Barnes & Noble

www.barnesandnoble.com
Profile Unclaimed

Barnes & Noble Reviews

Updated February 26, 2015
Updated February 26, 2015
1,260 Reviews
3.4
1,260 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Michael Huseby
195 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It's nice to get a decent discount on books and have access to the titles (in 42 reviews)

  • The one thing that I can say about this company is that you get a pretty great employee discount (in 108 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 61 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    As good as retail will ever get - great business, good benefits, but concerning trends

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Merchandising Manager in Orange, CA
    Former Employee - Merchandising Manager in Orange, CA

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

    Pros

    As good as it will ever get for retail. Great community of people to work with. Full-timers get great benefits. Benefits extended to same-sex partnerships even where not legally required. Books are fun.

    Cons

    People just get weird around bookstores. High sales expectations (memberships). Increasing trend towards bare minimum staffing of a store... frustrating when the main advantage over online shopping is customer service.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allot more hours to store so they can staff to meet customer's expectations. Managers are doing what they can with what they have, which isn't much.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Wonderful people to work with, limited advancement opportunities

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

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

    Pros

    Very friendly co workers and managers, they were great about accommodating scheduling and vacation requests. Everyone worked well together and helped the store run smoothly.

    Cons

    In 7 years, I only witnessed a few people get promotions within my store. New managers were hired from outside the company or transferred from other stores.
    Raises were annual, but in tiny increments.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Support dedicated employees and help them grow into management positions.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Absolutely the BEST place I have ever worked retail!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Bookseller in Brookfield, WI
    Current Employee - Bookseller in Brookfield, WI

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

    Pros

    -staff is super friendly and flexible
    -management really cares about how you feel at the job
    -they work with other jobs and school hours
    -everything is great
    -super great discounts (50% in cafe, 30% on the bookfloor and music dept., employee appreciation days in the holiday season-45%)

    Cons

    -the only drawback is they really, really push you for memberships, and if you have a hard time getting them, they somewhat devaluate your ability as a bookseller

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    Love my job!

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble

    Pros

    Family environment with coworkers and customers

    Cons

    None! I've bee with the company over 13 years

  6.  

    !

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble

    Pros

    Good when things make sense

    Cons

    Not good if sales are bad

  7.  

    Not much opportunity for advancement on the retail side.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Cafe Barista in Huntsville, AL
    Former Employee - Cafe Barista in Huntsville, AL

    I worked at Barnes & Noble

    Pros

    50% off of cafe items and 30% off of books.

    Cons

    Not a strong possibility for advancement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote deserving employees.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Cafe Manager in Baltimore, MD
    Current Employee - Cafe Manager in Baltimore, MD

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble

    Pros

    Excellent company to work for. Very detailed and professional.

    Cons

    Yearly inventory count was very long and time consuming due to company hired to do inventory count.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I have no bad comments at all. A great company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Love the company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Merchandiser in Jacksonville, FL
    Current Employee - Merchandiser in Jacksonville, FL

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

    Pros

    Fast paced, task oriented, honor requests off

    Cons

    Should get paid more for the amount of labor involved.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Less drama more fun! Treating part time booksellers better. Set schedules!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    The BEST place I have ever worked!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Head Cashier in Baton Rouge, LA
    Current Employee - Head Cashier in Baton Rouge, LA

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble

    Pros

    Let me just start by saying that this is easily the easiest job/company I have ever worked for ever; this goes working any non-management position in a BN store (minus maybe the cafe, where I have never worked). I have one of the more dreaded positions (head cashier), and this is literally the first and only job I haven't dreaded waking up (for morning shifts) and going to for the day or evening.

    PROS:

    +laid back atmosphere

    +very light workload most days (and really not that bad on busy days)

    +slightly above average pay (even seasonal/holiday employees make more than minimum wage), with a practically guaranteed raise every year (provided you just do the basics of your job--you can get higher raises by working just a little harder and caring just a little more about the company's interest and little less about your own desires to not be working (this may be a completely foreign concept for some), but in the one year and three months I've been with the company (starting as seasonal, now full-time) I have received three raises)

    +STUPID AWESOME EMPLOYEE DISCOUNT! 50% off cafe items, 30% off everything except music (20%), NOOK (15%), and newspapers (0% BOO!! remember this for the cons section because I don't feel like typing it again). Plus, twice a year--for two weeks near Christmas and one week near the end of April, if I remember correctly--those percentages get bumped up 10%, minus the cafe discount---oh yeah, did I mention this is at any BN store nationwide, regardless whether or not you work at that particular location and on BN.com, and for your family, and they even give you a special discount number so your spouse can shop on BN.com without having to use your account so she can purchase presents for you without you getting emails telling you about orders that are suppose to be a secret?

    +the smell of books in the morning, at a brunch, and midday, and early afternoon, supper time, dinner time---basically if it's a time at which Hobbits eat or just a time in general, it smells like books, which is probably what Jesus smells like in Heaven

    +I have a 401k now (nuff said!--which earned 8% last year, which only included about 5-6 months of investing because you have to first qualify for this benefit based off your employment status, more than enough said!) They also provide medical (but I'm still on my father's health insurance, so I have no experience here; thanks Obamacare!) and a whole list of other do-dads and don'ts that are listed on some documents in my filing cabinet that I don't particularly feel at all motivated to pull out and list for you tonight

    +book borrowing: an employee may check out any hardcover book form the store without charge for a time provided they return it in sellable condition (the manager holds on to the dust jacket, if it has one, so you don't even have to worry about messing that up)

    +in general, the customers at BN are far more cheerful than in most other areas of the retail, restaurant, and service industries (and their're usually more educated too)--this does vary from store to store, as ought be obvious: if you work at a location that is near a movie theater, large shopping mall/center, or other teen/young adult hang out area you are going to get more "walk through, destroy, and ditch without buying" customers (the quote, by the way, is not commonplace lingo around BN: it's something I just made up to express efficiently and effectively what I am attempting to say)

    +Did I mention you get to be surrounded by books and coffee all day, both of which are handsomely discounted!? (that is an exclamatory-interrogative punctuation I created on the end there; one day they will share the same dot)

    +store managers, coworkers, and overall work environment: this is purely subjective and will be different depending on your location (the store across town had, not too long ago, a crap manager, which, ultimately, lead to this department being a little more crappy experience for the folks over there); however, when the management staff creates and sustains a fun, energetic, and forgiving work environment and aren't afraid to get their hands dirty doing the things that regular booksellers do--working the floor answering phones, dealing with the few crap customers no one else wants to, et cetera--and even go beyond that, like cleaning up what seemed to be be sprayed on diarrhea all over a toilet and taking out the trash on mornings when we don't have a cleaning crew come in to clean the store; not once have I seen someone besides a manager do these tasks--this all helps to facilitate and produce a camaraderie among all the employees, leading to a sort of store community, where former booksellers come back every now and then to see how everyone is doing and others who continue to work at the store once or twice a week even though they have already started their "real jobs" because it's a break from their day to day grind (yeah, a break, not quite the horror stories told online, which usually stem from people who don't understand why a company would hold them to the standards and expectations listed in the job description they agreed to; poor "oppressed" devils--more about these guys in the cons!). This is by far the best part about working at BN.

    Cons

    -(This is above&beyond--get it, it's a BN pun (check out the lego movie)--the #1 con): Disgruntled, FORMER employees complaining about the big, bad BN, especially on the internet anonymously: Most of the "problems" people post about and spread about aren't really problems; they are usually the result of an unwillingness to work hard and an attitude of defiant-arrogance (ever notice how many of these so-called "problems" never admit to the poster's or teller's having done anything wrong?--they were unable to do their job because of someone else or someone else did or demanded something of them that required them to do more than they were able or more than what was required of them). It's always the dehumanizing terms of "management" or "corporate" who are to blame--never at fault are these perfect, unemployed complainers. Now, there are legit, real problems, more on that in a minute, but the wildly outrageous stories of online message boards ARE truly a problem (and I'm willing to bet there are a great number of people who would say the same things about any company they worked; BN made the mistake of hiring them). I suspect I may have been a little harsher than intended here. I apologize--there are days when I feel the same way, but--by God's grace--I am able to ask myself first, "Is this really a problem or am I just expecting to be entitled to a pay check without having to go through the process of acquiring one?"

    -Sometimes the initiates and instructions of the corporate and leadership staff really don't make sense and seem like "peeing in the wind" (and the wind ain't at your back). However, in their defense: You try running the world's largest book store chain and seem if you do much better (the toys and gift departments many disgruntled guys and gals seem to bemoan in online postings are actually a huge boost for our sales overall.) Sometimes corporate fails to send planning for fixtures; sometimes the planning is mapped for a fixture you don't have; sometimes the shelves sent to your 25 year old store are a foot too short, even though the bays you have for those shelves have never changed.

    -At times, too much pressure exerted upon and too many things scheduled in too little time for far too small a staff (with no more allowance to hire more or give out more hours) for the managers and leads to always get things done as they are listed. (You never not do something; sometimes you just have to start a day earlier or finish a project early the next day, or come in fifteen to thirty minutes earlier--if it can be spared.) When working my position, for example, one used to have a second cashier scheduled so he or she could work on projects; now, the projects still have to get done, but you have no one to work the registers while you do them. This is but a minor example, but it shows how sometimes the companies "trimming of fat" to diligently can cut into the more valuable parts of your business.

    -Though I love NOOK to death; I own one (purchased before I was employed with BN, so no discount on that) and enjoy it more than my ipad that was stolen, it's draining us. Plus, sometimes BN isn't always the best tech support, putting employees in awkward situations. The NOOK reading software (not the app. version) along with BN's digital collection, however, is a major asset.

    -Amazon: Darn you, Amazon! (though they have great prices on electronics, and it's kinda convenient to be able to buy a refrigerator, new gloves, my mom a flower pot shaped like a rooster, and rent a movie without having to get off my couch---you can buy groceries on there now too! What is the world coming to? Amazon, I see you plan for world domination and raise you the power of brick and mortar.)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The cafe could be harnessed to really provide an atmosphere for which people come to spend their free time, study, and have group gatherings, opening the door for far more people in the stores, leading to much higher sales. My store in particular--and may be the case for older stores like mine--needs more power outlets instead of five to ten "laptopers" and maybe a "cell phoner" or two jockeying for lordship over the only two realms of power and wattage in the, fairly large, cafe area. Maybe configuring a more streamlined manner of displaying cafe gift to free up space for more tables in chairs (this is all dependent upon layout, as is apparent).

    Giving investors confidence in stock prices doesn't have to be won merely by our ability for high-volume movements of merchandise; we can give "an independent bookstore feel" while also pushing superstore numbers. Now, in some ways we already do that--we have a great regional section in our store and, it being a larger, older store, have room to carry titles not in the newer, more streamlined stores--however, carrying older editions, that we may not always be able to order, more hardbacks (even if the paperback edition is out and it's not bargain priced), and other ideas people with more creativity than I can think up may be helpful to at least test (maybe you have an I am uninformed).

    Also, making the experience more interactive, such has randomly having factoids about authors, publishers, BN, et cetera posted about the stores (and changing these out every now and then) may help to drive curiosity and incentive to visit our stores more often (Wikipedia has millions (possibly hundreds of millions) of people visit the site daily out of curiosity and want of knowledge, and, if anyone else in the world is like me, much of it is random curiosity taken in small amounts and quickly, such as the amount of knowledge one can express within a 8x10 frame on the side of a bookshelf or bathroom wall.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Love being here, Best retail job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Music Seller in Fayetteville, NC
    Current Employee - Music Seller in Fayetteville, NC

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

    Pros

    Love my coworkers and the environment is very comfortable and workable. Awesome at scheduling based on my personal needs. Very employee oriented! Very good employee discount too. Just be ready to try and sell some memberships..

    Cons

    Minimum wage pay and customers can be difficult from time to time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Love your break policies and employee benefits! Thank you!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Work at Barnes & Noble? Share Your Experiences

Barnes & Noble

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.