Eastern Mountain Sports

www.ems.com

Eastern Mountain Sports Reviews

Updated January 22, 2015
Updated January 22, 2015
85 Reviews
2.8
85 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Mark Walsh
7 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • This company offers great discounts and deals to it's employees (in 7 reviews)

  • Employees get great discounts on gear and clothing (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • The issue is just how much they focus on the rewards program (in 7 reviews)

  • Low pay, understaffed, inefficient/outdated computer systems, typical disconnect between cooperate and stores (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Decent retail job visibly mismanaged by corporate.

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

    I have been working at Eastern Mountain Sports part-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Great perks. You get discounts on all gear, pro deals and can potentially ski free in some locations (!!).

    At my location the coworkers are mostly chill and the management team is friendly and professional. All the vets seem to be genuinely enthusiastic, and the managers are quite knowledgeable.

    Cons

    It's very hard to become a full time employee, and aside from customer capture rates, management doesn't seem to care about your performance. It's easy to become apathetic in this environment.

    It looks like the business model is more trending towards a 'lots of low-cost, mediocre workers' strategy rather than a tight-knit, full time and high-cost core. This strategy means pay is low, full time with benifits is hard to come by, and there are 13+ other employees on staff that can easily replace you. It's rarely rewarding to work in this environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I've only worked here a couple months, but I'm about to leave for a job with an actual career path, so here are my first impressions:

    I actually think the capture program is fine, but management's preoccupation with it is ridiculous. Literally the only feedback I get is how well I'm doing in the captures. A little more focus/recognition on gear knowledge, customer conversion, and basic customer service would go a long way.

    EMS touts itself as a company whose foundation lies in customer service. Words like 'foot guru' and 'outfitter' are thrown around, but if you want actual gurus in your foot department, you need to reward good service by offering full-time hours with competitive pay. That will cost more, so you need to adopt a more 'core-family' style employee system instead of a bunch of dispensible drones. Otherwise, you're going to be stuck with the seasonal high schoolers, and 'guru' is going to be a joke.

    Last nitpick I have is, remove the ambiguous 'Sale' signs over random islands/walls. 6/10 customers just get annoyed when they think all the items are on sale, but find out it's just a specific shirt or something.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great for part time work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Eastern Mountain Sports

    Pros

    I love the people I work with and generally the type of people who shop there. It's always fun to discuss what you love to do outside and what you need to make it happen!

    Cons

    Since the company was bought by Vestis about 2 years ago, the overall feel of the company has changed, seen even by part time employees. Management is set with unrealistic expectations by corporate who knows so little about how the store runs day to day and what really needs to happen. We are reviewed by secret shoppers and always pushed to get customers to sign up for the rewards. I understand these are things meant to improve business, but it's not always helpful. Some firing decisions by the new company have been questionable.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fun yet frustrating

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Floor Supervisor in Hartford, CT
    Current Employee - Floor Supervisor in Hartford, CT

    I have been working at Eastern Mountain Sports full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great like-minded staff, great customers over all, discounts and access to gear is incredible, training is unbeatable in the industry. incredible work/life balance.

    Cons

    The pay is utterly offensive, difficult to move up/lack of support for growth

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    stop hiring from outside our company, we employ great people that just need an opportunity to shine. It's really embarrassing when a member of management of a store cant talk basics about any gear.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great for discounts and benefits, not a viable option to make a living

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Guide in Salem, NH
    Current Employee - Guide in Salem, NH

    I have been working at Eastern Mountain Sports

    Pros

    I took this job at a time when I needed it and it helped provide some solid footing. It was great for meeting people and gear discounts. It was also a fun job and there were other perks with mountain resorts, etc

    Cons

    The hourly pay is low. I started during the holiday season as a temporary employee and was never really sure about my overall status but gradually got more comfortable over time and I stayed on for about 6 months. Basically just low pay and monotonous retail work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better pay, better advancement opportunities, etc

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    November 7, 2014 review

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

    I have been working at Eastern Mountain Sports

    Pros

    Good benefits and employee discounts. A great team of people to work with. Personnel who know the product with knowledge, and the passion of the outdoors.

    Cons

    That review on November 7th made me sick! It was so sugar coated it stinks! That could not have been the words of a employee. Not one employee in EMS even thinks that way now.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management needs to be a reconsideration of the pay policies at EMS! From personal experience I have had a measly $.25 raise in the past 8 or so years. This is no way to treat an employee without getting animosity! This includes no increases due to minimum wage raises, bringing minimum wage even closer to our wages.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    EMS

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

    I have been working at Eastern Mountain Sports part-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Nice people, pretty chill work environment. Good discount on clothing/gear. Relaxed attire policy.

    Cons

    Corporate is completely out of touch with store-level management. Corporate policies handcuff store-level team leaders from using creativity within their unique retail environments. Vestis sucks, & their chain store mentality is slowly killing the individualized customer service magic which used to set EMS apart from other outdoor retailers. Slow, almost non-existent response to employee feedback/requests.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop shackling team leaders with your corporate policy BS & give them the freedom to manage their stores independently based on their own specific retail environments (mall, plaza, standalone building, etc.). Don't take a month to hire someone who should've been working a week after applying for the position!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8.  

    The best outdoor company to work for!

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Eastern Mountain Sports

    Pros

    I love going into work everyday! Amazing co workers and benifits. A company that cares about it's people, offers great training and family life balance (plenty of time to get outside and play). CEO genuinely cares about the well being of the employees and their happiness.

    Cons

    Limited staffing can be a challenge. Major upgrades are in the works. With the recent acquisitions the future looks bright for the company. I am happy the be part of the change

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Thank you for continuing to move in a positive direction and letting employees have a voice.

  9.  

    Company went through a transition but is coming out of it better and stronger!

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

    I have been working at Eastern Mountain Sports full-time

    Pros

    Work life balance. Great loyal customers. Working with like minded people. Reorganized, supportive, positive senior management team! Great training and leadership. Recognition and appreciation for a job well done and room for advancement. A CEO that cares and listens and is bringing the company to a whole new level.

    Cons

    The company sincerely is doing their best to continue moving forward through the recent transition. Some great changes have come about and the kinks are still getting ironed out. Staffing and stock levels continue to get better.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Lost in the Woods of New Hampshire

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Peterborough, NH
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Peterborough, NH

    I have been working at Eastern Mountain Sports full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Pretty good work crew.

    Cons

    Main office was like working in a Barn, terrible unqualified management who favored friends, the longer you work their the better you become and being terrible at your job, no skills or training, and almost lost their best employees by promoting incompetent people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Move a side

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 6 people found this helpful  

    Great In-Store Experiences Marred by Incompetency at Corporate Level

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

    I worked at Eastern Mountain Sports part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people I met in store really kept me on board this company for so long. You meet some great friends inside and outside work that share a common love of the outdoors. Discounts are plentiful and often almost negated my paycheck -- but it was well worth it at the time, and really helps you be a better associate. Also, if you like the gear you're selling, going to work is really a pleasant experience from a customer interaction point of view. With regard to company interaction, that's a different story.

    Cons

    Schedules are produced last minute because corporate management is full of penny pincers. In response to poor store performance, they cut hours, only further reducing employee morale. Stores are chronically woefully understaffed. Employees are held to unrealistic standards in terms of rewards program capture rates, (of which EMS is already well above the national average) and this is the only means of employee evaluation. When it comes to pay, overtime, and overall outlook of retail teams, corporate language can be downright insulting. I recall a figure shared by multiple managers of mine (I had 3 in my 3 years there -- including a period of 6 months without a manager) that corporate estimated ~90% of company losses were due to employee theft, not shoplifting. 90%? That's downright insulting as a hard working employee, who has seen firsthand losses in the store due to shoplifting.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop waving rewards capture rates in employees faces while disrespecting them with unreasonably short scheduling time frames, call-in shifts, and low pay. After seeing the company takeover through and spending time under the new management, I saw almost a full turnover in my store staff, and horrendous decline in morale.

    Implement actual training procedures for new hires, and MANAGEMENT as well. During my last few weeks at EMS, my store brought on a new floor supervisor. On my last day, he thanked me, a 19-year old part timer, for being "one of the only ones who actually gave him any training around here." It blows my mind that a company can bring on new hires and leave the training process to store employees who share their product and company knowledge on the fly. All I did was help this poor guy out at the point of sale, walk him through returns, and walk the store with him giving him product basics. Where is the training plan? In my 3 years at EMS, it was always trial-by-fire, all the way up to management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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