Barnes & Noble Reviews

Updated September 3, 2015
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3.4
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Michael Huseby
259 Ratings

Pros
  • The Employees discount on books and coffee (in 42 reviews)

  • Employee Discount; Cafe Discount (in 108 reviews)

Cons
  • You are expected to complete too many tasks for minimum wage (in 79 reviews)

  • Little possibility of moving from part time to full time - hours are being cut back to avoid paying healthcare (in 61 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

1,610 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Non-supportive management.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Music Manager in Paramus, NJ
    Former Employee - Music Manager in Paramus, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Generally a nice working environment. The customers in general are nice and other employees are competent. The smells coming from the cafe are very nice, especially in the morning. There are good opportunities to move up within the company, especially if you live around NYC. The pay isn't great, however, the benefits package that is offered to the full-time employees is very good and competitive when compared to other retail establishments.

    Cons

    Management is completely non-supportive about inter-employee relationships. They have absolutely no idea how to problem solve and really need help with mediating situations. Also, management needs more training about how to treat their employees with respect and dignity.

    Advice to Management

    LEARN TO MEDIATE AND TREAT YOUR EMPLOYEES WITH RESPECT!


  2. Helpful (1)

    In the short run (for about a year or so) BN seems like a great place to work where you'll be promoted and valued.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Pembroke Pines, FL
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Pembroke Pines, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    -Employee discount (50% off cafe and 30% off music and books) -Vacation and sick time -Workers are easy to get along with

    Cons

    The Company does not promote you (at least not me) based on how hard you work or how dedicated you are to your job. At least where i worked, management chooses who they will promote to higher positions based on favorites. Translation, if you're not one of their "chosen ones", you will never be promoted and respected, no matter how much you give to the store. After three years of working for BN, i was literally treated like dirt towards the end, getting ONLY FOUR HOURS A WEEK! how inhumane!

    Advice to Management

    Try Promoting employees based on how hard they work, instead of other insignificant reasons.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Do not work for this company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Bookseller in Paramus, NJ
    Current Employee - Bookseller in Paramus, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    medical dental employee discount For the most part regular booksellers get along and are friendly.

    Cons

    No respect. Does not recognize good work, only notices when something is wrong. Management can sometimes be threating.

    Advice to Management

    Make more of an effort to find out what's going on in your stores.


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  5. Full of inadequate management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Destin, FL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Destin, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Generally receive full training in each department in the store. Therefore, no two days are the same and you can stay busy.

    Cons

    One word: Nook. Since the Nook debuted the company has lost site of what made them successful. Customer service has totally been abandoned in favor of meeting Nook sales goals. Why reward a customer that is going to come into a store and spend $200 one time on a Nook and alienate a customer who comes in once a month and spends $50 each time on actual books? Also, management frequently promotes friends to higher positions over employees who deserve it and have worked there longer.

    Advice to Management

    Management team needs to learn how to communicate with staff. Only people who work mornings get any information about what is going on. Furthermore, employees do not respect management when they are hypocritical about things.


  6. Helpful (2)

    B&N Review

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Most of the employees tend to be easy to work with and the environment is casual. The Employee Discount is nice.

    Cons

    Since William Lynch took over there have been few inside promotions. Most new directors have come from the outside. At .com they are inserting new titles to make upward progress more difficult.

    Advice to Management

    Sorry, I can't add anything here because it will sound like a rant. Basically, they need to start doing a better job.


  7. Get a job elsewhere

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Miami, FL
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Miami, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The discounts on instore products is good. Medical and Dental benefits are good.

    Cons

    The position you get hired for is the position you will have when you leave the company. There is NO promotion from within. Do not believe the nonsense they peddle about how all their managers are promoted from within the company. In the years I was with the company I saw one bookseller become a merchandise manager. Never did I see a bookseller rise beyond merch manager. Managerial positions are always filled from outside. Store Managers and Assistant Store Managers tend to be condescending, inept and unwilling to do the physical work required of everyone else. They often spend hours locked up in the office doing paperwork ignoring calls for managers from the book floor. This has been true across several stores I have worked at. In short, do not attempt to make a career of this place. They will not promote you. You will see the lazy and inept employees get the same raises and more hours than you. Lastly, the sensation when I finally quit was as true for me as all the people who left before me had assured me it would be. Leaving that place was the best thing that could have happened.

    Advice to Management

    Quit the useless condescension towards your employees. Much as you probably hate your lives and your careers, they probably hate working for you just as much.


  8. Love books but the company is clearly going in the wrong direction

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Merchandise Manager in Florence, SC
    Current Employee - Merchandise Manager in Florence, SC
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    30% Discount 50% in Cafe Working with books Great Customers

    Cons

    No communication from all levels of management. According to DM promoting within is "too risky"

    Advice to Management

    Hire more competant managers and make a real attempt to focus on the employees.


  9. Helpful (6)

    One of the worst places to work! Very toxic and unhealthy place to work.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Bookseller in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Bookseller in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Book discount, interesting co-workers, easy job, being around books all day.

    Cons

    The hardest part about working at B&N is working with jerky management. I really think this company hires bully management just to get rid of long term employees.

    Advice to Management

    Listen more to your employees, be kind to your employees, stop playing favorites, respect long term employees and stop giving new hires more hours while cutting long term employees hours, stop being passive aggressive and learn to communicate directly with all employees, get rid of trouble makers that cause more problems.


  10. Helpful (3)

    BN.com - Welcome To The Chaos

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Pay is ok, as the company is trying to act like Amazon, Google and the successful .COMs. Free snacks Many staff on the battlefield are passionate committed people who care about their work. Cutting edge work as an old established company pushes forward into digital.

    Cons

    Trying to be successful, but has not clue on how to do so in many departments. Information overload Nobody knows who does what Meeting Culture...most of the time, trying to find out who does what Lots of people coming and going No respect for personal time or personal lives Disorganization Terrible health plan for a .COM group and large company Management more interested in big picture and puts a blind eye to the car wreck the daily work and workload is for 90% of the employees Management unsure of what they need each quarter. Company goes through various reorganizations when they realize they employed people for something they did not need after a few months. Factitious recruitment promises Weak HR group who lets chaos reign IT group is about 4 people for an entire floor of a building. Good luck getting something fixed or what you need. IT dept is in shambles, with terrible attitude and workload. Battle between Palo Alto group and BN.com group as they tend to duplicate work and add to the chaos. Top brass aloof and just self-involved. Substandard products, which are limited by terrible programming and decisioning by those who are not considering customer needs. Revolving door of people....many who come in and then try to leave. Outdated internal systems and limitations by those systems that hurt pushing forward digitally and to a customer first experience.

    Advice to Management

    Hire based on longterm needs, not shortterm. The revolving door is a morale killer. More care needs to be made into creating a map of who does what that is kept by HR with a map. The meeting culture that BN.com employs is a timekiller where actual WORK needs to be done after work hours due to the constant overuse of meetings. The digital products of BN is substandard, despite the reviews, and we all know why. The internal chaos and disorganization makes them suffer as people constantly are confused to who the stakeholders really are. This is lack of top management being hands on, providing leadership on the "battlefield". Improve the atmosphere and cut out the constant spam that goes to all digital product employees of meaningless emails about ingested products so that people don't have to read through 200 emails one evening to find something important.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Hardworkers are rewarded with having to pick up the slack for the lazy people who don't do their job.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Bookseller in Exton, PA
    Current Employee - Lead Bookseller in Exton, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Some of the best reasons to work at Barnes & Noble are the ability to read some books for free, the discount we receive year round and the extra discount we receive two times per year. I do like being able to work with people who truly have a passion for books. Being able to see the latest books that have just been published is also great as well.

    Cons

    One of the worst parts of working at B&N is almost never having two days off in a row. That is excruciating. The person who does the schedule also takes anytime you ask to have a particular day off, as an opportunity to give you the worst schedule possible almost like a punishment for asking for a change. Another problem is management does not lead by example. There are times when managers stress that an important boss will be stopping into the store, so we are required to stay an extra long time to close the store but the head manager is not there to oversee it. The head manager does not close the store at all. In addition, management allows people who do not do their job or do their jobs very poorly to continue to keep their job. Individuals who are diligent workers are expected to pick up the slack for those who don't pull their own weight. The Daily Assignment Sheet is incorrect on a daily basis and must be redone several times per day. This creates a feeling of chaos and confusion. It also means that things may not get done on time. The pay is really bad as well. No one could possible live on this, my husband has a decent salary but I don't think I can keep working here with this pay. Feedback only happens one time per year. This is insufficent. It is necessary to know what you are doing wrong sooner to correct it. This prevents bad habits from developing. It would also be nice to know what you're doing right.

    Advice to Management

    Feedback or evaluations need to occur more frequently. Hardwork should be rewarded NOT punished by having to pick up the slack for lazy people. More frequent feedback may also help to prevent lazy people from slacking off because they'll know you're on top of them. It is understandable that people in retail have to work weekends, however, workers should still be able to have two days off in a row, especially more frequently then every couple of months. It makes workers refreshed and better at their job. Managers should be required to work each type of shift every so often. They should be required to open and close the store at least a few times per month.



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