Big Lots Reviews

Updated July 3, 2015
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2.7
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Recommend to a friend
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David J. Campisi
150 Ratings

Pros
  • employee discount 20% off entire purchase (in 33 reviews)

  • The 20% discount gained by working there is definitely the best part (in 29 reviews)

Cons
  • It's only part time--4-20 hours a week (in 17 reviews)

  • Lack of communication from corporate to store level (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

519 Employee Reviews

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  1. expects a lot from minimum wage employees

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Management in Irvington, AL
    Current Employee - Management in Irvington, AL

    I have been working at Big Lots full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Decent pay for management compared to other large companies like Target. Assistant managers are hourly so you are compensated for the hours you work. You will be recognized for hard work and there are plenty of opportunities for career advancement. Compensation for promotions is usually a percentage increase and not worth it if you are moving from an assistant manger to a store manager.

    Cons

    New expectations for team members are unrealistic in my opinion. Minimum wage employees are expected to be expert merchandisers after very little hours allowed to train them. Customer service is great compared to what it was when I started with Big Lots but they have gone off the deep end. A customer only has to hint that they are not satisfied and they will be given anything and everything they want. Our furniture is low priced but decent quality for what you pay. If your dogs and kids destroy your furniture and you want something new (no matter how long ago you bought it and regardless if the warranty is still valid) you just have to yell and scream and the higher ups will grant you whatever you desire. Full refund? Sure! Brand new replacement furniture? No problem! This is creating an environment no one wants to work in. Basically, if you yell at the management loud enough and make a big enough stink you will ALWAYS get your way.

    Advice to Management

    If you want quality employees you need to allow more training hours for them to learn every aspect of the store. Merchandising isn't learned in a week for most people so a lot more training needs to focus on that.


  2. Good place to work at

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

    I have been working at Big Lots part-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    a lot of old people. so you can be slow at checking out. 20% off of every purchase

    Cons

    only pay 8/hour for cashier

    Advice to Management

    get more space or less products


  3. Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Wilmington, NC
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Wilmington, NC

    I worked at Big Lots

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Fast paced a a great place to help employees grow.

    Cons

    Number of staffing hours available on a weekly basis.

    Advice to Management

    Don't stay at store level. move up to a DM at lest


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  5. Customer Service Specialist

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toms River, NJ
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Toms River, NJ

    I worked at Big Lots part-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Discount on already low priced items

    Cons

    Poor organization with management, schedules never done on time, sometimes didn't even know if I was working that week and would have to call in on that day, harrassment issues never delt with properly

    Advice to Management

    Train staff better, clear directions needed, clear tasks, harrasment training.


  6. Helpful (2)

    It

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Furniture Manager in Wichita, KS
    Former Employee - Furniture Manager in Wichita, KS

    I worked at Big Lots

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

    Pros

    Promotes heavily from within.
    Management positions are somewhat available for hard, dedicated workers. If you haven't moved up within 1-2 years you probably never will.
    20% discount on virtually everything in the store regularly.
    Holiday pay.
    For full-time/ management: 2 weeks vacation time. Gain 1 week at 5 years and another at 10 years.
    Minor quarterly sales bonuses(equivalent to less than a week's pay) for management level positions that are exceedingly hard for which to qualify.

    Cons

    Understaffed: Company doesn't allot enough hours to perform normal weekly operation. This is rampant throughout the company.
    Virtually no full-time positions below management level.
    Company shipping is horrible. General freight deliveries are frequently late (or reschedules) completely throwing off management of store hours and causing employee scheduling problems.
    Company expectations in Dock to Stock program are unrealistic with nearly every store failing.
    Little company backup in regards to customer service. Any complaint to the company, no matter how ridiculous, results in the general manager losing his quarterly bonus. Everyone from the district manager level down runs on fear that someone may talk to corporate.
    Relatively low pay for all store operational positions.
    Erratic shifts.
    Frequent long (10-11 hour) shifts with back to back opening/closings.
    Schedules can change almost daily.
    Per company policy, the schedule is posted on Saturday evening for the week starting the next day, Sunday, making it almost impossible to make private life plans.
    Company frequently is changing policies and directions, lacking an identity.
    Management is expected to work nearly every weekend.
    Massive blackout days on when you can use vacation/personal time. Any large sale, special event is blacked out. These dates can change with almost no notice. Only roughly half of a year's 52 weeks are available for vacation between special events and "Christmas Season" (October-Januaary)
    No vacation time between October and January. Period.
    Using your personal time or trying to make shift changes is a real deal breaker company wide, potentially eliminating chances for advancement.
    Exceedingly hard to work the Big Lots schedule and have any kind of a family life. This is not a job for married people, especially with children.

    Advice to Management

    Find a real identity. Stop trying to be like Target or like Walmart. Get back to what made Big Lots popular: closeout deals. People shop Big Lots for two reasons: low, low prices and the ability to find those "weird" things that no one else carries.
    Bring back the old Buzz Club concept of 10 purchases at $20 or more results in a 20% discount. I understand that this may not be financially feasible, but bring back something like it, even if it's spend a little more and get a little smaller discount. We lost so many regular customers when it changed to emailed coupons sporadically for 5 or 10 dollars off.
    Support your staff better. Better scheduling, more hours and eliminate the culture of fear. Wimpy $25 gift certificate prizes a few times a year for Friends and Family certificatehandouts and $50 bucks towards a pizza party once or twice a year do not instill any kind of loyalty or drive to succeed.
    Close on Thanksgiving! I know for a fact that all the stores in my area don't bring in money on that day. Add that to the amount of employee gratitude it brings and the money you could save on holiday pay, it should be a no brainer.
    Improve your offerings for Black Friday or just forget about it. Also, no one shops at Big Lots on Black Friday in the wee hours. Why are the stores open? Everyone is standing outside Walmart and Best Buy. Big Lots is an after thought. Have normal-ish hours and save the operation costs.
    Improve customer service by actually staffing the stores to service customers.
    Quit micromanaging the store managers. A store manager knows what sells and doesn't in his store if he is worth anything. Each store needs more flexibility in their merchandising. I will admit that this improved somewhat with the new CEO, but it could go a lot further.


  7. Helpful (1)

    The (mostly) ugly truth about working for Big Lots

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - DTS/Cashier/Furniture Associate/De Facto Furniture Team Leader in Gloucester, VA
    Current Employee - DTS/Cashier/Furniture Associate/De Facto Furniture Team Leader in Gloucester, VA

    I have been working at Big Lots part-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    • 20% discount any time. Occasionally 30% discount.
    • working 1000 hours a year (I believe) qualifies you for participation in a retirement savings plan (401(k) and Roth options)

    Cons

    • Management? There is so very little stability in the store management (and upper management). Hirings, firings, transfers, quitting and health issues just to name a few. They can't function properly because for one thing, every month it seems they get new official policies from their bosses. Another reason is flat out ineptness. Oh, and an unhealthy dose of sloth. I like to say some of my managers are apt to take "15 minute breaks every 14 minutes".
    • Pay and hours? The best you can hope for as a part-time employee is a smidgen over minimum wage and a low weekly hour total. If you get 20+ hours a week you are doing really good. So good you will be kicked down to eight or ten hours for a few weeks. They can't have you average 29+ hours or they'll have to offer you benefits. So count on being cut back in a major way. I managed 25-ish hours for a few months in a row due to some improbable situations (regarding the aforementioned management instability) and when things got semi-settled down, I got no acknowledgment and no thanks; just a cut in hours. I had moved from a DTS associate to the de-facto Furniture Team Leader. Now it's back to DTS. It is now official policy to stock the stores from 4 AM to 9 AM, because Corporate commissioned a survey that said people are most productive in that time frame. On the contrary, I don't know a single person who would make such a ludicrous statement.
    • Work "comfort"? In what I can only assume is a mad quest to minimize the utility bill, it is routinely too hot or too cold there at work. Half of the morning DTS hours are spent without heating or air.

    Advice to Management

    • Get a plan and stick with it. The constant change (due in part to the management instability) is wearisome to the extreme.
    • Reward people for their hard work. I was asked if I was interested in the Associate Manager position, when it opened up then management didn't even give me an interview. They claimed repeatedly to be waiting on the DM. One day we had a new Associate Manager. Nice.
    • Don't treat your employees like dogs. We may not be the smartest nor most well spoken, but we are human beings. Try, try, try not to forget that.


  8. Nice Manager. Not a bad job.

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

    I worked at Big Lots

    Pros

    Worked part time. Nice manager, decent enough company.

    Cons

    None than really mattered. All jobs have ups and downs so never found fault with this company.


  9. Been with the company for 5 years. Hate the change

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

    I have been working at Big Lots

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

    Pros

    2 weeks vacation
    40 hrs of sick pay
    20% discount

    Cons

    David Campisi says he works for the employees BS! I don't see him working every weekend but once a month. I don't see him closing and then opening multiple times a week. Or Unloading a 3100 piece truck in two hours. When you can't even get the dock plate in the truck. And both big joes aren't working( and refuse to fix them).
    The new rules and responsibilities are crap!
    DTS leads (associate manager) have two days a month were they are actually managers.
    Way to many back to back shifts (close then open)
    One weekend off a month. When it's not your weekend off normally you get split days off.

    At the store I'm at the managers talk down to every one and when the district manager was told about it NOTHING changed, if anything it got worse.
    Before David Campisi started I loved my job. I hate my job so much

    Advice to Management

    appreciate your employees. The two most positive words a worker can hear is "good job".
    Say thank you when they work a double or come in on a day off


  10. store manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Livonia, MI
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Livonia, MI

    I worked at Big Lots full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Employee discount was 20% off every day. Had 30% of two times a year.

    Cons

    Lack of payroll to provide good customer service. Long hours and unrealistic expectations what the stores needed to accomplish. Had to have the store perfectly recovered with one or two associates who also have to retrieve carts, put away returns and help customers.

    Advice to Management

    Give payroll to the stores.


  11. You'd be crazy to work here

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

    I have been working at Big Lots full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    The ONLY pro is paid weekly.

    Cons

    Low pay, too much work not enough time or staff to cover, ridiculous expectations, store management lies to everyone, the store I work for is a hostile workplace environment. I have been told that we are a revolving door when it comes to hiring. You don't know your schedule until the day before the week starts (find out on Saturday for Sunday - Saturday of the coming week). They just rolled out a new "program" for the logistics of the store day to day activities, which they gave us a huge binder with instructions, but then my store leader tells me that we aren't doing half of that but still expected to make the productivity requirements that those processes were designed to make. (May be a small complaint) The upper management will promise a "pizza party" or something similar but never pay out when we make the goal.

    Advice to Management

    Want to save money? Spend more to keep your employees, then you won't have such a high turnover rate. When a complaint of hostile environment comes in, maybe you should actually listen to the employees. Not ignore all (at least 3+ at my store) just because of the person being complained about makes your "numbers." Most, if not all, of the employees (beside the STL) are miserable with the conditions you put on us, and we get nothing in return for doing a good or great job! Yes we're here to please "Jennifer" but what about taking care of those that are on the front line?



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