Clarks

  www.clarksusa.com
  www.clarksusa.com

Clarks Reviews

Updated December 18, 2014
Updated December 18, 2014
35 Reviews
2.9
35 Reviews
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Clarks CEO Melissa Potter
Melissa Potter
13 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    A business in flux

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - DSM in Newark, DE
    Former Employee - DSM in Newark, DE

    I worked at Clarks full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Excellent Benefits, competitive pay, established customer base

    Cons

    Changing leadership does not have a clear direction of the business
    No true advancement potential

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide better support to brick and mortar stores

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2.  

    Good company. Leadership needs work

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

    I worked at Clarks

    Pros

    Great culture
    Great pay
    great benefits
    Great Discounts
    Great peers to work with

    Cons

    Long hours
    Customers constantly exploit return policy
    Rude customer

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen more to your employees on an individual basis rather than cookie cutter management style.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    It was good working there just the pay sucked

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

    I worked at Clarks part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Relaxed place not a stressful job at all

    Cons

    Crappy pay worked there 2yrs and didn't get a rase

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Lot of uncertainty as company transforms to global structure.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Newton Upper Falls, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Newton Upper Falls, MA

    I worked at Clarks full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Many excellent colleagues. Good benefits, including the opportunity to purchase high quality shoes at much reduced prices. Great, one-of-a-kind office space.

    Cons

    Changed from an inclusive, transparent and exciting workplace to a very rigid management chain. Little incentive to contribute at a certain job level because of exclusion and lack of career opportunities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ambitious people set on their own advancement do not necessarily make good managers or create team. A way to rate management for their people development skills, not knowledge, should be considered.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Excellent company to work for!

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

    I worked at Clarks full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    I worked in the corporate office - there was an amazing camaraderie and company pride among employees. It was a fun, fast-paced work environment that was also encouraging and fair. It was a great place to work!

    Cons

    Commuting to Newton was tough due to traffic - otherwise, no cons to think of! I really enjoyed my time there.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    tense

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

    I have been working at Clarks full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Company matches 401(k) contributions and is very liberal with using leave time on short notice. Allots time weekly for department maintenance of equipment and computers.

    Cons

    Owner/saslesman/production manager leaves no room for discussing optimal production. Emails a daily schedule that is too fluid for most to follow or adapt to since it changes almost three to four times daily without letting the employee adjust without criticism or berating.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    delegate duties and let employees show they can succeed

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Age-old company still has a lot to learn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Full Time Sales Associate
    Current Employee - Full Time Sales Associate

    I have been working at Clarks full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Pretty generous employee discount, you get 30% off anything in-store, or you can place an order for just about any shoe at wholesale price (generally half off), plus you get a free pair of shoes every calendar year and two pairs of shoes at 30% off wholesale price. One of the biggest perks as far as discount goes is being able to combine employee discount with sales going on in-store (which is constant). You don't find that at many retailers. Twice a year there is a semi-annual event called "style and savings" where the entire store is 20% off to customers, which means the entire store, even sale merchandise, is 50% off to employees. Needless to say, very generous discount.

    High commission rate (although necessary considering your staggeringly low hourly rate), 6% on shoes and 10% on all accessories.

    Your entire job is (on the surface) focused around selling, and selling multiple pairs of shoes in one transaction, or "multis", are a huge part of that. The company does however make it very easy to sell in multiples, with all of the constant promotions going on throughout the store. Also, for every two-pair sale you have, you earn an additional $2 toward your paycheck. As your number of shoes goes up in a sale, so does your multi-money. If you sell 4 pairs of shoes in one sale, you earn an additional $5 on top of the commission from the sale. You only earn this collective money, however, if you maintain a 30% multiple score throughout your week. However this is fairly easy to accomplish, given all of the aforementioned promotions going on daily.

    With the mention of required percentage goals, I should mention that you are expected to hit certain weekly goals, as follows (these are minimum and certain districts goals vary): 30% multi, 12% accessory, 10% leather goods (purses, wallets), 3% sock, 10% shoe tree, and 10% belt. Now, these goals are expected, but are not incredibly enforced. I've worked for other retailers who would nearly have you fired for missing one single goal I've mentioned in a week's time, but from my experience, Clarks is fairly easy-going and understanding in this area.

    The ability to haggle with customers is very encouraging and often times fun. If you are sales-oriented then it can be a fun game to see how much you can bargain with a customer to get them to purchase certain items. This "haggling" or "bargaining" is done through possibly offering customers coupons that are in circulation that they might not know about, or even the basic 15% customer survey coupon that is offered at the bottom of every receipt that the company keeps absolutely no track of. Again, this makes it easy to hit the aforementioned goals, including your multi goal, which is what matters most as an employee, because that's the goal you're earning the most money from, generally speaking.

    Definitely a company that has historically catered to an older crowd, but is realizing the changing scope of the world around them, and is starting to shift its aim to include younger generations as well. If you're a shoe lover, there's always something cool going on that will peak your interest. The company has definitely garnered interest from a more hip crowd the past few years, partnering with edgy, sought-after designers like Supreme and KithNYC. The only downside is with most of these super cool, hard-to-obtain shoes is that company employees don't necessarily have access to order them, as Clarks is just "partnered" with the designer, not the other way around. Still exciting to see the company getting into other markets other than QVC and the Geritol community.

    Always an opportunity for advancement, as long as you're willing to bite the bullet and accept anything the company throws at you. This could be seen as either a pro or a con.

    Biggest pro for me personally: you get paid weekly, once every Friday. Seriously, for all the problems I have with the company, this is probably what has kept me here for this long. Such a breath of fresh air when coming from any other typical retailer who all pay bi-weekly. So much easier to manage your money.

    Cons

    Here comes the fun part:

    Hours and work/life balance are without a doubt the biggest complaint I have with this company. As just a full-time sales associate, you are expected to work a minimum 45 hours a week. This doesn't sound that outrageous when considering a normal full-time workweek is 40 hours, but normal retail scheduling does not fully support a 45 hour workweek. I have worked in two different stores with Clarks, and the manager within each store has one singular way they schedule to hit your 45 hour quota while still being able to have two days off a week: if you're opening, you work 9:45-8. If you close, you work 11-9:15. And the only alternative shift outside of a Sunday shift from 11:30-6:15 is 9:45-9:15 (open to close), which is only an hour shorter than a normal weekday shift. This leads to an incredibly draining workweek that you are expected to follow week in and week out with no complaints. This is especially draining during slower periods, where (in my current store, at least), you may have days where you only sell a couple hundred dollars (translation 2-4 pairs of shoes) in an entire day's shift. Talk about a slow-moving day when you're there for 10-12 hours. I was literally told by my manager when I explained that there are other companies that I have worked for that paid me the same, if not more, yet I only worked 35 hours on average a week, and this manager informed me, and I quote: "45 hours a week isn't that much, and as you grow older, you're only going to have to work more hours, so you better get used to it now." Quite discouraging, to say the least.

    Speaking of 10-12 hours, you could possibly land in a low-volume store like I did, where you are staffed very thinly, and as such, on days like I mentioned above where you are only planned to go against $400, you might be scheduled by yourself for the entire day, with no help whatsoever. On these days, you are expected to take no lunch breaks, no 15 minute sit-downs, nothing.

    Another thing that goes along with the awful scheduling is the pay structure. If you interview and are offered a salary of $30,000 per year, there is absolutely nothing saying you will definitely make that number, although you are convinced during your interview that it is a certainty. Your pay is contingent upon so many variables that making any money at all above minimum wage is not guaranteed. Most full-time employees come in making somewhere around $1.50-$2.10 per hour, plus 6% commission on shoes and 10% on accessories, plus any multi-money you accrue through a week. This can either be very good or very bad, depending on the traffic you see throughout the week, or the number of people working in your store that you compete for sales with. Essentially you are paid like a server at a restaurant, where if no one comes in to eat at your tables, you make no money.

    Along with your pay goes your responsibilities. Full-time associates are expected to perform nearly every function an assistant manager would perform, including opening and closing the store and any necessary steps that are involved with that. Full time salespeople are also expected to assist with opening and receiving in freight on a daily basis, which sometimes can be up to 40 boxes, each containing about 12 pairs of shoes. Imagine this happening on a day where you are working by yourself, with no help, and while you are selling to no one you are making $1.50 per hour. Not very rewarding, and very degrading to morale. Full time associates making $1.50 an hour (when not selling) can also be expected to come in up to four hours before the store opens to perform functions such as inventory prep, and the actual inventory itself.

    Another demoralizing action taken by the company is staffing. Store managers are not allowed to hire/release any employees without direct approval of a district manager, and as such, stores are often left very understaffed for long periods of time. In my store alone, I've seen my manager have to go to another Clarks store in town to cover as manager for weeks at a time when managers or assistant managers would quit, leaving our assistant manager to run every aspect of our own store in the meantime, understaffed for weeks at a time.

    One thing that should be mentioned is that even if you move up to a higher position like an assistant manager, it might not equal more pay. The assistant manager in my store is "exempt" from overtime pay, so when our manager is away covering at other stores, or on vacation, the assistant is expected to perform every major managerial function and make sure the store is running smoothly and efficiently, often while understaffed, all while having to try to focus on their own sales goals. I've experienced weeks where this assistant manager worked over 60 hours in one week and made $7.25 for every single hour worked. Seems like these types of actions should be illegal, or at least unacceptable from a company that's been around as long as Clarks.

    Lastly, one more major complaint I have is the music that is played throughout the stores. This might sound like a petty complaint but when you are at a store nearly open to close every day you work, the music that is drilled into your head becomes a huge factor of your morale. The company has historically and still mostly does cater to a demographic of women between the ages of 40-99, and the music that plays is reflective of that. Pretty much all the music you hear will be one hit wonders from the 70s/80s, and almost nothing contemporary, with a circulation of about the same 15 songs repeated on a cycle daily. It's maddening.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't pay people a couple of quarters an hour, work them open to close nearly every day of their lives, refuse their EARNED paid time off because of district-level incompetency, and move people to different locations without their approval, and expect people to remain loyal, happy, dedicated employees. Treat workers and their opinions with respect and respect will be given in return. Trust managers enough to have the ability to run/staff their own store how they see fit, and you might actually see goals met more frequently.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Mediocre at best

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

    I worked at Clarks part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Opportunity to make great money if your sales are up to par; free pair of shoes once a year. Flexible with school schedule.

    Cons

    District managers appear to be hard to communicate with/not understanding about low sales. Strict allotment for payroll. Before I left they started doing 4 hour work segments... Waste of time. Awful at training; kinda threw you out there to sink or swim.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get better managers and district managers. Allow more payroll and better training techniques.

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

    Meh

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

    I worked at Clarks part-time

    Pros

    Nice people, very flexible and understanding

    Cons

    No room for mobility, senior staff is

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give more opportunites for growth, make more entry level positions

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Fun and laid back enviornmet but also very professional!

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

    I have been working at Clarks (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    You always hear companies say "customer service comes first". With Clarks, this really is the case.

    Cons

    People who work in an outlet are treated differently from full priced stores. There is some sort of ridiculous segregation. It has something to do with customer service, which is silly, outlets are required to offer the same amount of customer service. Outlets also bring in more money than most full prices stores!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Clarks Photos

Clarks Factory, Street (Photo thanks to Geograph user David Dixon, Some Rights Reserved)
Clarks Shoes, Newport (Photo thanks to Geograph user Jaggery, Some Rights Reserved)
Clarks shoe shop and a C&G branch, Stroud (Photo thanks to Geograph user Jaggery, Some Rights Reserved)

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