Eastern Mountain Sports Reviews

Updated July 3, 2015
108 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
  • Full-time
  • Part-time
Employment Status

Reset
3.0
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Mark Walsh
16 Ratings

Pros
  • Employees get great discounts on gear and clothing (in 7 reviews)

  • In the right store you get a very laid-back attitude with great people (in 6 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  • Low pay, understaffed, inefficient/outdated computer systems, typical disconnect between cooperate and stores (in 7 reviews)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

108 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. EMS Supervisor review

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

    I worked at Eastern Mountain Sports full-time

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

    Pros

    Same as everyone else has mentioned- great gear to work with and learn about and generally good customers.

    Where I worked had great people and management.

    Cons

    Under new ownership, has started to take a turn for towards being more apparel focused, and hard goods seems to have sometimes suffered a bit at this effort (supply and selection). This is a con for those avid outdoor gear heads. It would have been nice to see the company reinforce its outdoor enthusiasm instead of sell out to what I'll call the metro-adventurer. But is Vestis really looking to buck this trend? I think not- they want to ride it to the bank. It's what they know, which seems to be a departure from EMS of past. On this matter are opinions on both sides of course.

    Low wages for part time employees make motivating and keeping said employees focused, a harder task, on behalf of store management. They're following the unfortunate trend of minimizing payroll at every opportunity, instead of understanding what benefits might come from raising wages a bit.


  2. Store

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

    I worked at Eastern Mountain Sports

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

    Pros

    Working with like-minded people was the best part and probably the only good thing, other than selling the actual gear to people.

    Cons

    The company when I started cared a lot about it's customers. The return policy was bomber and we were told that our first priority was always the customer. As time went on the return policy changed to what it is currently (no worn, washed,or used gear) and I noticed managment always seemed 'to busy' to help the customers. Also the pay was dismal and my hours were never consistent. Some weeks I would work close to 40 hours and some weeks I would only work 16, even though it was known I wanted/needed more hours.

    Advice to Management

    Get the old return policy back, and treat your staff better.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Outdoor Retail Job

    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Eastern Mountain Sports part-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The number one reason to seek employment here will be your fellow associates. If you are a crazy outdoor enthusiast, in most locations you'll feel right at home. I've made friends that I know I'll have my whole life through. If you want to learn a lot about outdoor gear, outfitting and salesmanship, you'd be in the right place. The discount is good. As a student, it's a good place to be for a while if you're searching for work in your field of study.

    Cons

    Since the change in ownership, the soul has left the building. Associates used to feel like an important part of something great and now it's just a job. When they bandy about the word Career, I have to laugh. The only people who make a half decent wage are store managers. The pay scale is based on general retail whereas outdoor retail is a niche and requires command over a greater assortment of technical product as well as a much higher level of customer service than almost any other retail job. Recommending the wrong food product could give someone an upset stomach, delivering the wrong information to customers in outdoor retail could put someones life in jeopardy.

    Advice to Management

    Please take advantage of the greatest resource you have. Are you blind or something?! You now have the largest, most knowledgeable and enthusiastic group of outdoor enthusiasts in the world. Finding creative ways to tap into their energy would propel EMS to a level of success that would straight up blow your mind. In the process, EMS would become a prized workplace. Not just a job, but a livelihood.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (1)

    Fun/exciting at times, miserable at others.

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great discounts, friendly environment, free product giveaways, fun hands on training.

    Cons

    Retail, not enough payroll to have enough store coverage, low salary rates.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Email Marketing Coordinator

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Email Marketing Specialist in Meriden, CT
    Current Employee - Email Marketing Specialist in Meriden, CT

    I have been working at Eastern Mountain Sports (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Very friendly environment, solid training.. don't just throw you in with no knowledge of what they expect from you.

    Cons

    No cons so far. Very good overall experience.


  7. Helpful (2)

    Guide (Floor Salesperson)

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

    I worked at Eastern Mountain Sports

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    The pros of this job is getting to know the gear really well, interacting with cool co-workers (during the 30-minute break), and chatting with the various adventurers who wander into the store looking for equipment.

    Cons

    The position is kept at less than part-time to keep people from qualifying for any sort of benefits (to save on labor cost). While employees receive a store discount, the pay isn't high enough to actually afford purchasing any of the cool gear carried at EMS. The "family atmosphere" is designed to keep you coming back to work, even though workers aren't treated very well. The pay when I was there in 2011 was $10/hr for floor staff and a whopping $10.50/hr for an assistant manager position. The family angle is also played to entice people to work doubles or come in at odd hours. So not worth it.

    I am leaving a one star rating for Culture and Values because EMS says one thing, but practices something different. You would never force a family member to wait on you so you can get around to checking their bag for stolen items right before they leave when their shift is over.

    Advice to Management

    The store is usually so understaffed that interaction with co-workers is really minimal. "Advancement" could really be more about happenstance (which people happen to get a shift together), rather than about a manager taking initiative to seek out an employee with potential. I have seen managers play favorites with shifts, though, which leaves dedicated workers to scramble for hours and certainly influences which employees get face time with management.


  8. It wasn't bad but it was good either.

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Great discounts on gear, culture was good, friendly co workers, everyone who worked there really did love the outdoors

    Cons

    Sporadic schedule, almost no consistency, long hours, a lot of the standard pit falls of retail. Upper management almost never let the employees know what was happening and the rumor mill was always churning out new gossip. A lot of carrot dangling no real advancement

    Advice to Management

    Be honest with your employees, and be realistic with opportunities. Hold retention meetings with the people you want to keep.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Not what it used to be - just a regular retailer now

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

    I worked at Eastern Mountain Sports full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    I had some of the best professional years of my life at EMS. Very forward thinking, collaborative, you had a voice.

    Cons

    Once company was bought (and to be honest saved) by Versa Investment things went south quickly under the direction of the CEO.

    Advice to Management

    No need - you all know what you are doing and won't listen anyway.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Fun retail, low pay

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

    I have been working at Eastern Mountain Sports part-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Working with people traveling to amazing places. Discounts are good (not great). Having access to pro deals helps stretch the budget

    Cons

    Well you will never be one of the people traveling to Exotic places on what EMS pays. So you want me to know the ins and outs of everything from bikes, water purifiers, fitting shoes, gps watches, Thule roof racks, climbing gear, kayaks, backpacks, materials in clothes, and so much more but only pay 10.00 an hour? I've been there 5 years, considered a great employee, and not one raise ever.
        Pro deals only go so far. After you get your gear you really arnt spending a lot more.
         Management at versis spends money on secret shoppers, and insane amounts of sale signage every week, but not enough on payroll. Now we have positions unfilled because at the rates we are paying people are skipping our job.

    Advice to Management

    Pay a real wage. Simply put your business runs on people who know the product. Without proper compensation we can't hire people who will make you even more money.
        Dump secret shoppers. It's stupid, arbitrary, and just frustrates the employees.
         Try running a sale for two weeks at a time. You will cut your signage costs in half and give your guide more time to help customers.
         Stop hiring all these high priced people at corporate and telling us about it on the email service. We don't have money for and raises for quality front line troops but boy do we have money to hire some new people at corporate WHO HAVE NO IDEA about the outdoor industry.


  11. Salesperson

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

    I worked at Eastern Mountain Sports part-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    the people you work with share similar interests in going outdoors. Coworkers are knowledgable and friendly. If you love the gear you'll love working here.

    Cons

    Retail in general can be extremely busy during holiday season. The pay is relatively low compared to some other retail positions.

    Advice to Management

    Keep encouraging employees to get outside and learn new sports/activities. Demo days and product education are key.



Showing 108 of 108 reviews
Reset Filters
RSS Feed </> Embed

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.