Eastern Mountain Sports Reviews

Updated August 27, 2015
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2.9
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Recommend to a friend
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Mark Walsh
20 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  • Low pay, understaffed, inefficient/outdated computer systems, typical disconnect between cooperate and stores (in 7 reviews)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

114 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Floor Supervisor

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Watertown, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Watertown, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    I have worked at several different EMS stores and the people there were always the best part of the job. I met many close friends through my job at EMS and found my coworkers to be the best part of every workday. The benefits when you are a full time employee are not bad, although the health care is definitely changing (and not for the better).

    Cons

    The compensation is poor to say the least. I earned $12/hr as a supervisor at one of their flagship stores. We went through 3 managers in under 2 years and spent well over a year with out a manager at all. You really get the feeling that corporate management does not care at all about you or your well being. They have aggressively cut back on employee training, something that had previously been one of the cornerstones of the company.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Use to be amazing

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Store Manager
    Former Employee - Store Manager
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Eastern Mountain Sports full-time

    Pros

    Great People, Great Benefits, work with Toys

    Cons

    The new owners do not understand the industry or where to bring the company


  3. Helpful (2)

    Mergers make for mischief

    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Eastern Mountain Sports full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The great store associates and the great gear.

    Cons

    The new overlords are overbearing

    Advice to Management

    Walk around and make people happy to work at their jobs.


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  5. Helpful (5)

    Full time at Base Camp

    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Excellent benefits before being bought out. People were family. Very relaxed.

    Cons

    Everything went to hell when Bobs Store took over.


  6. Store manager

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Eastern Mountain Sports full-time

    Pros

    people, gear, benefits, pro deals, locations

    Cons

    Pay rate, work hours, corporate organization, buying , allocation


  7. Assistant Store Manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great culture, product and industry. It is a lot of fun to work with like-minded people and customers.

    Cons

    Pay and benefits are a little low.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing.


  8. Helpful (3)

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    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.


  9. 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
    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.


  10. Helpful (2)

    Outdoor Retail Job

    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    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.


  11. 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
    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.



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