Eastern Mountain Sports Reviews

Updated April 15, 2015
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2.9
94 Reviews
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
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Mark Walsh
12 Ratings

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  • Low pay, understaffed, inefficient/outdated computer systems, typical disconnect between cooperate and stores (in 7 reviews)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

Employee Reviews

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  1. Good Experience Overall

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Eastern Mountain Sports full-time

    Pros

    Lots of overtime
    Yearly bonus
    Decent Benefits

    Cons

    None that I can think of

  2. Sales Associate

    Former Employee - Sales Associate
    Former Employee - Sales Associate

    I worked at Eastern Mountain Sports

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Getting to work with customers and helping them plan for their trips/ outdoor activities
    the staff here is a fun and nice bunch of people

    Cons

    This is retail work so you have to be able do multiple tasks concurrently and be moving around. This is not a bad thing but may be hard for some people.

  3. Ever evolving, yet interesting perks.

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

    I have been working at Eastern Mountain Sports

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The training perks that the company offers for full time and some part time staff is amazingly fun and very practical and informative. They also get great vendor reps to interact with and to learn about the newest gear.

    Cons

    The revolving door that is the home office and parent company has led to many changes within the company and how they run at the floor level. the biggest problem comes from the fact that they do not see how the blunders at home office really bog us down at the store level and they need to offer more support, take less off our plate or simply give us enough hours to cover daily tasks, customer service and the unknown problems that always pop up.

    Advice to Management

    This is a great company with a passionate fan base, but they are trying to please too many people too quickly and EMS is slowly stepping away from the essence of what made them a great company in the North East, and that is passion. Too many store managers are jaded by the corporate BS and that trickles down into the staff level. When you have a happy staff that works great as a team, everyone thrives to learn more and to grow. The customers that have loved EMS for years know this and expect this|!!!

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  5. Helpful (1)

    Former part-time Guide (floor sales.)

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

    I worked at Eastern Mountain Sports

    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    It was great working with people who shared the same passion for the outdoors. Working with customers to help them find the right gear, share experiences and offer advice created a wonderful work environment.
    Getting the chance to demo new equipment and technologies was fantastic, along with discounts to purchase gear.

    Cons

    The lack of marketing and customer outreach really crippled the business. With the recent takeover, the whole company changed. The company has lost it's way. Most all the former workers at headquarters are gone, the higher-level equipment is gone, gear selection is gone, and it's now mostly a clothing store. EMS quality has been reduced, and you find their clothing discounted at Bob's. You've made EMS just another retail store.
    I used to love running clinics, which was what little outreach they had, and that's all gone. Skis and bikes are gone, so I too am gone.

    Advice to Management

    Look at what made EMS, EMS. Spend time in the stores and meet your customers. See what it is they are looking for and bring back the community.
    Outdoor fanatics want good gear that works; There are other sports stores that offer the other stuff.

    Yes, marketing costs, but the ROI is what makes it worth it. Offer better pay for time spent as an employee. The experience and knowledge they carry has a value.

  6. Store guide

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

    I worked at Eastern Mountain Sports part-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Customers adventures and giving my advise and experience.

    Cons

    Low wages, lack of training( which sets up an employee for failure) asked to sign different memos and sign off on a paper that said I read the employee manual. They couldn't find one in the store. No feed back from management.manager has been there 17 years so there is no room for growth.

    Advice to Management

    Retain your employees by training, fair wages an feedback on job profoance

  7. Helpful (1)

    Mountain Life

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

    I have been working at Eastern Mountain Sports part-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Awesome Work environment - probably the best in retail.
    Lots of benefits (Ski passes, Prodeals, Etc.) and flexible scheduling.
    Ability and resources to learn about the outdoors.
    Passionate, knowledgable staff.

    Cons

    Low pay, little/no room for career growth, and issues with being bought out by vestas

    Advice to Management

    Allow for career paths and upbringing within the company, and make better quality gear (EMS Brand!)

  8. Helpful (1)

    Store Guide

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Store Guide in Carle Place, NY
    Former Employee - Store Guide in Carle Place, NY

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

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

    Pros

    The discounts are amazing! Free access to Brooklyn Boulder and Island Rock climbing gym. Work with some really inspiring people and customers.

    Cons

    I wouldn’t depend on ems even as a partime job. It’s great if you’re only in it to get the gear you want at a cheap price.
    Customers returning 10 year old products that really belongs in the garabage;ems has no time limit on return as long as you have a receipt.

    Advice to Management

    Ems needs camera's and at least a gaurd, There's been too many shoplifting at times it become the norm.
    Mkae the Mountain light 15, it sold so well, was in backpacker magazine.

  9. Helpful (2)

    Rewarding PT Sales Experience

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    I had a good experience working at EMS during college. They had a friendly work environment, good sales training through use of clinics and vendor visits, and challenged my fellow associates and I with making sales and engaging customers.

    Cons

    Not a whole lot to say here. As far as part time jobs go, this was a good one.

    Advice to Management

    I think we had too many sales and discounts. In the end, I think it devalued the product, specifically the private label merchandise. I think we could have commanded a better overall gross profit if we sold slightly higher quality & higher price private label merch at a slightly lower initial GPM, but with less sales promotion as the season carried on.

  10. Helpful (2)

    Not anywhere near what EMS was or should be.

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

    I have been working at Eastern Mountain Sports

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

    Pros

    Interacting with customers, generous discount, enjoyable work associates.

    Cons

    Over-emphasis in the rewards program. Constant focus and daily "scoring" on how many new sign-ups and current members. Sales are ongoing and confusing for Guides and customers alike. Almost "bait and switch" this irritates many customers. Storewide clearance 50% off with the tiny words "up to" is misleading.

    Advice to Management

    This market segment is very competitive. Customers expect knowledgeable sales people that "walk the walk" you don't get that with low salaries and heavy turn over. Most employees are here while waiting for something better. Understaffing keeps all tasks in catch up mode. All this and still "secret shopped" if that's the scorecard used to see how well we are doing, it is a false sense of quality. What is paid to get a company to secret shop? Use the money for something more important.

  11. Helpful (1)

    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)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

    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.

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