Direct Brands, Inc.

www.directbrands.com
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Direct Brands, Inc. Reviews

Updated February 11, 2015
Updated February 11, 2015
35 Reviews
2.0
35 Reviews
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John Lippman
5 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Laid off after 12 years

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

    I worked at Direct Brands, Inc. full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    In all honesty, overall I enjoyed my time at DBI. I worked with some wonderful people and gained so much knowledge and experience in a variety of areas. I did make decent money though.

    Cons

    It was hard to watch the company slowly die. When I first joined the company as a CSR, there were almost 300 agents. 12 years later we were down to just 35. Finally, they did the one thing we were always told they would never do - they outsourced our jobs and closed the facility. Realistically I don't foresee the company lasting much longer. Frankly I'm surprised it is still going.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Legal Intern - Had great experience with legal and business staff while there.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Legal Intern in New York, NY
    Former Intern - Legal Intern in New York, NY

    I worked at Direct Brands, Inc. as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    The staff was friendly, the work was interesting, and the free books were always a plus on my lunch break. I enjoyed working there and wish it had been for more than just a summer.

    Cons

    Only a legal internship, so couldn't stay past summer.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    Shrinking Pains

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

    I worked at Direct Brands, Inc.

    Pros

    Spacious offices, close to Penn Station, fairly good benefits (back then)

    Cons

    Lack of coherent direction as a company, not a ton of room for growth, complacency. This was once a huge music, DVD and book club company (BMG, Columbia House, Bookspan) that has shrunk considerably over the last ten years. Seems there were rounds of layoffs every eight months or so. Don't know what the current situation is.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Felt Like a Graveyard

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

    I worked at Direct Brands, Inc.

    Pros

    Good people there, and individual departments were managed well.

    Cons

    Upper executives had no clear strategy, no idea how to deal with a changing business. Awful sense of stagnation in every meeting.

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

    So sad...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at Direct Brands, Inc. full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great co-workers, who have become good friends outside of work. Compensation and benefits were good until they took 5% away from us in hard times and then never returned it when the economy got a bit better. Autonomous decision making. No micromanaging.

    Cons

    Constant looming layoffs made it a very stressful work environment. You felt it wasn't a matter of "if" you were going to get laid off, but "when". Leadership tended to spend more time having keggers and playing ping pong then handling the plummeting membership. I couldn't help but think they had a different agenda than growing the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out what you want to do with the company and stick to it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    End of an era

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at Direct Brands, Inc. full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great people. There was such an amazing dynamic amongst co-workers. Many have become lifelong friends. Freedom to make everyday work decisions...no micromanaging.

    Cons

    Constant layoffs and people leaving made for a very stressful and sad work environment. It was hard to get excited about work when you didn't know when the ax would fall. You felt it was inevitable. And when people left, more work for those who were left, with no raises, no promotions. "Just be happy you still have a job" was the philosophy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out what you want to do or just close the doors and put everyone out of their misery!

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

    Stagnant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Design in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Design in New York, NY

    I worked at Direct Brands, Inc. full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Rarely need to work late. Some nice people.

    Cons

    No development opportunities. No real interest in employee growth.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Show some interest in helping direct reports and everyone to better themselves and actually care beyond just doing enough to try and stave off their inevitable lay off.

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

    Direct Bland, run the opposite direction.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at Direct Brands, Inc. full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Building personal relationships and bonds with co-workers and flexible hours is all.

    Cons

    Not one person received a raise in the past 4 years, the ones that did received it under the table. It's a matter of time until the company becomes extinct. Favoritism is your only hope for this place. Everyone and I mean everyone there talks about how bad it is. Layoffs occur almost quarterly, so join the company if you want to be a part of the revolving door.

    They'll lure you in with a positive future but have cut millions of dollars removing themselves from legacy systems, layoffs, not paying vendors and pocket the money.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take care of your employees. It's a pretty simple philosophy. Learn it and embrace it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Outdated business model, look elsewhere if you're mindful of your career

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

    I worked at Direct Brands, Inc. full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    the people / employees - you at least had a good core of people to work with... there was a bit of a culture clash after a merger in '07 that led to subsequent layoffs, but after the dust settled, you at least had this positive to hang your hat on

    Cons

    original ownership sold the company to a private equity firm in '07, and the company was subsequently resold again in '12 to a smaller private equity firm... this has meant many rounds of layoffs and lack of reinvestment into the company... some of the other things that went on behind the scenes would drive you mad, but i couldn't really share that here

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    good luck

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

    Poor Direct Brands

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

    I worked at Direct Brands, Inc. full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Easy to move up when your coworkers are being let go or leave every week. There are some sane but exhausted people in management who are trying to breathe life back into a company that could and should have died long ago.

    Cons

    Compensation is on the low side. The CEO and his right-hand are completely out of touch with what's going to help the brands compete and succeed and only know how to slash budgets and lay people off. Big ideas with no one left to implement them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Seriously consider business models that aren't antiquated and stop experimenting with new ways to put makeup on a pig. You are not a funky new media agency, you are a book retailer. You're embarrassing yourselves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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