn-overs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider actually managing the store instead of leaving it up to leads and booksellers to figure out what to do.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great staff, nice environment, better-than-average class of customer...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Tucson, AZ
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Tucson, AZ

    I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you happen to be a reader, this is an excellent retail job. Pay is low, but survivable if full-time. A lot of part-time co-workers are attending university or working a second job. Medical/dental benefits are good. Customers tend to be a little better educated than usual for retail, which is a plus.

    Cons

    Heavy emphasis placed upon membership sales, which is easy enough at first, but with a loyal, repeat customer base, after a few years you begin getting more renewal business than new business. This might not be a problem in a large, urban market, but in a smallish city you have a limited number of people who still read. Raises in pay are perfunctory over time unless you intend to move up to management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay more, back off a little with the constant upselling; it ultimately just annoys customers and wastes everybody's time. Allow longer-term workers a little more leeway in their scheduling.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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