There are newer employer reviews for Blacks Photography

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A company that is steady declining, with no incentive for employees to not jump ship.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Customer Associate, ASM, Telus Representative, Lab Manager
Former Employee - Customer Associate, ASM, Telus Representative, Lab Manager

I worked at Blacks Photography full-time for more than 5 years

Pros

-- Depending on your store, location, and staff, the work environment can be tons and tons of fun. I worked for Blacks for several years and encountered many different team environments, some of them ended up being closer than family, others... not so much.

-- A not so bad discount program. When Telus Mobility first purchased Blacks, they provided employees with a dirt cheap unlimited everything plan. After a few years this slowly got phased out, and was replaced with a $15 2GB/Limited calling plan, which was still better than market price. The best in-store discount comes from printing and frame/album purchases, with some discounts on manufacturer orders.

Cons

-- The disappearing culture. Blacks used to be about photography (Blacks /is/ Photography), but they're rapidly losing touch with the customers and employees that have backed them since the 70s. Blacks doesn't know whether it wants to be Apple, Shoppers, an online discount superstore, or the Dollar Tree.

-- Recent changes made to the production of photos. Blacks used to be an entirely wet lab, which was changed to a dry lab in fall/winter 2011. The film process is now broken down into hub and spoke stores, however the process is still bass-ackwards and some customers would wait up to and including 90 days for their previously 1-3-or-7 day order to come back. The digital dry prints are still not up to Blacks standard - as an employee I could justify the costly price of prints because of the quality, however the "new" dry paper format is no different from London Drugs or Walmart.

-- Upper, middle, and senior management. Head office was an absolute joke, lots of passing the buck around, attitude, late orders, promises to deliver without delivery. Middle management (regional managers) were hit or miss. I had one regional who was the absolute best -- she still works for the company, and her region is continually top tier. The regional who followed her was a transfer from another Big Box Retailer, and to this day continues to drive the company into the ground.

-- Current store management is a joke. The regional has a very particular style of hiring and promoting managers, and most are under educated, under experienced, and do not present the company on a level you would expect from a business that has been around for 100 years. The turnover is MASSIVE, even for long time, 2-to-9 year tenured employees.

-- Lack of communication, empathy, value, training, pay compensation, and understanding of what makes the business successful.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

-- Don't threaten employees who don't have high numbers when they're the ones stuck in the lab because nobody else has been appropriately trained to use the machine and process orders.

-- Take responsibility for your actions and follow up with customers and head office alike.

-- Be responsible and adult. Post schedules more than three days in advance, don't talk to your staff as though they're children whom have just been birthed from the Blacks machine, and don't set unrealistic expectations for yourself, your team, or your store. Nobody benefits.

-- If the store isn't meeting its targets, find out why. Ask your staff why they don't feel confident or happy pushing a new phone on every person who comes through the door. Once you show empathy towards their concerns or reservations, try and resolve them in a way that isn't, "I'm sorry you feel that way."

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook

33 Other Employee Reviews for Blacks Photography (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    I love coming to work, never do I dread it!! Your career is what you make of it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager
    Current Employee - Manager

    I have been working at Blacks Photography

    Pros

    -Co-workers,
    -Customers,
    -Incentives,
    -Being acknowledged when a good job is done.

    I understand that everyone has their own feelings towards Blacks. My Regional Manager is one of the best leasers I have ever had. She asks us weekly, what we need to achieve our goals. If we have certain ideas on how she can help, or the company can help, she will bring it to the attention of another hire up. That's why some of our products have gotten discounted.

    I love working here, I feel that whenever we do a good job, someone will acknowledge it. My region has conference calls every Monday, Wed, Friday, so we can stay connected with everything that is going on, share experiences, share tips, and have In region Contests to help us compete and get our goals.

    People complain about PGS, but I love it. Goals aren't for everyone, but my staff sure loves to compete for their goals. We have realized that the Non-negotiables aren't just to help the company, its really meant to help our customers realize that they are getting the #1 service.
    Not telling them what we have to offer, is like ripping them off.

    PGS Training was great, I met many great managers, assistants, and associates, I wish everyone could experience it.

    I have NEVER worked in a more fun environment. I haven't even been here a year, and I was promoted to Manager.

    Cons

    I am from the SK/AB Region, and the closest Blacks store to mine, is at least 4 hours away.
    My associates and Customers want more stores, but we need to hit hire numbers first.

    The length for returning products (Film,) is stressful, but we know that they are working out the kinks.

    Some people (85%) are GREAT at returning e-mails, and some (15%) are terrible. It's stressful when they do not reply, but at least we have a few other ways to contact them, or someone in the same department.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Some people aren't checking e-mails/ Returning e-mails within a decent time period. Also, in this part of my region, we want another store! ;)

    Recommends
  2.  

    terrible

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate
    Current Employee - Sales Associate

    I have been working at Blacks Photography

    Pros

    implementing some changes to try and make it a better workplace; unclear how well and effective these changes will be

    Cons

    bad pay
    low morale
    company seems to be losing money rather than making money
    unable to keep staff - bad hiring decisions
    needing to perform duties beyond my position

    Doesn't Recommend
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