Cotton On Reviews

Updated August 28, 2014
Updated August 28, 2014
121 Reviews

2.3
121 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Ashley James Hardwick
27 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • 50% discount, great music, had the opportunity to work with a great in-store staff (in 32 reviews)

  • Great discount and meeting fun new people (in 13 reviews)


Cons
  • They also SAY that e should put customer service before tasks (in 10 reviews)

  • Key holders and sales associates never last long from lack of hours (in 9 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    LLooooved cotton on

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

    I worked at Cotton On full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Everything - My team, compensation bonuses, contests, etc

    Cons

    Various hours, benefits, favoritism.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Upper management needs some improvement

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

    I have been working at Cotton On part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Experience in visual merchandising as an associate
    - Company culture/values
    - Flexible scheduling
    - Staff discount

    Cons

    - Hours sometimes based on who is the favorite instead of performance/sales
    - Lack of communication between management to associates
    - Favoritism has become a problem with upper management
    - Return/exchange policy in regards to the customer

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There needs to be better communication between managers, assistant managers, key holders, and sales associates. Also have better a leadership role and become a mentor to your sales associates. Treat them fairly and respectfully all while maintaining a firm managerial position. Your team will respect you and work harder for you if you will.

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

    Spectacular Experience!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Keyholder  in  Frisco, TX
    Current Employee - Keyholder in Frisco, TX

    I have been working at Cotton On part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The discount, the people, the training development, a great work-life balance! People who work hard get promoted so quickly in the U.S. division.

    Cons

    The company needs to gear towards better technology!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Expand your payroll and invest in better technology!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Worst experience of my life

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

    I have been working at Cotton On full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I did learn a lot of tricks on how to use reports to make decisions in store that will drive by business when these reports were made available at a store level

    Cons

    No flexible hours, no additional hours to accomplish tasks but still expected to have store perfect and customer service as #1. The want SM's to train and develop their staff in stores yet they don't offer any training and development for the SM's to move up. No bonus or compensation for hitting sales goal just more grief on how something should be better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop treating your employees like their disposable. If you have expectations from in store Management then you should be leading by example. Stop trying to push out all the employees that have been there for years and replace them with shiny new models. Those of us who have been there shouldn't be punished because previous upper management didn't know what they were doing and didn't properly train us.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Opportunity to advance but you will be burnt out!

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

    I worked at Cotton On

    Pros

    -you can wear basically whatever you like to work
    -fun music
    - 50% employee discount (although the clothes are cheaply made and don't last long)

    Cons

    -expect to work alone for hours
    -too task oriented! you are expected to complete entire new store visuals on a busy weekend, complete all shipment that comes in that day, and service customers while you run register and fitting rooms. simply crazy.
    -too much stress from management placed on employees to complete large tasks in a ridiculous timeline (example 2 days to redo entire store VM with limited hours)
    -they refuse to spend money on staffing which leads to bad customer service and frustrated customers who have to wait for the only employee working to help them, and only makes the store an easy target for theft! which means your shrink will be high and you will be held responsible.
    -the whole concept of zoning and having a front zone greeter is made null and void by the fact you rarely have enough people to zone unless it's a weekend. but you will lose mystery shopper points and get reprimanded if corporate comes to visit if you aren't glued to the front zone. unrealistic.
    -the company has no clear brand vision or image: since I started there 2 years ago they have had several attempts at rebranding and recently did a big rebranding overhaul. overall they send a confusing, ever changing message to the consumer.
    -No work life balance like they claim! As a manager you will work doubles, have your scheduled changed at the last minute, be forced to come in on your day off by your DM.
    -Overall you will do too much work for little reward.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Value your people! You have a lot of talent at every level from part time to management and they are being over worked and under appreciated and that is why the turn over rate is so high!
    -Show some respect. When the Australians were in charge they actually took the time to speak with everyone in the store during a visit. When the company transitioned to American management I had my DM tell me before a visit that if the regional manager didn't like what he saw from the outside of the store he wouldn't even come in and visit. That's the problem with this company-corporate just sit on their big paychecks and don't take the time to figure out what it going on at the store level.
    -Spend your staffing money wisely! Stop investing so much at the corporate level especially on outside hires that know nothing about the brand, take forever to transition, and don't do their job effectively! We had such a high turnover rate for DM's in my district that they just literally kept the only person who wouldn't quit even though they weren't doing their job. Also paying two people to do the same job is a waste of resources and definitely was happening at the district level for my district.
    -HR should be there to protect employees not just save face for corporate. I know numerous times people in my district complained about unfair treatment and practices and nothing was ever done.
    -DM's, Let your managers do their job! Let them hire their own people. Stop micromanaging the one day you are in the store visiting and then checking out for the rest of the month.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7.  

    It's alright

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cotton On

    Pros

    You have a great discount

    Cons

    There no really communication that goes on in this company. Really out of date on the way they do things, most companies I have worked for do things through computer this company uses fax for everything and all your numbers is hand written at night

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This company has the potential to be as great as forever 21 but you really do need to micro manage and really check back with your management team the DM that we have has 3 stores in one state 3 stores in another state 2 stores in different state and 4 stores in his own state he visits once a month and I think it's almost to much because there's so much going on in every store, this company needs a face lift. That's why I am leaving this company.

  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Don't expect too much

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

    I have been working at Cotton On part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The employee discount is great, the manager is very understanding and always offers help.
    You will never get bored and the products are always revolving and exciting.

    Cons

    The company is family owned, but they sure do not treat you like family. The company can care less about you as a person, you're just a number to them. Their management style and ways to carry out tasks are horrible, there is also no communication from management to associates so everyone does their own thing. They have huge expectations from sales associates when sometimes managers just dilly dally.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communication is key, you always suggest it, but don't practice it. It would be great too, if you would also not keep secrets.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    If you want to lose your mind--work at Cotton On

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

    I worked at Cotton On full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The discount is great if you like the clothes. The music is catchy and makes working there go by faster. Generally (depending on the store) you work with great people and get to work in a "hip" atmosphere.

    Cons

    -Turnover rate: the company can't keep anyone on board for more than 6months. I felt like every time I blinked someone quit or was planning on leaving. Even when people gave notice, the DM/RM/Corporate hiring team took FOREVER to find a replacement. If someone like the store manager or assistant manager gives a notice, shouldn't they find a quality replacement ASAP? Not at CottonOn. There are under 9 stores in my district and half don't have store managers. Then part time employees (associates and key holders) can't work more than 24 hours a week according to some made up rule by our RM. So not only are you understaffed, but you are trying to make a schedule that has no part timer working more than 24 hours while trying to include their second job in to the mix (because no person can live on 24 hours a week making pennies).
    -Payroll: Working in retail I understand payroll hours will be tight. But working in a big store and getting less than 115 hours a week to run a store? Are you serious? You work by yourself open to 1pm when a sales associate comes in for 3 hours to give you a break then you work the rest of your shift alone until the closer comes in. If you get a 25 box shipment you are expected to get it done by the weekend, even though you're one person trying to not only do shipment but run the floor, prevent theft, be the cashier and customer service. They give you 30 extra hours for floor sets to be done in 2 days....while trying to find people to actually work during that time because you gotta remember not to over schedule them past their 24 hours a week. Theres a huge lack of coverage on the weekends when you think there should be two people in the store at all times. be ready to bust your butt on the weekends trying to do 100 things by yourself in a busy store.
    -Hiring process: takes forever to hire someone. or if they schedule an interview with a candidate the DM cancels and reschedules so much that when the candidate calls you can hear the frustration in their voice from being jerked around so much.
    -Tasking: They give you so many tasks per day that it's physically impossible to do them all by yourself. And when you say you can't do them, they will say 1 of 2 things. 1-"look at *insert another store here* they can do it so can you" (not taking into account they are half the size and have a fuller/more available staff. Or they say "don't worry about it do what you can" (but then you don't finish and they are like "Why didn't you finish?! I'm disappointed") They care so much about tasking but pretend they care more about customer service which is not true.
    KPIs- Before a customer leaves, you have to sell them a charity item, an add on item, a WAP item and get their email. You are bombarding the customer so much you mainly get attitude from them from asking so many questions. You do NOT get to make connections with your customers. At CottonOn they are just a number, not a human.
    Work/Life balance: None. Say goodbye to your loved ones.
    Other: I had to work off the clock countless times just to get things done, if you are a SM or ASM be prepared to have your phone on 24/7, CottonOn is cheap/provides you with supplies that break easily so you are forced to buy them yourselves if you want to have them (Example: basic cleaning supplies)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Value your employees! You are so focused on budget cuts....maybe don't send us 10 boxes of signage per month. Why not cut costs there and give us more payroll hours so we can run the store like other companies? Wouldn't you rather have employees working and getting stuff done and making customers happy than having 100 pretty signs hanging up in the store? Though it's useless to give advice to this company. Look at the other reviews- they pretty much say the same thing. I haven't met one employee at a store level who is happy to work at this company. If you have other job opportunities, Take them over CottonOn.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Absolutely Horrific!

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

    I worked at Cotton On full-time

    Pros

    50% discount, great music, had the opportunity to work with a great in-store staff

    Cons

    Too task focused...no training and developing...high expectations on limited payroll...extremely high turnover

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    invest in your people! ongoing training and development programs build loyalty to a company...stop making people feel they're expendable because clearly in this job market they are not...good people are hard to find. Set attainable goals.....start cutting payroll from the top (at the corporate level) not from your stores which are the ones generating your revenue...we don't need first time District managers who have no clear direction...what is recruiting doing? Let's get people with a proven track record and seasoned professionals to run our districts...not just people who can send out faxes! And are quick to blame their hard working store managers when things go wrong for their failure to be effective leaders...stop hiring two people in one district to essentially do the same job! By doing this we can get more bodies in the store working to get shipment done within a 24 hour time frame...maintain visual standards...handle day to day store operations and the most important thing provide customer service! Pretty simple!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    One of the most poorly ran company I have ever been a part of.

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

    I worked at Cotton On full-time

    Pros

    Its a fast growing company which allows quick growth with in the company

    Cons

    company values where unclear, district managers micromanaged store manager, payroll was so low that it made it impossible to take vacations, you are expected to work off the clock although told to "Its illegal for you to work off the clock", policies are worded ambiguously which made it difficult to give demerits.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The reason american companies work well in the states is because they are customer friendly and follow a certain successful road map. You are trying to create a new road map which would not be an issue if you were willing to change the route when you reached a dead end. In that you are unsuccessful and I don't believe you will be here for to long until you realize that.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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