Barnes & Noble

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Barnes & Noble Reviews

Updated September 17, 2014
Updated September 17, 2014
1,072 Reviews
3.3
1,072 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Michael Huseby
142 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It's nice to get a decent discount on books and have access to the titles (in 49 reviews)

  • The one thing that I can say about this company is that you get a pretty great employee discount (in 90 reviews)


Cons
  • Very limited in the opportunity to grow beyond minimum wage (in 68 reviews)

  • The company had some serious problems that turned a great part-time job into a so-so (in 48 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Bookseller, Part-time

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

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

    Pros

    Ability to get more hours, Good Work-Life Balance

    Cons

    Handling multiple tasks etc.
    Senior management - Variance depending on location (sometimes, chaotic)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Good place to work, changes needed

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

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Friendly management and coworkers
    Calm and enjoyable for a retail store
    Fun products to sell
    Few angry customers for retail (most people don't get too upset about books)

    Cons

    Loses too many customers to Amazon every day
    Hard to sell inferior NOOK to people who know the Kindle
    Hard to sell memberships knowing that no one really should buy one
    Low pay and not enough hours
    Becomes frustrating even as a low-level worker to see a good company struggling because of poor upper-level management decisions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    All businesses must adapt or die, books are no exception. If you cannot compete on price or quality, Amazon will take you out. Even we lowly booksellers know when the end is coming, and perhaps you should take our input, rather than worrying about us selling memberships no one needs.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Your normal retail manager job and responsibilities

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

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Fair pay. If you are doing your job, you are usually busy. Very low turnaround for retail. Once people are in, they tend to stay which in turn develops a "extended family" feel due to the fact that you work with those same people for a while. If you're into it, there are a lot of responsibilities and many people rely on your decisions, reactions and attitude/personality. Some of the best benefits for retail.

    Cons

    Its mid to upper level retail management....you will be yelled at, cursed at and things thrown at you even. Horribly dumb questions (i.e. "Im looking for a book I saw 6 or 7 months ago in a Maryland store. It was green and had the word "the" in the title", "Can we check out books here like a library or just buy them?"), rude customers tat talk down to you, people that come to sit and read ALL day, every day, etc. There is a 1% chance of overtime after they transitioned to hourly scale from salary. Sometimes a lack or breakdown in communication from the corporate office.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advance notice for some company wide policies when they change. More sales floor decision flexibility. Mandatory raises (currently based on a numeric system during yearly reviews).

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Worked at B&N for 9 years, 6 as Store Manager

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

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Great coworkers in the stores. Advanced reading copies of books - good customers for the most part

    Cons

    After 2012 or so became very micro managing - more focused on process than results

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let the store managers run the stores - they know their customers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    A fun place to work for filled with amazing people, but not as much opportunity as there should be.

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

    I worked at Barnes & Noble full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Incredible people to work with. The people working here are simply amazing and I would spend lots of time (when possible) after hours socializing with groups of employees. I feel this is rare for retail.
    Great product (how can you not love books!)
    Fun environment

    Cons

    customers can be difficult and demanding
    little upward mobility: sadly, there doesn't seem to be an emphasis on training and building employees into careers. Seems more like they are really only interested in employing for each Christmas rush and then whoever sticks around for leftover hours, can hang on at part time and very reduced benefits until they eventually find another job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do more to ensure the promotion of employees who are working hard

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Great atmosphere, though quite corporate

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

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Surroundings consist of books and coffee. They work around your schedule and fulfill requests for specific days off when possible. Book and cafe discount.

    Cons

    Incredibly corporate, low pay and, well, it's retail. Management expects employees to sell the ludicrous $25 member card like hot cakes and evaluates you on the whims of customers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop using your employees as mules to meet company goals and appreciate them as individuals.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Good place to get your feet wet in retail

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

    I worked at Barnes & Noble part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    There are benefits for part-time employees, as well as book lending program. The raises are also pretty fair compared to other retail companies.

    Cons

    Too much emphasis on membership sales and specific questions to ask the customer. No room for personality.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Limited advancement opportunities

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

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Employee discounts are great and being surrounded by boook lovers makes the retail job tolerable. It's actually an interesting group of people.

    Cons

    Limited advancement opportunities, as they prefer to hire management from other retailers rather than promote from within.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Great at first, but lately.....

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

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Coworkers are great, I enjoy seeing pretty much everyone every day. Regular customers are friendly and nice, and the employee discount is great (50% off Starbucks drinks in the cafe-can't beat it). Paid time off even for part-timers is great too. A couple of the managers are really good, honest, genuine people that I enjoy working with. Almost all of the employees are very hard working people who seem a bit more intelligent, driven and committed than your average minimum wage retail worker.

    Cons

    Some of the managerial staff I've worked with are less than desirable; there seems to be a deal of two-faced ness. Don't really feel like I can trust half the managers, almost feels like one or two go out of their way to try to get us in trouble. When we're busy or short handed there's this attitude of "tough luck, sweat it out" and lots of pressure to meet avg trans and other sales goals that we can't really have control over. Lately they've gotten more and more strict with the rules to the point where I feel like I can't even do my job with what I am given.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try positive encouragement and acknowledging when employees do a good job; there seems to be no lack of negative criticism all the time. If you want happy employees and a comfortable, efficient working environment then being condescending and overly critical towards people is NOT the way to go about it.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    It's alright. A pretty typical retail experience.

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

    I have been working at Barnes & Noble full-time

    Pros

    My coworkers are amazing!

    Cons

    The customers are horrendous and one of the managers is very unpredictable and doesn't treat employees fairly.
    If you work in the cafe, forget about ever being able to call off sick.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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